Saturday, March 30, 2013

NutterWatch: 5 Days to Pass A Litmus Test for Philadelphians




On March 14, 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill providing the opportunity for most workers in the city of Philadelphia to earn paid sick days. Mayor Michael Nutter has until April 4, 2013, to sign the bill into law or to let it leave his desk unsigned.

Either choice will pave the way for nearly 200,000 workers in Philadelphia to have access to earned sick days for the first time.

Until April 4, or until the Mayor signs the bill, NutterWatch will be here to give you the latest updates and to share the latest stories. To add your name to a petition asking Mayor Nutter to sign the bill, please click here.


An article published on Salon.com is getting a lot of attention as the momentum builds for earned sick days.  Philadelphia's own Randy LoBasso makes the case for earned sick days as a "litmus test" for progressive politicians across the country.  As City Council speaker and New York City mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn finally accepted this week, earned sick days is an issue that is not going away. After three years of refusing to bring the bill up for a vote (despite enough sponsors to have a veto-proof majority), on Thursday Quinn agreed to a compromise bill that will bring earned sick days to NYC beginning in 2014.

Of Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia City Council, LoBasso says the following:
Earlier this month, the city councilman responsible for earned sick time legislation came face-to-face with the mayoral administration that’d been fighting against his bill for over two years. A member of the health commission in the local City Council, Democrat Bill Greenlee became visibly distraught when the Democratic administration of Mayor Michael Nutter sent its director of commerce to testify to the health committee, instead of the health commissioner.
“The truth is, a big part of this issue is about the health of Philadelphians, the health of low-income workers,” Greenlee told commerce director Alan Greenberger, the latter of whom claimed a potential paid sick leave law in Philadelphia would hurt the city’s reeling economy. “And to steal Jack Nicholson’s line,” the councilman continued, “‘you can’t handle the truth,’ OK?”
The bill passed, but Nutter — who made headlines again and again last fall while relentlessly campaigning for President Barack Obama — is expected to veto the legislation, as he did Greenlee’s original incarnation of the bill in 2011. And if he does (he has until April 4 to make up his mind), he’ll be making an increasingly unpopular decision on an issue that’s becoming part of the national Democratic platform — and a bipartisan one across the country.
As LoBasso points out later in the article, 86 percent of nationwide voters support earned sick days. Says Molly Murphy of Anzalone Liszt Grove, earned sick days "transcends party lines."

If you are one of the 86 percent of voters who support earned sick days, now is the time to let Mayor Nutter know. Please click here and sign our petition!


In the News

In addition to the Salon.com article, Huffington Post also has a piece up on the increased momentum brought by earned sick days. Here is what they have to say about Philadelphia:
Marianne Bellesorte, leader of the Philadelphia Healthy Families and Workplaces Coalition, a prominent backer of the paid sick leave bill in Philadelphia's city council, said she thinks the news from New York could help persuade Philadelphia Mayor Nutter to sign the legislation.
Back in 2011, Nutter vetoed an earlier version of the bill. Since then, support for the measure has grown considerably. Bellesorte described New York's announcement as evidence of an important shift in momentum.
"We're very excited about what's been happening in New York," she said. "We hope that Mayor Nutter can really take the lead on earned sick days here Philadelphia."

Where in the World is Mayor Nutter?

Mayor Nutter has nothing on his public calendar today. Perhaps he will stop in to visit the Phillies as they take on the Blue Jays at 1:05. If you see him, be sure to let him know what you think about earned sick days!

You can find Mayor Nutter's daily schedule at http://www.phila.gov/mayor/itinerary.html.

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