Philadelphians offer some early indications on the mayor’s chances of re-election.
Nutter is doing an OK job. Just don’t fuck up more. If he fucks up anymore, young people won’t vote for him and you need the young vote to survive.
Dwayne Evans, 22, car-wash employee, West Philly: Fuck him. If I catch him, I’m gonna rob him. For me, he didn’t benefit the city at all. He didn’t sign off on the right budget then he cut all the wrong budget.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? I don’t believe he’s gonna be voted back in for another performance.
William Pendergrass, 51, block captain, North Philly: He’s strict but he’s good. The economy the way it is right now, everybody puts their hand out. I figure he’s trying to do the best that he can to accommodate everybody. It’s hard. Just like me in my neighborhood and my block, it was hard for me to organize my block just to clean it, let alone try to take care of the whole city. He inherited what’s been going on.
Richard Langley, 65, retired, West Philly: I give him a 70-30 rate. Nothing improved, really, but it ain’t getting too much worse.
Richard DiNenna, 31, cook, South Philly: I’m not a fan, but I think he did a decent job dealing with a city that financially is a mess. What do you do when you have no money and you’re trying to make things better? You could just keep accumulating the debt, which is pretty much the story of this country, or you could try to make some changes. Nobody’s going to be happy when you cut projects or when you cut funding and raise taxes. I think he tried to actually make the city move forward. It’s one of the toughest cities to please.
Angel Correa, 60, shop owner, South Philly: I don’t like [Nutter] at all. He said he would pass his card and phone number around here, he never came. Most of the people that reach out are the committee people. A lot of the small businesses here, we don’t like him.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? I won’t vote for him.
Marlene Jones, 76, retired mental-health worker, North Philly: I’ve been disappointed in him for some things. Every time you turn around there’s a photo op, he’s right there, you can count on him being there, but basically he’s not really performing for all the citizens of Philadelphia. He needs to be in tune with certain situations.
Jennifer Rubin, 40, academic advisor, West Philly: I have good impressions of the mayor. I think that our city has a history of corruption that’s hard to fight against. If you too actively fight against one thing they come down on you, so I think he’s in a pretty difficult situation.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? Yes.
Philly’s unemployment level has hovered in the 11 percent range all year. The city says its Way to Work Program provided jobs for about 13,000 over the summer, but federal funding ended in September, leaving many employers unable to continue paying their new hires. Meanwhile, Nutter and Council are sparring over competing business-tax-reform proposals aimed at making it easier for small businesses to grow and hire workers in Philadelphia.
Louis Perez, 25, unemployed, Hunting Park: It’s a lot of predjudice concerning a person like me—been in jail. I just applied for a job at Verizon and I trained with them for a week and it turns out they won’t hire me because I have a criminal background. I was working at McDonald’s; they signed some type of contract that they have to hire people that came out of jail. It’s only these low-paying jobs. It’s crazy. You’re trying to do something better for yourself but you can’t. They look at you like, that’s what you did in the past, he gonna do it again, we don’t want him working for us. They could be making them bigger companies sign them contracts to hire us! So we can work for them, too.
William Johnson, 58, homeless, Southwest Philly: Mayor Nutter full of shit. Dude say what he’s gonna do for the people. I voted him in. All I want to know is what he’s gonna do. What he do for the people? He got money…give me a job.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? I’m not gonna vote for him next year.
Bershel Lee, 46, unemployed, Southwest Philly: The man’s doing the best he can do. The economy’s bad. I’m living in the shelter there, man. I lost my job. I lasted out here, man. I lasted 14 months out here before I went that way. I can’t blame it on this man.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? If he was to run again I would vote for him. I haven’t seen nobody put themselves in the pool to run against him that I’d vote for.
Freddy Pompeii, 63, retired, South Philly: I see too many people walking up and down this block every day aimlessly, looking for work. I know it starts at the top with the White House and then it goes to Harrisburg, but somebody’s not pushing hard enough in Philadelphia. He’s gotta get somebody to push hard for him because we’re still in a recession.
Vote for Nutter in 2011? I’ll probably vote for him again unless someone better comes along.
As we begin to poke our heads out of two and a half years of recessionary rubble, the city’s outlook is starting to look brighter. Threats still remain, but Nutter, odds-on favorite to win election to a second term this year, implores you to have faith.