At the first stop on Kenney’s listening tour, schools dominate discussion

At the first stop on Kenney’s listening tour, schools dominate discussion
Rikard Larma

Want to bend the new mayor’s ear?

You’ve got a few chances this week.

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney is holding a series of town halls every night this week to feel the pulse of the city.

Hundreds of people turned out for a one-hour event at Central High Monday night, and if the rest of them go the same way, the new mayor might want to keep a close eye on the school district.

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Kenney listened, and said little as about 28 people got up to offer their suggestions, about half of them about education.

From parents and teachers opposed to the transition of a handful of district schools into charters to those who noted that buildings weren’t up to snuff —it’s clear that schools are a big concern for city residents.

One man told Kenney he was ready to start working for better schools, but he wanted to know when the incoming mayor was going to get to work.

Kenney noted that he’s been working since the primary on implementing his marquee schools plan, but he hasn’t been sworn in yet.

“Christmas is coming,” Kenney said.

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Kenney also heard concerns about gentrification, pedestrian safety, gun violence, and litter.

One man told Kenney that there was no litter on the ground when Frank Rizzo was mayor, a fact that is perhaps challenged by the movie Rocky, shot in 1976 during Rizzo’s tenure when litter was pretty prominent.

More Town Halls

Tuesday: 7:30 to 8:30 South Philadelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad Street

Wednesday: 7:30 to 8:30 School of the Future, 40th and Parkside

Thursday: 7:30 to 8:30, Mayfair Community Center, 2990 Saint Vincent Street

Friday: 7:30 to 8:30 Strawberry Mansion High School, 3133 Ridge Avenu