October 23, 2007
Tags: elections | leadership
The era of living, working, and spending leisure time in one place is past for most of us. Similarly, the big issues we ask government to resolve are not confined to one place or another, whether it’s air quality, crime, or transportation congestion. That’s why it’s crucial to know how your new County Commissioners and Mayor will reach out across county lines to make the Greater Philadelphia region a better place.
The CEO Council for Growth, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Pennsylvania Environment Council, Southeast Region,
and United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
created the Political Candidates as Regional Leaders Questionnaire, a first-ever directed at those running for commissioners’ seats in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery counties, Delaware County Council, and Philadelphia’s two mayoral candidates to discuss their top issues through a regional, rather than a county, lens. The questions included:
- What do you believe to be the top 3 challenges to the Greater Philadelphia region's success?
- What critical issue(s) would you like to address in collaboration with the commissioners and the mayor of the other counties in southeastern Pennsylvania?
- Would you be a participant in a regional council of county and municipal executives?
The impetus for the Questionnaire was the shared belief among these groups that, although so many economic, cultural, social, and environmental interests are regional, political candidates seldom are asked during a campaign to offer their views about working with the governments, businesses, community agencies, and civic organizations located beyond their political boundaries. Similarly fragmented metropolitan areas with cross-county challenges such as Denver and Chicago have formed regional councils to beneficial effect. Since 1997, for example, Chicago’s Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has been a powerful force to create programs and support state legislation to improve overall quality of life for the 8.5 million residents of its 6-county region.
Although we can’t vote in multiple jurisdictions, we can impress upon policymakers to seek regional solutions to regional challenges.
[Candidates whose names are in CAPS responded to the questionnaire. *CAPS* denotes election winners. Click here for a quick summary table of responses.]
*Christine Fizzano Cannon / Andy Lewis / Tom McGarrigle*
Read the press release (PDF Format).