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Philly votes yes for new Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission

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Here’s what that actually means

Philly voters approved a charter change to create the Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission.
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On Tuesday’s primary election in Philly, which had a bigger turnout than expected, voters approved a charter change to create what’s called the Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission. So, what exactly is that?

The commission and charter change was proposed by Council President Darrell Clarke. He pitched it as a team of 21 members from both public and private partnerships who would be tasked with creating a new strategy for community revitalization in Philly. The commission would work with the City Council and mayor and come up with suggestions for community reinvestment.

Here’s the “plain English” explanation that was on yesterday’s ballot:

This proposed amendment to the Home Rule Charter would establish a new Commission, the Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission. The Commission would be composed of 21 members: 12 members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by Council; three Councilmembers, selected by Council; the Council President; and five additional City officials, by virtue of the positions in City government they hold. The Commission would develop and recommend to the Mayor and Council coordinated community reinvestment strategies to leverage private, public and philanthropic resources for the public good. The Commission would be authorized to establish committees comprised of members and others selected by the Commission, to assist in executing its mission.

That all sounds great, right? But prior to Tuesday’s election, PlanPhilly’s report on the proposed charter change noted that this initiative was met with not so much as a shrug among community stakeholders. Skeptics told PlanPhilly that there are already plenty of organizations throughout the city that are already doing what the charter change proposed.

But Clarke argued that while that may be true, there isn’t enough collaboration happening among those groups. He hopes the new commission will change that.