Mayor Nutter Questions
1. Mayor Nutter refers to his time at the Prep in several places. Discuss how he was influenced by the school. What lessons did he take away from being a student here?
Nutter talks about St. Joe’s Prep in various ways at the start of the book. He mainly saw Philadelphia from SEPTA’s transportation system which was public. Even though he was never into gangs in the 70’s, he knew most of the gang names just because of how mainstream it was. He also said that at St. Joe’s Prep, Mr. Jerry Taylor was the teacher in his favorite class which was American History and Government. All in all, Mayor Nutter had learned many lessons from the Prep and knew he was interested in politics.
2. Throughout the book, Mayor Nutter discusses the importance of doing public service. What does he mean when he says this? How does he see “mayoring” as public service?
Mayor Nutter discusses the importance of doing public service and says that doing public service is simply just someone helping people. In part of the book Nutter talks about him trying to decreasing the homicide rates and increase the graduation rate for High Schools, that is an example of pubic service. Therefore, when Nutter says “Mayoring” as a public service that is just simply him doing the small things while he is trying to help everyone by doing all that he can.
3. How did Mayor Nutter get into politics? What course did he follow from being interested in public service to being elected mayor? List the steps.
While Nutter was at the Prep, some of the classes that he was most interested in were Government and Politics. When he had graduated from the Prep he had wanted to get into the business school at the University of Pennsylvania and did. After he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and went back to Philadelphia he and his friend started going to the free city council meeting that were open to the public. He soon met John Anderson and helped him and his campaign against Wilson Goode. Nutter after that had ran for the leader of the ward but lost by a large margin in 1982. Although, Nutter didn’t give up after his first loss, he won his first election for the city council in 1986. In 2003 he had announced he would run for mayor but unfortunately lost and had come in 5th place, Nutter kept trying and finally won in 2007.
4. In the introduction to the book, Mayor Nutter lays out the relationship between leadership, community and communication. Focusing on Parts 2 and 3 of the book, give two examples of where these three concepts come together and explain each.
Firstly, The rail on Amtrak had crashed in 2015 in Philadelphia that was coming from Washington D.C going to New York had gone off the track in Port Richmond. When the crash had happened, the residents of the community had come out with supplies like blankets, food, water and anything else that people needed. Surprisingly, Mayor Nutter had led the investigation but in a matter of days the incident had become a federal deal but Nutter was still involved. When they knew all of the facts, Nutter stated that the conductor should’ve been going around 50 miles per hour but he was going 100 miles per hour and unfortunately eight people had died. Secondly, At around 9-10am a building on Market street and 22nd street had collapsed on June 5, 2013, because of that Nutter, most people near the building and in the community rushed to help. Nutter had helped people get out of the wreckage from the building and six people unfortunately had died during the attempt to save everyone. After a while, they had found out that they discovered that a building next to the destroyed one was going to be destroyed and it has a shaky wall which had fallen on the collapsed building.
5. Mayor Nutter talks about the problems of short-term thinking in governance. What causes this? In parts 3 and 4 he highlights several initiatives his administration started that he felt helped the city in the long-run, even after he was out of office. Select one and discuss what his administration did and what happened later.
There are some problems in Short-term thinking relating to government and most of the time it is caused because some people have no patience and they think it can be fixed quickly if it goes wrong. Unfortunately, most things cannot be changed within days or even weeks, most of the time it takes awhile for something to be changed. An example of this is in 2010, Mayor Nutter and Dr. Don Schwartz had the idea of putting a tax on soda. This proposal may make people turn away from soda and but cheaper and healthier drinks like water, therefore it would definitely decrease the obesity problem in the city of Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter stuck with his idea and by the year 2017 the soda tax was put into effect.
6. What did you think of the book? Would you recommend it to someone else?
In my honest opinion, I think that this book was a very good book, it was very interesting throughout the whole book and I just wanted to keep reading it. I really like how the book was separated into three parts to tell his story. I would recommend this book to someone if they were interested in the city of Philadelphia, government, politics or just want a book to read and learn something new.
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