Newall: With new year, a chance to embrace our better selves
Resolutions are so often meaningless, forgotten and forsaken in the new year. But some in this city would do well to keep a resolution or two.
Resolutions are so often meaningless, forgotten and forsaken in the new year.
But some in this city would do well to keep a resolution or two.
District Attorney Seth Williams: Do what needs to be done.
Despite all your bodybuilding of late and your comparing yourself to Rambo, you're still unwilling to take on the bullies in your own school yard. Still unwilling to deal with the porn-peddling prosecutors hijacking the integrity of your office.
You've inexplicably ignored commonsense calls to oust Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo, and Patrick Blessington for finding their kicks in misogynist, racist, and homophobic emails.
Fina, for sure, has to go. Unlike the two others, he not only received but also sent sleazy emails that in tone and substance rocketed right past sophomoric to disturbing. You can't peddle insulting trash and expect to stay a city prosecutor. Unless, I guess, you happen to work for Seth Williams.
You're burning the house down for three people.
Stop playing politics and do what needs to be done.
Police Commissioner-to-be Richard Ross: Be like Chuck.
In his grandfatherly, reforming way, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey became not only a leader in Philadelphia, but on the national stage as well.
No one is asking you to transform into Ramsey. But you have to heed his example and lead in the way of the outsider willing to show tough leadership and make hard choices to build a better, safer city and a more equitable police force.
Crime is everything. Our city's transformation will rise and fall with the number of people murdered on our streets - with the trust built between police and our many neighborhoods.
If we fall behind, if killings rise, if tensions simmer, we'll lose everything.
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney: Embrace the elf suit.
Now, I don't mean go around everywhere wearing the Buddy the Elf suit you rocked for a South Philadelphia holiday celebration last week. Unless, of course, that's your thing: elf suits.
I'm talking about the essence of the elf suit. The essence of the Jim Kenney who won so many over. The pre-campaign Kenney. The one who wouldn't hesitate to tweet that East Market Street with its "load of tripping people" is worthy of a reality show. That Chris Christie is a "creep," and Lou Dobbs is a word unprintable in a family newspaper. That someone might have put LSD in his turkey burger.
You're tasked with enormous challenges, sir. You must balance the continued transformation of Center City, while pulling up our left-behind neighborhoods and still-failing institutions.
In a recent interview with Philadelphia Magazine, you said you planned to lead like a "point guard" navigating competing power brokers down the court to success.
That could just be a little make-nice talk. But it sounds a little like, "Hey, I'm going to do my best to keep everyone happy."
I don't want Jim Kenney the point guard. I want, when needed, the unfiltered, unabashed Jim Kenney - a bruiser willing to fight the unions and City Council to get done what needs to get done.
I want the Jim Kenney who, if he thinks someone put LSD in his turkey burger, will just come out and say so.
Too much is at stake, Mr. Mayor-elect. All I'm saying: Just be you.
The Rest of Us: Give ourselves some credit.
How we grow as a city depends on how we see ourselves as a city. How we take stock of all our successes and shortcomings.
We're becoming a better city, but we have far to go. Real change will depend on our seeing our city for all it is - and all we want it to be.
That's one resolution we all have to keep.