The Michael Nutter who spoke at a pair of Comcast community-day events and a South Philly mural dedication before he grabbed some Saturday-morning breakfast wasn’t a suited, scripted official. He was the guy in jeans and a pullover powering through sluggishness from an early-morning flight from Chicago, where he’d spent two days at an urban-design conference.
All it took was a Styrofoam plate of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and turkey sausage at a West Philadelphia community brunch, and he snapped into incumbent-on-the-campaign-trail speed. Most consider this Nutter’s due diligence, but some advisors think Milton Street topping 18 percent would be potentially disastrous.
This Michael Nutter is matter-of-fact about “protest votes” and what he has and hasn’t done since getting elected on a public safety, jobs/economic development, education and a “green” platform.
Crime and unemployment are up, but show signs of relenting. He couldn’t hire 400 new cops, but a recruit class will soon start. Development stalled because of investors, not civics.
Yes, there are education-funding issues. Now, the city makes money off recycling, is working toward a revamped zoning code and has improved ethics. The civic workforce been streamlined.
“We’ve just dealt with it,” he said. “People are angry. I get that. I’m the mayor. But, it’s hard for me to be objective about it, and I’ve never been one to [campaign negatively]. I stay focused on what I can control.”
With that, he was off to a block-captain boot camp in a schedule that wouldn’t end until after 10 p.m.
Reaching out to Muslims
Speaking to a Muslim crowd at the SummerFest brunch at Sister Clara Muhammad School, Nutter praised the community and chastised its haters less than two days before Osama bin Laden would be killed.
Then, he admonished crime-story suspect descriptions that include “Muslim garb” when “you never hear things like a Catholic burglar, a Baptist robber. … We need to cut that out.”