I have been thinking about recent excuses given by the Philadelphia colleagues of State Rep. Dwight Evans who voted against him as ranking member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Their excuse: "funds flowed to projects of his allies" and there was "a feeling in the caucus of a growing cronyism" ("Evans' fall was long in making," Nov. 18). How shortsighted and unfortunate.
My take on Evans is that he got into politics to help his neighborhood and all of Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Convention Center has been the city's strongest economic driver. What about the Pennsylvania students who will benefit from $44 million appropriated annually for scholarship organizations; $22 million for educational improvement programs in public schools, and $8 million for prekindergarten scholarships.
The loudly touted Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp. has for more than 30 years transformed a community that was blighted when Evans became a state representative. Ask Evans' friends and cronies in West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, and Mount Airy if the funds for this revitalization effort were a waste of "their tax dollars."
Talk to the folks in North Philadelphia about the investment in Smith Playground. Call the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Avenue of the Arts, the Asian Arts Initiative, former members of the old Fairmount Park Commission, the Oak Lane Tree Tenders, the Philadelphia Recreation Department, and others, and let them tell you why they are proud to be friends/cronies of Evans.
Dwight Evans' friends/cronies should challenge Philadelphians who voted against him and the city. Time will tell how their betrayal will benefit Philadelphia.
City Council Majority Leader