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When I first saw the Philadelphia Election results, I thought it was a mistake! I saw that Mayor Michael Nutter had a little over 100,000 votes and Karen Brown had a little over 30,000 votes. My initial response was "is that it"? That is all the people that voted? The final tally was Nutter receiving about 134,000 and Brown receiving 39,000 votes. My initial prediction was Nutter receiving about 90 percent of the votes but it turned out to be 74/21 percent which was surprising to me, partly due to the low turn-out.
My thoughts on this are twofold: First, where were all the voters? My calculations were that less than 12 percent of all Philadelphia voted for Mayor!! And that being said, the important City Council races had less people voting on those races. With Philadelphia going through a severe fiscal crisis and all the controversy that it has gone through such as the PHA debacle with Carl Greene, Arlene Ackerman running the School Board into the ground then leaving with a golden parachute that was approved by the School Board "Reform Commission", the Drop Program thievery and embezzlement of City Council members, the increase of real estate two years in a row with another potential large increase coming based on "assessments" from unqualified "assessors" approved by our current Mayor, increases in tolls, parking fees (almost a sugar tax) not to mention folks' incomes are going down while the poverty rate is going up!
Where were our voices?
Second, imagine if Karen Brown had put on a legitimate campaign or if the Republican party would have endorsed John Featherman who was gaining tremendous momentum with a very stylish and smart campaign of his own. Perhaps if there was an innovative, grass-roots, pavement pounding campaign utilizing the likes of social media, real issues could have been debated and addressed. It still would have been unlikely that the winner would have changed, but perhaps the voter turn-out would have been different. Not for nothing, I am tired of hearing "no one comes out to vote for an incumbent mayor election". Either way, I am looking forward to the future with the changes in the City Commissioner's office with Al Schmidt and Stephanie Singer with increased community outreach that awareness will be raised in the communities to increase the voter turn-out in future elections.
I spoke to many people on the streets in Northern Liberties, in various businesses and in my office. The message was pretty much the same. People were either passionate about voting or had very little passion at all. The ones without passion did not know the candidates that were running in their district, were not certain about who to vote for and were not positive about the direction of the City or the issues that mostly concerned them. For those folks, I would suggest to get more involved in your community and ask questions of your neighbors and of those people that you can relate to or trust to get an idea of who you may wish to vote for. I always try to vote for the person, not the party. And if you become more knowledgeable about what is going on in your area, and in your community, you can start to develop more of an opinion when these voting opportunities come up in the future. And then exercise that important privilege - VOTE!
And what about the Occupy Philadelphia folks? For all the protesting that they have done, the straw polls that have been done show that their percentage of voters is even less than the 12 percent of the rest of the City. And when you are trying to have a voice, to make a statement, to direct change, you would think that this would be the first opportunity to do so. When taxpayer money is funding their protest and their living at City Hall and when they fail to exercise the privilidge of voting, it makes me question why the City of Philadelphia and taxpayers should allow the protesting to continue. If you cannot offer goals, solutions or something that is productive that will benefit the citizens of Philadelphia, then what is the purpose?
Moving forward, I think it would be great for all Philadelphians to look inward and ask the question "How can I make my neighborhood better?" "How can I help improve the community or the City of Philadelphia?". It starts with the individual being proactive. Being involved with your community or neighborhood association is huge and being involved with electing City officials is also huge. With the City constantly having corruption inside City Hall, it boggles my mind why citizens are not asking tough questions and not making their representatives more accountable or stirring the pot. With the same people in the mix, obviously we will just have more of the same. My goal is for the City of Philadelphia to flourish, to be one of the premier Cities on the east coast, similar to Northern Liberties being one of the best places to live in all of Philadelphia. If we all share a similar passion which I think most people do, just increase the notch one or two levels, it will be amazing how much better our City can be in 4 or 5 years.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.