Philadelphia has been called complacent, but that description does not apply in this election cycle. In a citizen-run survey, 1,000 respondents singled out corruption as their primary concern. The survey also showed anxiety over the effectiveness of the city's criminal justice system and strong support for education and tax reform. There were concerns also about casinos, zoning and planning.
The survey was conducted by the Crosstown Coalition of seven civic associations - Bella Vista United Civic Association; Center City Residents' Association; Logan Square Neighborhood Association; Old City Civic Association; Queen Village Neighborhood Association; Society Hill Civic Association; and Washington Square West Civic Association.
It asked residents to rate 13 issues for the next mayor. They put municipal corruption, education and the economy at the top, with public safety fourth. This feedback was incorporated into 37 questions for the candidates. The answers, from the five Democratic candidates, are at www.crosstowncoalition.blogspot.com.
Members of the public can post their views at this blog.
It is clear from the interest in the survey as well as in the Great Expectations project and the TheNextMayor.com Web site run by the Daily News, WHYY and the Committee of 70, that Philadelphians care deeply about developing the full potential of their city. There's too much at stake to be complacent.