Department Of Licenses & Inspections Announces New Signage Regulations For Construction And Demolition Sites

Philadelphia, July 17, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections (L&I) unveiled new regulations requiring the display of project information signs at all construction and demolition sites.

“In the wake of the tragic events at 22nd & Market Streets on June 5, 2013, the City of Philadelphia has been engaged in an ongoing process to evaluate our regulations, laws and standard procedures – all in an effort to do our best to ensure that another tragedy doesn’t occur,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Two days after the collapse. I announced a series of initiatives to transform L&I procedures.  Today’s announcement is a continuation of that process.  In an effort to improve communication with the public, all project sites will be required to install signage containing important information about the project in a prominent location easily viewed by passersby.  Any citizens will be able to learn what is going on at the site, monitor the project’s progress, and report any dangerous conditions to the City for inspection quickly and easily.”

L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said, “The goal of this regulation is to ensure the public is informed about ongoing construction and demolition work and provide citizens with tools to report any potential violations. This new requirement is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to improving safety at all construction and demolition sites.”

The regulation calls for specific signage for major construction and demolition projects involving buildings that are four or more stories in height or 10,000 square feet in lot space. Those sites must display in a prominent location a project information sign measuring at least 3’x5’ and identifying the property address, property owner, contractor, renderings, and work completion date, as well as contact information to report any suspected violations.

Smaller construction and demolition projects involving buildings three stories or less in height will also be required to post a project information sign measuring 11”x17” and containing pertinent details of the project.

The regulation applies to all construction and demolition projects submitted to L&I after June 30, 2014. Specific information about the regulations can be found on L&I’s website, www.phila.gov/li, under the “What’s New” section.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

Mayor’s Office Releases Report Of Mayor’s Box Attendees: January 1 Through June 30, 2014

Philadelphia, July 17, 2014–  The City of Philadelphia has released the names of those who received tickets to the Mayor’s Box from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014.  The City’s policy for distribution of Mayor’s Box tickets is governed by a written, public policy, which provides for the equitable distribution of complimentary tickets received by the City of Philadelphia.

Some report highlights are as follows:

  • 2,384 tickets were distributed between January 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014.
  • 1,298 (54%) tickets for events in the Mayor’s Box were distributed to children from recreation centers, nonprofits and other groups who attended Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field events.
  • 83% of all tickets that were available for use were distributed.
  • Since the policy’s inception on April 4, 2008, 30,757 tickets have been distributed.  16,466 (54%) tickets have been distributed to schools, nonprofits, recreation centers and other groups.

SEE REPORT

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

Mayor Nutter Praises UIL Holding Corp For Staying The Course On Sale Of PGW

Philadelphia, July 16, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter praised the decision by UIL Holdings Corp. to continue its effort to acquire the Philadelphia Gas Works in a $1.86 billion transaction that awaits action by the Philadelphia City Council. The Mayor’s comments were in response to an announcement today from James P. Torgerson, UIL President and CEO, that the company would continue to pursue the purchase of the city-owned gas utility even though the purchase agreement agreed to last March provides that UIL can, as of today, exit the proposed sale at any time while the matter is pending before City Council.

“First, I want to acknowledge the dedication and hard work that a team of City officials and our consultants have done in presenting the data and making a convincing case for a sale of PGW and the many benefits that will flow to Philadelphians,” Mayor Nutter said. “I have spoken with Jim Torgerson and he’s indicated to me his company’s strong desire to continue the sale process.

“This incredibly important issue is squarely in front of City Council and both the Company and our Administration have been providing voluminous amounts of information to City Council and its consultant, Concentric Energy Advisors. We eagerly await Concentric’s report and the opportunity to present our case for selling PGW to City Council and the public.

“We stand fully prepared to provide Council with any further information or analysis it might need as it conducts its vital and historic due diligence on this matter. We look forward to the introduction of the legislation and the announcement of a schedule of Council hearings. Philadelphians have an absolute right to know the basic details of the transaction and how it will impact them as consumers and also how it will affect the dedicated workforce and retirees of PGW, the fiscal impact on City government and its Pension Fund and the city’s economy.”

In a statement released this morning, Mr. Torgerson said in part, “We have decided to continue our efforts to pursue this acquisition and become a new business partner in the City of Philadelphia. UIL remains ready to assist Council in its assessment of the sale, including the essential public dialogue of what we believe is a valuable economic opportunity for the City of Philadelphia. UIL will continue to evaluate the situation and take additional actions as appropriate.”

Mayor Nutter noted that UIL Holdings showed tremendous confidence in Philadelphia when it submitted the highest bid for PGW among 33 original contenders, agreed to no layoffs, a rate freeze and to maintain a PGW headquarters here. Based on a $1.86 billion sale price and after paying off all PGW’s bond obligations and putting aside funds for other potential liabilities, the City will have between $420 million and $630 million to invest in the City Pension Fund, which currently is about 47 funded.

“In the purchase agreement, we required strong protections for low-income consumers and seniors. We made sure there are strong protections for the job security of our valued union workforce and also pension protections,” said Mayor Nutter. “But the transaction also provides for increased safety by enhanced investments in replacing miles of cast-iron pipes and for new business opportunities such as investing in PGW’s LNG facilities, which can help create an ‘energy hub’ that will produce more jobs in the city and region. This proposed transaction allows us to begin to address perhaps the most daunting financial challenge facing our City, namely our underfunded city pension fund.”

PGW is the nation’s largest municipally-owned gas utility, with annual revenues of more than $600 million, more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers and more than 1,600 employees. Read more about the sale process and submit questions or comments at www.exploringthesale.com.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

Mayor Nutter Welcomes New Tech Company ‘Think Brownstone’ To Philadelphia

Latest suburban company to open a Philadelphia ‘gateway’ office

 

Philadelphia, July 10, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Think Brownstone, a Conshohocken-based user experience and design agency, opened the company’s new Philadelphia office at the historic Packard Grande Building in Center City.  Founded in 2007 by Carl White and Brian McIntire, Think Brownstone employs 50 people, including at least 15 who will work in the Philadelphia office, with the potential to expand.   Think Brownstone is the latest in a long line of companies to open a Philadelphia ‘gateway’ office in order to attract the talented workforce that wants to live and work in the city.  Other companies that have recently opened ‘gateway’ offices include Bentley Systems, Fiberlink, SevOne, and Eisner Amper.

 

“Think Brownstone’s decision to open an office in Philadelphia is the latest demonstration that Philadelphia is a great place to start and grow a technology company,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through initiatives like Startup PHL, my Administration, together with our partner PIDC, continues to do all we can to make Philadelphia a more business-friendly place and put this city on the map as one of America’s most diverse, dynamic and exciting places to build a company.”

 

Think Brownstone is a user experience and design agency that works with global clients, such as ING, The Hay Group, and Comcast, to improve their digital products. The company uses extensive research and discovery methods to produce user-centered software, including business applications, websites, and data visualization and analytic tools.

 

“When we originally pictured Think Brownstone, it was going to be in an historic building in the City of Philadelphia,” said Carl White, co-founder and CEO. “Even though we established our first studio in Conshohocken, we are thrilled to see that original vision come to life in our second studio at 15th and Sansom Streets. We are looking forward to being closer to our Philadelphia clients, being more convenient to the extensive pool of talented Philadelphia designers and developers, and taking advantage of all of the business services the city has to offer.”

 

Supporting entrepreneurs and startup companies in Philadelphia and attracting an educated talented workforce is a major priority for the Nutter Administration. Since the launch of Startup PHL the City has awarded more $210,000 across ten Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants. The latest round focused on attracting and retaining talent; recipients include organizations such as Penn Apps Fellows, Philly Startup Leaders and Technically Philly, NextFab, Zivtech, and the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. In addition, PIDC has also made investments in the Science Center’s QED program and in DreamIt Ventures, which established its global headquarters at 3401 Market Street on Drexel University’s campus.

 

“Companies large and small are increasingly moving to Philadelphia because they have access to an incredible talented workforce, high quality of life, and a growing support system for entrepreneurs” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “This is a very exciting and promising development for the future of our city’s tech ecosystem.”

 

For more information about Startup PHL please visit www.startupphl.com. For more information about Think Brownstone please visit www.thinkbrownstone.com.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release, Topics, Transportation & Utilties

Statement On The Cigarette Tax And School Funding

In response to comments Governor Tom Corbett made today in support of the enactment of a cigarette tax, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite, School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green and President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Rob Wonderling released the following statement:

“We very much appreciate the Governor’s strong support for a cigarette tax that will benefit Philadelphia school children.  We also are thankful for the General Assembly’s continuing support for this measure.  We hope this vital tax enabling legislation is enacted as soon as possible.  The local revenue at issue is critically important to the ongoing operations of the School District of Philadelphia.  These funds will help ensure that our schools open on time and will help avoid severe reductions in staffing that could compromise the District’s ability to meet its educational mission or operate safely.”

Mayor Michael A. Nutter

Council President Darrell Clarke

Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, Philadelphia School District

Bill Green, Chair, School Reform Commission

Rob Wonderling, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

Mayor Nutter, Secretary Duncan To Host ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Roundtable Discussion

WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Congressman Chaka Fattah
David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
Marco Davis, Deputy Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Donald Generals, President, Community College of Philadelphia

WHAT: Mayor Nutter and Secretary Duncan will host a roundtable discussion on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, listening to a dozen young men of color share their experiences and highlight the importance of strong leadership and a solid education.

WHERE: Community College of Philadelphia, Center for Business and Industry, 2nd Floor,
Room C2-5, 18th & Callowhill Streets

WHEN: Friday, July 11, 2014 TOMORROW

Roundtable Discussion: 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Media Availability: 11:25 AM

Posted in Media Advisory

Mayor Nutter’s Remarks at Fourth of July Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s Fourth of July Celebration of Freedom Address is as follows.  Check against delivery:

Good morning and happy Fourth of July.  It is my great honor to welcome all of you, friends, neighbors, visitors and a very special guest and friend to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, to the birthplace of democracy, to the first capital of our great nation – the City of Philadelphia.

Over the last week, Philadelphia has been celebrating the 238th birthday of our nation with an incredible series of events to stimulate minds, hearts and taste buds, from promoting science, reading and a life-long love of learning at Go Fourth and Learn to honoring our returning military men and women and those who serve and protect us on the domestic front, our Police Officers, Firefighters and medics.  Please recognize all of our military members and first responders with us today.

I’d like to thank Desiree Peterkin-Bell, City Representative and Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships for planning another fantastic Wawa Welcome America! festival, including today’s Celebration of Freedom Ceremony.  I’d like to thank my wife, Lisa Nutter, President of Philadelphia Academies, Inc., for participating and for her education advocacy and the very talented and inspirational Debbie Allen for being with us today.

I’d also like to recognize the members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen who were honored earlier – Major John L. Harrison and Flight Instructor Roscoe D. Draper.  The Tuskegee Airmen stand tall as heroes in our American story.  Their service to the nation deserves our deepest respect.

Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on the true meaning of freedom, which has changed drastically during our nation’s history.

Today, we know that to be free, one must have access to knowledge and an education, one must be able to exercise his thoughts and beliefs, one must feel protected and safe.  One must know that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee of success, but rather the equal opportunity to prosper, be happy, be successful, and not be oppressed.

On this Independence Day, we commemorate two important anniversaries in American history that demonstrate the American spirit, the belief in freedom and equality – the 60th Anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In Brown v. Board of Education, African Americans and many others raised critically important questions: were children of color receiving an education equal to that of white children?  Was separate but equal producing well-educated, highly-skilled children of color?  Could education be equal if there was an inherent difference in the accommodations, funding and experience between white and black children?

At the heart of the case was the issue of equal access to high-quality education.

In the Court’s decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, “In these days it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.  Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right that must be made available on equal terms.”

Separate but equal was struck down as unconstitutional in the United States.  Right now, the idea of separate but equal education is of particular issue for Pennsylvania.  Across the Commonwealth, school districts are struggling under the burden of inadequate and unfair funding, unable to properly prepare our young people for the world of tomorrow.  Separate but underfunded is wrong also.

Disinvestment or inadequate investment in public education should be unacceptable to every American citizen.  I believe education is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st century – equality in education is vitally important to creating opportunities for every young person in our great nation to be successful.

In Pennsylvania, we have schools that are flush with resources and schools that are simply not: schools that can afford nurses and those that can’t; schools that have libraries and those that don’t; schools that have computers and new textbooks and schools that lack even the most basic necessities, like workbooks, pencils or paper.

And nationwide, despite the promise of Brown v. Board of Education, the fundamental disparities between communities of color and white communities in many areas changed very little.  Those disparities — poverty, crime, incarceration, negative influences and poor health — continue to stifle classroom success for so many young people of color today.

As a nation, we must commit ourselves to the proposition that America cannot move forward unless every citizen is on a path to success.

That means fully and fairly funding education, so that every child has access to a high-quality learning experience.  It means ending the pipeline to prison in which many of our young people find themselves trapped, and creating a new pipeline, a pipeline of opportunity.

That’s why I am proud to support President Obama’s efforts to implement practical, results-driven strategies that ensure young African American men and boys and all men and boys of color are on equal footing with their peers and have the opportunity to achieve the American dream through the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

As important as creating opportunities for success is, we must also change the culture of violence in our black communities.  Our young black men and boys are disproportionately both the victims and perpetrators of homicides in America.  An entire generation wiped out, never living up to their potential, never contributing to our communities and country.

African American men make up 6% of the population but are 43% of homicide victims.  That is an epidemic of violence.

Working in partnership with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and 62 mayors nationwide, we created Cities United, a national movement aimed at reducing the devastating number of violence-related deaths of young African American men and boys and their effect on our communities. We need to help our young black and brown men and boys turn from away from violence and toward education and success.

Brown v. Board of Education was an important step toward equality, freedom and oppportunity in America.  It ended separate but equal practices, the physical manifestations of inequality, but it didn’t address institutionalized discrimination.

In his State of the Union Address in 1961, President Kennedy planted the seed of change, saying, “The denial of constitutional rights to some of our fellow Americans on account of race – at the ballot box and elsewhere – disturbs the national conscience, and subjects us to the charge of world opinion that our democracy is not equal to the high promise of our heritage.”

After President Kennedy’s assassination and under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, hope for a new era of equal opportunity grew with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, bringing America closer to that promise of our heritage – that all men are created equal.

As a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created to enforce federal laws that made it illegal to discriminate in the workplace.

It also served as an important precursor of what was to come – the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – by requiring equal application of voter registration requirements to all.

For decades, blacks were denied the right to vote in elections across this country through the use of literacy tests and poll taxes.  The passage of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution in January 1964 prohibited the use of a poll tax or any other tax as a condition to the right to vote in federal elections.  But, the systematic disenfranchisement of African American voters still plagued many Southern elections.

In 1964, Mississippi’s population was nearly half black, but only 6% of African Americans were registered to vote.

In the summer of 1964, more than 700 college students, who were for the most part white Northerners, traveled to the South to register black men and women to vote in Mississippi.

That summer 50 years ago was called Freedom Summer.  Those college kids built makeshift schools and taught black Mississippi children and adults to read and write and to understand their history and contributions to America.  They started community centers.  These brave young men and women risked their physical safety and, yes, in many cases, their freedom to empower Mississippi blacks.

In another Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Mississippi, three Civil Rights Activists went missing during Freedom Summer.  After more than a month, the country learned of their fate.  James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were beaten and murdered on the day they went missing and buried in a shallow grave on the farm of one of their killers.

They were casualties in the fight for freedom and equality.  During Freedom Summer, more than 80 activists were beaten and 1,000 were arrested.  Their sacrifices weren’t in vain.  Millions around the country were inspired by the bravery and courage of those voting rights activists.  And today, Mississippi is the state with the largest number of black elected officials.

So, on this Independence Day, we must look at how far we have come and ask ourselves the question Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked of the nation, “Where do we go from here?”

We must go forward.  We must continue to fight for freedom.  We must work toward the equal opportunity of success for every American.

We must remember that there is a cost to freedom.  During the Civil Rights Movement, people paid for freedom with their time and their lives.  Today, we must ask ourselves what am I willing to do to help my fellow citizen, my neighbor, my community.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Americans stood for equality by fighting to sit at a lunch counter.  Today, anyone in America can sit at that lunch counter.  But, can they pay for their meal?  How can a person pursue happiness, as our Founding Fathers said we had the right to do, if they lack the basic tools to compete in the global economy and function in our society?

You may think it isn’t your responsibility to help others succeed, but it is.  Dr. King said it best, “…We are all tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.  And whatever affects on directly affects all indirectly.”

We can never truly understand freedom, unless we are willing to help others.  Freedom only means something if you do something with it.

This is my call to action.  Do something for yourself.  Do something for others.

Hire a person who has been in prison and paid their debt to society, so that they can truly be a returning citizen.  We are our brother’s keeper.

Volunteer at your local school.  Help a child learn to read.  Help an adult learn to read.  Read to your children.  Perhaps then, we would know that words are more powerful than the sword.

Mentor a troubled teen, so they know that there is a way to succeed after failure.

Be a Graduation Coach.  Help a young person acquire the skills they need to be competitive in this economy.

Clean up a park, so our children have a safe place to play.

Call your local representative and demand a greater investment in the next generation of students, demand more funding for public education.  Then, maybe our children will carry a diploma, rather than a gun.

On this Fourth of July, remember that no matter our color or ethnicity, we are all members of one race – the human race; no matter our gender, we are all of one kind, human kind.  And, we must all continue to work together toward a better America to ensure we are all free.

Free from violence, free from discrimination, free from despair and full of hope, full of the American spirit, full of the ability to be independent.  That’s what it means to be free.

Thank you and God bless America.

Posted in Education, Employment, Mayor Announcements, Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Public Safety
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