Trump and The City: Infrastructure

Infrastructure was a persistent theme of Donald Trump’s campaign. He claimed, with some justification, that America’s roads, bridges, ports, waterways and airports were no longer first rate. And he promised to invest a trillion dollars into infrastructure—twice as much as Hillary Clinton proposed. But the difference in their plans was not so much the amount, but how resources were to be delivered, including the role of government versus the private sector. Read More

Trump and the City: Law Enforcement

Last week, we analyzed the new challenges facing cities when it comes to education policy in Donald Trump’s America. This week, we’ll dive into law enforcement.

Donald Trump owes little to cities politically. His winning electoral numbers were overwhelmingly rural, small town industrial belt, and exurban. Yet many of the cities and metropolitan regions that voted Democratic are increasingly the major generators of economic value and demographic growth. He cannot succeed unless those cities succeed. Read More

Trump and The City, Part 1

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.

But while the majority of hand-wringing these past two weeks has been from Democrats wondering how they lost the Midwest, there is another subtext to the election that warrants introspection: The cities and metropolitan regions that voted Democratic are increasingly the major generators of economic value and population in America. So if Republicans want to convert 2016 into a longer-term triumph they too have lots of work to do. Read More

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.

There were two recent violent flash mobs in Philadelphia: one on Broad Street at Temple University and the most recent one at 16th and Walnut in Center City. In reaction to the first incident at Temple, Mayor Kenney was silent. After the second incident last weekend, I wondered if the silence would continue. Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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.

Pets are a huge business in America, estimated at $60 billion last year. Think of the scope of the industry: breeding, supplies, food, veterinary care, temporary care kennels, even psychologists, insurers, and funeral homes. And this does not include the cost of nonprofit shelters or publicly-funded animal control systems; let alone America’s burgeoning economy of paid pet walkers and caretakers. Read More