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The Mayor-elect of Philadelphia is putting together a group of elected officials to examine the city’s needs in what she is calling the first of many “roundtable” groups. The group represents stakeholders who have votes in local, state, and federal legislative bodies.
Cherelle Parker’s Intergovernmental Roundtable is made up of roughly three dozen elected officials who have a vote in the city’s future. State Sen. Vincent Hughes, chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, believes the group is a first for the city.
“It is precedent-setting; it goes to two things, the vision of this mayor and the attributes that this city offers up with key people with knowledge in leadership positions all designed to bring resources and make transformational change for the residents of this city of Philadelphia,” he said.
Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton is among those participating in efforts to help Philadelphia find the money to address its challenges.
“Today is just the beginning of an official partnership for our governmental work,” McClinton said.
State Representative Donna Bullock believes that cooperation is necessary to fix Philadelphia’s problems.
“It means cooperating on the local state and federal level to fund gun violence prevention dollars and support policy and legislative initiatives and to move preemptive issues out of the way to keep our communities safe.”
Bullock believes the group will help promote a singular message that all involved are ready to be united in “One Philly, a united city.”
Parker referred to the group as part of her “kitchen cabinet.”
“This means that a Parker Administration does not attempt to move forward with the legislative effort without it coming through this Intergovernmental Roundtable,” Parker said. “This is when the federal government, state government, and local government will figure out how we can all add value.”
The mayor-elect added that more announcements of her staff are forthcoming but would not be specific on a date.
This is just the first of a series of roundtables that will provide the structure for the mayor-elect, who said it’s something she needs to govern. Parker has said people who make up the roundtable groups will work on specific issues and then bring their findings back to the administration for funding.
EDITOR’S NOTE: John Salveson is chairman of WHYY’s board of directors and a member of the Parker transition committee.
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