Until 2010, Philadelphia’s City Council didn’t permit any public comment at all in its main meetings. Then, the state Supreme Court stepped in and said it had to. So Council did — but without establishing very clear routines for how that public comment would work going forward.
Last Thursday, Council met for the first time this session, and for the first time under the leadership of new President Darrell Clarke. What kind of signs did Clarke send about the role of the public in Council meetings? Will you be a valued participant in Council’s deliberations, or just an annoyance who is tolerated because of the law?
On this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, we talk with Zack Stalberg, President of Committee of Seventy, about public comment in Council.
It’s Our Money is a joint project of the Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation. We work to shed light on where your tax dollars are going.