Term limits and taxes, pension reform and development projects, school funding and "low-wage workers" - these are the issues of interest to a new political nonprofit that hopes to shape Philadelphia City Council in this year's election and for years to come.
The group wants answers from Council candidates. Just don't ask where the money is coming from.
Philadelphia 3.0 went live Wednesday with a website featuring a questionnaire for candidates seeking support.
Alison Perelman, the nonprofit's executive director, said the group will not disclose the names of donors seeking to influence the election.
"We think it distracts from our mission, which is to talk about these issues that no one is discussing," Perelman said. "As an organization, we're not about individuals."
A 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows nonprofits to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections if they do not coordinate with any candidate or campaign.
Perelman said Philadelphia 3.0's attorney determined that asking Council candidates to answer questionnaires and then sit down for interviews to seek support does not amount to a coordination of efforts.
Philadelphia 3.0, originally called Philly Rising, was born last year in the boardroom of Parkway Corp., a real estate and parking garage company run by Joe Zuritsky and his son, Rob. The original mission was to find and support business-friendly candidates for Council.
A spokesman for the Zuritskys could not be reached for comment Wednesday. In January, he said "120 leaders in the community" had been briefed on the nonprofit's goals and plans.
Philadelphia 3.0's secrecy now covers that, too. Perelman declined to comment on the Zuritskys or say how many people have been briefed about the nonprofit.
"We can't confirm or deny the involvement of anyone in the organization," she said.
Philadelphia 3.0's new website opens with this question: "How does a city that paved the way for political change fall so far behind?" Lamenting the longevity of many Council members' careers, it calls for "new voices."
The nonprofit's questionnaire quizzes candidates, asking for specific proposals on nine issues. Perelman said the group is not looking for any particular answers on those issues.