March 13: Philly wins $1 million in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge | tax-delinquency solutions and reaction | AVI meetings | collecting Philly History

Good morning, Streeters. Here’s what’s making news today:

Philadelphia won a $1 million grant in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge to improve the city’s procurement process through the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership. In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, Mayor Nutter explained that the goal is to “get social entrepreneurs actively engaged in problem-solving with us.”

In the last part of the our investigative series on tax delinquency Jared Brey explores different strategies that could help improve Philadelphia’s broken approach to the connected problems of blight and tax delinquency – from lien sales and third-party transfers of distressed properties to land banking.

Give the twin pressures of the city’s Actual Value Initiative and financially strapped public school system, city leaders are urging Mayor Nutter to improve the city’s collection of taxes, reports Patrick Kerkstra. “The foreclosure system has to have teeth for all the effort that goes before it to be credible, and for taxpayers to understand that there are consequences,” said School Reform Commission Chair and former City Solicitor and Managing Director Pedro Ramos. And perhaps Councilman Jim Kenney said it best: “We should be more like the IRS and less like we are.”

The city has scheduled four more AVI “drop-in” sessions for this week, starting tonight in Southwest Center City, and moving on to Northeast Philly, Chestnut Hill, and Francisville. For a full schedule of community meetings and drop-in help sessions, check OPA’s website.

The Inquirer takes a trip into the musty, wonderful world of Jeffrey Ray, senior curator at the Phialdelphia History Museum

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