Columnist

I write a weekly column for The Philadelphia Citizen, a nonprofit media startup that pioneering solutions based journalism. The Citizen is creating an electronic public square that explores issues and identifies solutions.

Let’s begin with the obvious: From the perspective of rewarding his base, Donald Trump owes little to cities. After all, his winning electoral numbers were overwhelmingly rural, small town industrial belt, and exurban.

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Nov 22

Trump Shock

As political scientists and journalists take apart Tuesday’s election, we will learn more about how this happened. Right now many of us are in a state of disbelief. While I work through the five levels of grief (I am far from acceptance), here are eight takeaways from the tsunami we just witnessed:

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Nov 16

Mayor Kenney, Speak Up!

In 2011 there were several violent flash mobs in Philadelphia: young people in large groups attacked random pedestrians. In reaction, Mayor Nutter took to the stage  from City Hall to the church pulpit.  He spoke directly to those that participated in the mob violence and to their parents. His words were tough and firm. And he hammered away over a period of time.

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Sep 19

The Day After

In this most unsettling presidential election, our real problem begins November 9th, the day someone wins. On the day after, millions will be alienated and angry, no matter the result. That makes governance difficult and national purpose elusive.

Trump’s lack of policy knowledge, dishonesty, and social media bouquets to extremists on the fringe disqualify him for millions of Americans. I am in the camp that finds a Trump victory unthinkable.

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Sep 1

The Philanthropic Election

When the 12th century Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides detailed his hierarchy of charitable giving he placed anonymity toward the top of the list. Anonymity, thought Maimonides, made it clear the gift was about the recipient, not the giver.

Today’s philanthropy eschews anonymity because it seeks the public leverage of names and relationships. And it wants the gift to be strategic, something that leads to long-term solutions. Charity may be a gift, but philanthropy is a civic enterprise. And in an age when the president of the Ford Foundation is featured in People Magazine, quiet giving is largely a thing of the past.

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Aug 24

The Breed To Kill Pet Economy

I recently came across Wagslending.com a firm that is in the business of affordable leasing for pet lovers. At first I thought it was a joke. Why lease a pet? But it is on the level. Wagslending is now in 40 states and is one of many consumer finance agencies extending credit to purchase pets. Retail pet stores partner with pet lenders to move inventory in an increasingly competitive business.

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Aug 11

The Candidates We Have; As Opposed to the Debate We Need

During the past two weeks, the 2016 Presidential election has turned decidedly in favor of Hillary Clinton. Trump’s post-Cleveland bounce dissipated and national polls show an ever-widening lead for the Democratic nominee.

The McClatchy-Marist poll, released on August 4, showed a Clinton lead of 15 points, the widest to date. And while other polls have the Clinton margin at from 5 to 10 percent, the trend lines are clear. The most recent Real Clear Politics poll average has Clinton up by 7 percentage points.

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