Mayor Nutter Announces Online Resource Center At Kick-Off Of US2020 PHL

Philadelphia, September 15, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced a new online science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) resource center – a community, networking and information source for STEM professionals and organizations to learn more and participate in US2020 PHL, a high-impact STEM mentoring initiative focused on increasing youth access to careers in STEM fields.  US2020 PHL is the City’s coalition-driven model, supported by title sponsor Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, to increase STEM mentoring and was one of seven winning innovative STEM mentorship models in the US2020 City Competition.

The US2020 PHL STEM online resource center (www.STEMcityPHL.org) will eventually house a STEM asset map that will provide a comprehensive overview of current STEM-related resources and a foundation for regional growth in high-demand STEM fields.  Libraries, museums, universities, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations that offer STEM education programs will be able to connect to companies, individuals, and others STEM program supporters.

The resource center will also host US2020 PHL’s volunteer matching platform, which will link STEM professionals to local youth in mentoring relationships.  Parents and teachers will have the ability to enroll their students in high-impact, out-of-school STEM mentoring opportunities, and educators will have access to professional development resources needed to bolster in-school instruction.  The online space will be functional this fall.

“Since being selected as a US2020 City Competition winner, our coalition of partners has been hard at work bringing new leaders from the public, private, educational and philanthropic communities to the table and outlining our next steps,” said Mayor Nutter.  “The online resource center will serve as a solid foundation for connecting underserved youth to mentorship opportunities with STEM professionals, organizations and companies.  I want to thank Saint-Gobain and all of our coalition partners for their support in this process and their commitment to Philadelphia’s next generation.”

Mayor Nutter also announced that the City of Philadelphia was selected by IBM for a Strategic Planning Impact Grant to help develop a city-wide framework for STEM education and workforce development called STEMcityPHL, of which the STEM mentorship work of US2020 PHL will play a prominent role.

“STEM and innovation economy jobs are among the fastest growing sectors in Philadelphia.  But unfortunately, many of our young people and adults lack the basic skills and knowledge required to work within these fields,” said Mayor Nutter.  “By creating a city-wide, multi-faceted blueprint to coordinate resources and programs, we can identify gaps and increase STEM opportunities for Philadelphians of all ages.  I would like to thank IBM for being a great partner to the City of Philadelphia and helping us open doors to STEM careers for citizens.”

John Crowe, President and CEO, Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations, said, “Educating the next generation of the American workforce is vital to our city’s economic success and it starts with exciting Philadelphia’s youth about STEM fields of study and expanding their experiences in a diverse array of STEM careers. Taking STEM out of the classroom and into the real world will offer youth a clear pathway to stable, rewarding, in-demand careers that can ultimately help rebuild Philadelphia’s middle class while also creating a new generation of highly skilled STEM professionals that will keep Philadelphia’s business community thriving.”

Diane Melley, Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM, added, “IBM offers a variety of resources for the education community so it can significantly increase our pipeline of STEM professionals in the U.S. to meet the needs of our workforce.  IBM is pleased to support the City of Philadelphia with this IBM Strategic Planning Impact Grant to assist with the startup and launch of this important collaborative endeavor that will make our region even more competitive and successful.”

The announcement followed a keynote address by Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director for the Franklin Institute and panel discussion with Mayor Nutter and local STEM leaders, Darrell Williams, Vice President of Operations at Certain Teed Ceilings, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain; Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, President, University of the Sciences; and Chris Lehman, Principal of Science Leadership Academy.  The panel highlighted the importance of STEM education and current STEM efforts in Philadelphia.

###

About US2020

US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The long-term goal of the initiative is to mobilize 1 million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020, creating millions of moments of discovery – those life changing events when children launch rockets, build robots, write a computer program, or look into the farthest reaches of the universe.  US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit and individual partners.

About US2020 PHL

The strength of US2020 PHL comes from its growing coalition of more than 125 educational and corporate organizations that are committed to preparing and inspiring youth to pursue STEM careers.  The US2020 PHL team welcomes individuals and organizations to join the STEM mentoring movement by becoming a Philadelphia Coalition member, and generating a local talent base that will become the city and region’s next generation of STEM professionals.  For more information on US2020 and how to become a coalition member, please email:Kendrick.davis@phila.gov

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.9 billion in 2013.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

Mayor Nutter Opens Nominations For The Richardson Dilworth Award For Distinguished Public Service

Unveils two new categories honoring Customer Service and Innovation in Government.

Nominations due November 14, 2014.

Philadelphia, September 15, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter opened the nomination period for the fourth annual Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service. The Richardson Dilworth Award honors distinguished City employees for exemplary public service by public employees in the executive branch. In addition, two new award categories were announced to enhance the employee award program. The new awards are “Innovation in Government” and “Excellence in Public Service”. The new awards will be presented to City employees in the executive branch who have performed an exemplary act with lasting impact.

“With the opening of the newly renovated Dilworth Plaza, the gateway to City Hall, many Philadelphians have been reminded of the tremendous legacy Mayor Richardson Dilworth bestowed on our city through his commitment to inspired city planning and ethical government,” said Mayor Nutter. “This year, with two additional awards honoring customer service and innovation in government, we will recognize even more City employees whose work, above and beyond the call of duty, has made Philadelphia a better city.”

The Dilworth Award recognizes the contributions of outstanding, current, full-time, executive branch public employees whose work exemplifies excellence in public service. Over the past three years, The Richardson Dilworth Award has provided the city with an opportunity to commend the incredible work performed by its thousands of employees every day. This has resulted in three exemplary award winners—Barbara Ash, John Elfrey, and Carlton Williams—who have devoted their lives to public service and enacted lasting change in our city.

“Over the past three years, the Dilworth Award has honored distinguished City employees who would excel in the private sector, but have made the decision to offer their talents to serving Philadelphia’s public,” said Joseph H. Jacovini, Dilworth Paxson LLP. “The newly opened Dilworth Plaza is a stunning reminder of the commitment Mayor Dilworth had to his city just as Philadelphia’s excellent civil service system is a tribute to his reforms and ongoing dedication to City employees.”

Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, added, “Independence Blue Cross is a dedicated partner with Dilworth Paxson and the City of Philadelphia in honoring excellence by our City employees. The legacy of Richardson Dilworth’s leadership is strong in Philadelphia through this award and the newly renovated Dilworth Park, and we look forward to recognizing those City employees who embody his commitment to smart and ethical government.

The two new award categories aim to encourage the nomination of employees who have performed an exemplary act in the areas of customer service and innovation. It is the City’s hope to garner a greater pool of nominations and recognize the full depth and breadth of our city’s public servants. The award categories are:

  • Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service ($5,000)
  • Richardson Dilworth Award for Excellence in Customer Service ($1,000)
  • Richardson Dilworth Award for Innovation in Government ($1,000)

Anyone may submit a nomination for the award. Nomination forms are available online at www.dilworthaward.org. Paper nomination forms are available at the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, Room 708, City Hall. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, November 14th, 2014. Cabinet Members and Department or Agency Heads are not eligible for nomination. Nominated employees must have served for three consecutive years and have no recent disciplinary violations.

The Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service is generously supported by Dilworth Paxson LLP and Independence Blue Cross.

The winners of the Award will be chosen by a selection committee comprising representatives from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors and communities across the City. The Selection Panel is co-chaired by Joseph H. Jacovini, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Dilworth Paxson LLP, and Daniel Hilferty, president and CEO, Independence Blue Cross.

Posted in Arts & Culture, Employment, Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release, Topics

City Of Philadelphia Office Of Property Assessment To Accept Homestead Exemption Applications Through December 1

Philadelphia homeowners encouraged to apply to receive real estate tax savings.

Philadelphia, September 12, 2014 – The City of Philadelphia announced that the Office of Property Assessment will accept applications for the Homestead Exemption after the September 13th deadline through December 1st.

“To ensure that every eligible Philadelphian has the opportunity to apply for the Homestead Exemption and receive this important tax relief, the Office of Property Assessment will continue to accept applications,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “This tax savings program is free to apply for and will ultimately help put extra money into the pockets of Philadelphia homeowners, on average $402 in savings each year.  I want to encourage every eligible, home-owning citizen to apply for the Homestead Exemption as soon as possible.”

The Philadelphia Homestead exemption offers real estate tax savings to homeowners by reducing the taxable portion of their property assessment by $30,000.  Homeowners should still apply as close to the September 13th deadline as possible, so that the savings can be reflected in their 2015 real estate tax bill.

Homestead applications can be submitted:

  • By phone – You may call the Homestead Hotline (215-686-9200) to file your Homestead Exemption.  Language assistance services are available through the Hotline.  The Hotline hours are of operations are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Please note: the Hotline will be open Saturday, September 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m and Monday, September 15th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..;
  • Online – Applications can be filed online by logging on to phila.gov/opa; or
  • Paper application: Paper applications can be downloaded from phila.gov/opa and dropped off at one of five drop box locations:
  • The Office of Property Assessment, 601 Walnut St, 3W (Curtis Center);
  • 311 Walk-In Center at City Hall;
  • Concourse Level of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Blvd.;
  • Northeast Philadelphia Mini City Hall, Northeast Shopping Mall, 9239 Rear Roosevelt Blvd.; and
  • North Philadelphia Mini City Hall, 2761 N. 22nd Street.

Only primary residences are eligible for Homestead Exemption.  Individuals who own vacation or rental properties are not eligible for the Homestead Exemption for those properties.   If a homeowner’s property includes commercial or rental space, homeowners are still eligible to receive the Homestead Exemption for the portion of the property that is their primary residence.

There are no age or income level restrictions for the Homestead Exemption Program.  Homeowners who are tax delinquent are eligible to apply.  Homeowners who have mortgages are also eligible for the Homestead Exemption.

If your property previously received the Homestead Exemption, you need not reapply.  Once awarded, the Homestead Exemption remains attached to a property until the property is sold or the deed changes.

To check the status of your Homestead Exemption application or to calculate your tax bill, use the AVI Calculator: to avicalculator.phila.gov.

The Homestead Exemption application period is the same for new homebuyers.  Due to a lag in updates to ownership records, new homebuyers should apply via a paper Homestead application and affidavit, both available on www.phila.gov/opa—and and provide a copy of the deed or HUD-1.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Topics

Mayor Nutter Honored With 2014 Interbike Advocacy Leadership Award In Las Vegas

Philadelphia, September 12, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter was honored during the annual Interbike International Bicycle Exposition (Interbike) in Las Vegas, Nevada, for his leadership in making Philadelphia a safe and appealing city for biking.  Interbike, billed as the largest annual gathering of the bicycle industry in North America, is a forum to celebrate, educate and conduct the business of cycling.  The IB Awards, Interbike’s first annual black-tie industry awards gala, was held Thursday evening at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, at which Mayor Nutter received the inaugural Interbike Advocacy Leadership Award.  Mrs. Lisa J. Nutter accepted the award on Mayor Nutter’s behalf.

“I am honored to receive the inaugural Interbike Advocacy Leadership award,” said Mayor Nutter. “As Mayor, I have worked hard to make Philadelphia one of the most bike-friendly cities in America.  We have created more than 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes, invested in pedestrian and bicycling safety programs, and, beginning next spring we are launching the first bike share system in the U.S. to offer access to residents without credit cards.  As a result, Philadelphia is the top bicycle commuting city of the nation’s ten biggest cities, and one of only three cities to place two neighborhoods in the top 25 neighborhoods for bicycle commuting in the country.

The Interbike Advocacy Leadership Award is given to a mayor, governor, civic leader or corporate executive who has championed the cause of getting more people on bikes.  Mayor Nutter was nominated and selected to receive the award by PeopleForBikes, a national organization which includes an industry coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers, as well as a charitable foundation.  Interbike Awards were presented in 37 categories; Mayor Nutter was the only elected official selected to win an award.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Neighborhoods, Press Release, Recreation, Topics

Mayor Nutter To Launch US2020 PHL

WHO:        Mayor Michael A. Nutter

                   Dr. Lori Shorr, Chief Education Officer

Darrell Williams, Vice President of Operations, Certain Teed Ceilings a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain

Diane Melley, Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM

Dr. Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Director of Fels Planetarium Programs, The Franklin Institute (Keynote Speaker)

WHAT:      Mayor Nutter will participate in the launch event for US2020 PHL, a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) youth mentoring initiative.  The event will include a panel discussion with local STEM leaders highlighting the importance of STEM learning opportunities for youth and the current STEM efforts in Philadelphia.

Following the panel discussion, Mayor Nutter and US2020 PHL title sponsor Saint-Gobain will announce the details for the US2020 PHL high-impact STEM mentoring model, which features an online STEM resource center and volunteer matching platform.

In May 2014, Philadelphia was selected as one of seven winning cities in the US2020 City Competition for STEM Mentorship, which challenged cities to develop innovative models for dramatically increasing the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects.  US2020 is specifically focused on increasing STEM opportunities and STEM excitement for girls, underrepresented minorities and children from low-income families.

WHERE:   3417 Spruce Street, University of Pennsylvania, Houston Hall (Hall of Flags)

WHEN:      Monday, September 15, 2014

          AGENDA

8:30 AM – Registration

9:00 AM – Welcome and Keynote Address by Dr. Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Director of Fels Planetarium Programs, The Franklin Institute

9:20 AM – STEM Panel Discussion – hosted by Technically Philly’s Juliana Reyes and featuring panelists: Mayor Michael Nutter; Darrell Williams, Vice President of Operations, Certain Teed Ceilings, Saint-Gobain; Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, President, University of the Sciences; and Chris Lehmann, Principal, Science Leadership Academy.

                   10:10 AM – Press conference announcing the details of US2020 PHL

                   10:45 AM – US2020 PHL Coalition Meeting and Information Center

                   11:30 AM – 2:00 PM – Lunch and STEM Community Mixer Event

Posted in Media Advisory

Mayor Nutter’s Remarks At The Philadelphia Fire Department And Flag Association 9/11 Memorial Commemoration

Philadelphia, September 11, 2014–  Mayor Michael A. Nutter delivered the following remarks during the Philadelphia Fire Department and Flag Day Association 9/11 Memorial Commemoration at the Betsy Ross House. Check against delivery:

“There are a few people I want to recognize before I begin. First, I want to thank Michael Axelrod of the Philadelphia Flag Day Association for the introduction and for helping to put together this important event.

Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla – I want to thank all of you for your service and commitment to protecting our great city.

Also, I want to recognize Colonel Siegfried Honig of the 3rd Regiment Infantry of the National Guard Pennsylvania. Thank you for your service and for participating in today’s ceremony.

And, Joseph Schulle, President of Local 22 of the International Association of Firefighters. Patricia Coyne with the Daughters of American Revolution and Lisa Aker Moulder from the American Flag House & Betsy Ross House thank you for being here today and for hosting us here at the Betsy Ross Memorial. And, thank you Rabbi Albert E. Gabbai of the Congregation Mikveh Israel for the beautiful invocation.

On September 11th, 2001, this country suffered a terrible tragedy that shocked us all to our core. That day will forever stand out in our minds. The loved ones that were lost will forever remain in our hearts. On that terrible day, the sense of security that we had become accustomed to was suddenly ripped away, and we were left feeling vulnerable and afraid.

President Obama reminded us last night that terror and terrorists still pose a danger to us in America and around the world. I commend President Obama for organizing a coalition “…to degrade and destroy ISIL.”

Terror and fear cannot be successful. America will not accept anything other than freedom. America cannot be defeated because of our heroes.

We mourn for the victims who lost their lives and with those who lost loved ones in the attack. And, we appreciate the men and women in uniform – police officers, firefighters, and other first responders – who courageously faced unimaginable danger. Almost 30 of our own Philadelphia Firefighters and Police Officers traveled to Ground Zero to help search the rubble for survivors.

I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices of the heroic men and women who lost their lives trying to save others.

There is no greater honor in this world than public service – from first responders to the men and women in the military. I want to thank all the men and women who have served or are currently serving our nation in the armed forces.

Today is a somber day of remembrance and commemoration. It is important that we never forget what happened on this day. But, we must also remember that those terrible attacks brought us together as a nation.

Because we are a country of survivors. We are fighters. We are Americans. So, remember that even though this tragedy, the horror of which is unmatched in our time, devastated us, it did not destroy us. We continue to grow, press on and move forward. I know we will always remember. I know we will never give up. I know we will never forget.

God bless Philadelphia. God bless the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. God bless the United States of America.”

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

Mayor Nutter, Councilman Kenney Announce Agreement To Amend Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana

Philadelphia, September 10, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Councilman James Kenney announced that they have reached an agreement to amend a bill originally introduced by the Councilman which will decriminalize possession and use of small amounts of marijuana in the City of Philadelphia.

 “This bill will not legalize marijuana.  Rather, it will decriminalize marijuana – which means that offenses involving small amounts of marijuana will result in a civil penalty, not an arrest or criminal record,” said Mayor Nutter.   “We want to ensure that the punishment for using or possessing small amount of marijuana is commensurate with the severity of the crime while giving police officers the tools they need to protect the health and well-being of all Philadelphians.  Our agreement on this bill is an example of the legislative process working to bring people together, create discussion around an important issue and ultimately reach consensus.”

Councilman Kenney will take the necessary steps to amend the bill during City Council session on September 11, 2014.  Once passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor, the ordinance will go into effect beginning October 20, 2014. 

“I am very pleased that we have reached this commonsense agreement that will improve opportunity for countless Philadelphians,” said Councilman Kenney.  “Under this new policy, police officers will be able to remain focused on more serious offenses, and many young people will be spared the life-altering consequences of a criminal record, such as limited job prospects, inability to obtain student loans or even join the armed services.”

Using and possessing marijuana in any amount is and will continue to be illegal in the City of Philadelphia.  The amended bill will simply decriminalize possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.  Details of the ordinance include:

1.      A person found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana (30 grams or less) will receive a Notice of Violation and a $25 fine.

2.      A person found to be using (smoking) a small amount of marijuana (30 grams or less) in public will receive a Notice of Violation and a $100 fine or up to nine hours of community service.

3.      Philadelphia Police Officers will confiscate any marijuana they find.

4.      The citations issued will be processed through the City of Philadelphia’s Municipal Court system.

Persons stopped by police for suspicion of possessing or using marijuana can be arrested for selling or distributing marijuana, possessing more than 30 grams of marijuana, driving under the influence, not giving correct identification or not cooperating.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases
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