DEPARTMENT OF STREETS SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON OPEN DATA PRIORITIES

Philadelphia, May 28, 2015 – As part of the City’s effort to provide transparency and accountability across all departments, the Streets Department announced it is seeking public input in order to prioritize open data sets relating to its work.

Streets is partnering with the Office of Innovation & Technology (OIT) to develop a data inventory, a list of all 101 datasets produced by the department, and has shared this list online. While the inventory does not contain the data itself, the list enables members of the public to see what data exists and how it is used.  The online site also features a submission form for members of the public to provide feedback about which datasets are important to citizens.  This public feedback will be used to prioritize the next set of open data releases from Streets.

“The Streets Department is a strong believer that its work product belongs to the public,” said Commissioner David Perri. “We are proud to be leader in government transparency by prioritizing our data releases through feedback from the general public.”

The Streets data inventory is part of a larger, citywide data inventory, giving all City departments insight into what data is produced around the city and who to contact to access it. Twelve departments have begun the process to compile data inventories, and Streets is the seventh department to complete it.

The data inventory is available at www.phila.gov/data/inventory/.  Members of the public can provide feedback by clicking “comments” next to the dataset.

 

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA WINS MacARTHUR FOUNDATION SUPPORT TO REDUCE USE OF JAILS

Grant is part of $75M initiative to increase innovation in local criminal justice systems

Philadelphia, May 27, 2015 – The City of Philadelphia is one of 20 jurisdictions across the country selected to receive a $150,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create a more fair and effective local justice system. The grant is a part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, the Foundation’s $75 million initiative to reduce incarceration rates by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. The City of Philadelphia will use the funding to enhance programs with the Philadelphia Prison System that reduce jail time and recidivism.

“I am honored that the City of Philadelphia was chosen to receive this prestigious grant,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “During my Administration we have sought to increase public safety be working with our partners like the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) to find alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders, reduce recidivism by increasing opportunities for returning citizens and keep truly dangerous, violent criminals off our streets.  The MacArthur Foundation grant will help us continue this work to make Philadelphia a safe place for all residents in their homes, on the streets and in their schools or places of work.”

The City of Philadelphia was chosen following a highly competitive selection process that drew applications from nearly 200 jurisdictions in 45 states. The Safety and Justice Challenge competition supports municipalities across the country seeking to create more just and effective local justice systems that improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and yield better outcomes. The 20 jurisdictions selected will work with expert consultants to develop a plan for local justice system improvement. In 2016, as many as 10 of these jurisdictions will receive a second round of funding – between $500,000 to $2 million annually – to implement their plans over two years.

The Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, said, “This is an amazing opportunity for the City of Philadelphia to implement data-driven practices which encourage prison population management and reform.  We have worked collaboratively for a number of years through CJAB to address these challenges and I look forward to continued partnership so that we may accomplish even more.”

Despite growing national attention to the large number of Americans confined in state and federal prisons, significantly less attention has been paid to local justice systems, where the criminal justice system primarily operates and where incarceration begins. Jail populations have more than tripled since the 1980s, as have cumulative expenditures related to building and running jail systems.  According to recent research from the Vera Institute of Justice, nearly 75 percent of the population of both sentenced offenders and pretrial detainees are in jail for nonviolent offenses such as traffic, property, drug, or public order violations. Further, low-income individuals and communities of color disproportionately experience the negative consequences of incarceration.

Information about the selected jurisdictions can be found at www.SafetyandJusticeChallenge.org.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

MAYOR NUTTER TO VISIT INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE SCHOOL

WHO:        Mayor Michael A. Nutter

                   Dr. Lori Shorr, Chief Education Officer

WHAT:      Mayor Nutter will visit Southwark School to highlight the school’s Two-way Language Immersion Program, which works to strengthen the second language skills of students by teaching lessons in English and Spanish, and its Career Week events for 6th-8th grade students, as part of his Innovative and Effective Schools Tour, a six-school tour to show the diverse and forward-thinking models in Philadelphia public education that would be strengthened by an increase in education funding by the City and the Commonwealth.

WHERE:   Southwark School, 1835 S. 9th Street

WHEN:      Wednesday, May 20, 2015               12:00 p.m.           TODAY

Posted in Media Advisory

MAYOR NUTTER LAUNCHES NEW INTERACTIVE SCHOOL FUNDING WEBSITE

” said Mayor Nutter.  “This easy to use, informative website lets property owners see how local schools plan to put that new funding to good use, like hiring back teachers and support staff or purchasing much needed supplies and equipment.  I want to encourage every Philadelphian to log on and see how the proposed tax increase will affect them and how the District proposes to use those funds.”

 

To use the website, log on to http://schoolfunding.phila.gov and enter an address.

 

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release

MAYOR NUTTER, DR. HITE ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF ‘STUDENTS SPEAK!’ CAMPAIGN

Philadelphia, May 14, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia, announced the winners of ‘Students Speak!,’ a video and written essay campaign to encourage Philadelphia public school students to make their voices heard regarding the importance of full and fair education funding.  Video and written submissions had to complete the following prompt: “Fully fund my education because…”.  Submissions can be viewed on studentsspeak.phila.gov.

“Too often the voices of the smallest members of our society go unheard, when their message can be the most important.  Students Speak! was an opportunity to allow young people from across the City to tell us, the adults, why they deserve a fully-funded education.  And, we must listen,” said Mayor Nutter.  “I want to thank all of the students who took time from their busy schedules to submit an essay and I want to encourage every Philadelphian to read and view these essays to see first-hand that these young people want, need and deserve a high-quality education.”

In total, Students Speak! received 342 submissions.  From those submissions, six winners were selected, a video and written submission from each of the following grade categories: elementary school, middle school and high school.

The winners are as follows:

  • Video essay elementary school: Lucas Beltran, 3rd grade, Cook-Wissahickon School;
  • Written essay elementary school: Mackenzie Weiler, 4th grade, Greenberg Elementary School;
  • Video essay middle school: Shane Boyle, 7th grade, Greenberg Elementary School;
  • Written essay middle school: Synia Boyer, 7th grade, Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School/String Theory High School;
  • Video essay high school: Xue Yao Zou, 10th grade, Central High School; and
  • Written essay high school: Sarah Santiago, 10th grade, Esperanza Academy (Grand prize winner).

“I am proud of all students who spoke up and spoke out on the importance of adequate school funding,” said Superintendent Dr. Hite. “As I continue my discussions with city and state lawmakers, I will keep their words and voices in mind. I congratulate our winners and hope this conversation will continue.”

The winning submissions were chosen by representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service.

As the grand prize winner, Santiago will receive an Apple Watch.  Each of the other five winners will receive two tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles home opener for the 2015-2016 season.

The written essays will be featured in the Opinion and Editorial section of the Daily News, on www.Philly.com and on theNewsworks Speak Easy website.  Winning videos will be posted on www.Philly.com.

Posted in mayors press release

Mayor Nutter and City officials briefing on AMTRAK accident

WHO:            Mayor Michael A. Nutter

City officials

WHAT:          Briefing on Amtrak accident

WHERE:        Wheatsheaf Lane (near Amtrak tracks)

WHEN:          12:00 p.m.               TODAY

Posted in Media Advisory

AMTRAK ACCIDENT UPDATE

WHO:        Mayor Michael A. Nutter

City officials

WHAT:      Mayor Nutter and city officials to provide briefing on AMTRAK accident.

WHERE:   Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf  Lane

WHEN:      2:15 p.m.             TODAY

Posted in Media Advisory
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