Letters to the Editor
Perks answered call At the memorial on Saturday for engineer and former Philadelphia official Harry M. Perks, the only recognizable city representative was former Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr., who provided reflections. I had never met Perks, but knew many of his accomplishments
Perks answered call
At the memorial on Saturday for engineer and former Philadelphia official Harry M. Perks, the only recognizable city representative was former Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr., who provided reflections. I had never met Perks, but knew many of his accomplishments - including major contributions to building the Convention Center, Kimmel Center, Veterans Stadium, and the Academy of Music, and the renovation of many libraries and schools. So I wondered where current and former elected officials were, and many others. After all, Perks answered the city's call. He came out of retirement to head the Streets Department during a time of turmoil, and turned it around and modernized it. He was a rich man, spiritually, financially, and with friends and family, already chief executive of a large firm.
More of those who benefited from Perk's dedication, intelligence, and ability to get a hard job done should have come to celebrate that remarkable life. It is no wonder that the city continues a downward slide when its leaders seem so unappreciated.
Malcolm E. McGraw, Philadelphia
Gov. Christie appears to be preoccupied with his image and getting the Republican nomination for president, instead of what is best for New Jersey. Although the mainstream press has already called this election for Christie, the election is far from over. Christie's Democratic challenger, State Sen. Barbara Buono, is being criticized because more than 50 elected Democratic officials endorsed Christie. But I support Buono just because she has the courage to challenge these political bosses. There are enough real Democrats and thoughtful independents who can see through all the hype.
Jack Greenberg, Plainsboro
Stakes too high
No rationalizing by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) will take away the fact that shutting down the government and being willing to have the country default is deeply irresponsible ("Why he said, no deal," Oct. 23). Anyone willing to jeopardize the nation's financial situation to make what, in essence, is an unprovable political point about the appropriate level of debt does not have the requisite judgment to hold higher office.
Bob Kagan, Merion
It is clear that his abhorrence of government overspending was such that Sen. Pat Toomey voted to prevent the government from spending any money ("Why he said, no deal," Oct. 23).
Frank McGinty, Jenkintown, email@example.com
Philadelphia has come a long way since blatant racism affected how neighborhoods were built and sustained. Redlining, a term coined in the 1960s, was a process of highlighting and isolating neighborhoods with high minority populations. This led to urban disinvestment as lenders refused to make loans available, or offered more expensive financing to would-be home buyers. While that became illegal under the 1968 Fair Housing Act, subtle forms of discrimination exist today within real estate circles.
A Department of Housing and Urban Development report recently measured the degree to which African American, Hispanic, and Asian renters and home buyers are informed about options in comparison to whites. African Americans and Asians were shown almost 20 percent fewer housing units, even if equally qualified. The report also revealed that local rental agents tell African Americans about fewer units and show them fewer properties at a rate higher than the national average.
Because the fight for equal housing opportunity is not over, we're hosting a midday hearing on Wednesday in City Hall to highlight the issue and stem the tide of subtle discrimination. We refuse to allow a repeat of past injustices.
Jannie Blackwell and Curtis Jones Jr., district members, Philadelphia City Council