Phila City Council gets its revenge

    It was payback time for the Philadelphia City Council whose members have long been the target of the government watchdog group Committee of Seventy.

    It was payback time for the Philadelphia City Council whose members have long been the target of the government watchdog group Committee of Seventy. Council members got their chance Tuesday when the head of Seventy testified at a hearing.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091028spseventy.mp3]

    City Council began to feel the heat not long after Zack Stalberg took over the Committee of Seventy in 2005. That’s when he broadened the organization’s mission to tackle ethics and government reform.

    This year, Stalberg has criticized Council members’ work ethic, called for a shrinking of their membership, and an elimination of some of the Row offices.

    So when Stalberg, appeared in Council chambers to testify on a separate issue, Council struck back.

    Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown demanded that Stalberg disclose the gender and ethnic background of every one of his board members.

    Stalberg: Howard Flaxman..white male, Carl Buckults?…white male, Michael Carbone, Carbone…white male, Anthony Conti? white male. Edward Dunham? white male, David Francesci? Francheski, white male. Joseph Frick? white male. Joseph Giordano? white male…..

    Brown: So let the record reflect that’s 5 women, 15 white males and one African American, the record shows no African American women and no Latinos, does that look like Philadelphia?

    Stalberg agreed that it doesn’t, and said the organization was in the process of diversifying.

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