Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has signed an executive order eliminating the Mayor’s Office of Community Services and establishing a new office to develop and implement his poverty-fighting plan.
The Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, or CEO as it will be called, is designed to oversee and advance anti-poverty efforts in the city of Philadelphia.
Nutter says poverty is one of the biggest issues confronting Philadelphia, affecting more than a quarter of the city’s residents.
“It is a human capital issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s a community development issue. It’s about children, it’s about working-age folks and seniors,” he said Tuesday. “This is the main issue that affects us from a public safety standpoint, that affects us about jobs and economic vitality.”
The mayor has selected Eva Gladstein to serve as executive director of the CEO.
“For my entire working life, a lot of it not in government but the nonprofit sector, I’ve sought opportunities that were focused on a very distinct mission, that focused on revitalizing communities and empowering people,” she said. “This job seems to fit that bill.”
Gladstein says she is ready to take on the challenge of fighting poverty in the city, where an estimated 28 percent of the population suffers from some form of poverty.
“I feel like Philadelphia has provided me with all this opportunity,” she said. “I hope to be able to work with everybody to kind of create the same opportunity for all Philadelphians through this office.”
The executive order also creates an oversight board to help the city to develop partnerships to tackle poverty.