This letter represents an affront to City Council and every Philadelphian. It is a fait accompli, an accomplished fact. It puts the cart before the horse. I guess maybe -- I thought the horse was City Council, but I guess it's not, because it seems like it's City Planning.
You know what kind of message that sends. Any argument that anyone or I would want to present or hope to present today to sway your vote is useless. It completely destroys any hope that one would think -- would be thinking that they still had a chance and an opportunity to change the course of events is now futile.
Even the slightest hope I had has not happened. When I read the letter, I was highly disturbed and quite upset. It told me that it was totally useless for me to appear before this august body to ask you to reconsider your position on this bill before you cast your votes.
This bill is already signed, sealed, and delivered. City Council has passed it and the Mayor has signed it. Where is the democratic process?
I'm a retired history teacher. It would be extremely difficult for me to teach the students we actually live in a democracy when we proclaim the word of the people, for the people, and by the people. Today is anything but that. This simply has become an anomaly. As we said today, this looks more like hypocrisy and (unintelligible). The things that these words, democracy and plutocracy and all the guise they have in common, is the word "-cracy," which means to govern by.
Today we are a government of the rich, for the rich, and government by the few are on behalf and in support of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.
During the past three weeks, I desperately tried to schedule meetings with different members of City Council. This proved to be futile. Only four people responded.