Council rundown: Making city websites compatible with browsers other than Internet Explorer

Councilman David Oh introduced legislation today that would allow City Council to establish a subsidiary nonprofit whose monies would be used to fund Council-hosted events.

“There’s been attempts by Councilman Oh to engage visitors from foreign countries to expand and market Philadelphia and he tried on a number of occasions to work with the Commerce Department to get some help for those efforts and was a little frustrated and unsuccessful,” Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. said.

“When people want to do a reception for visiting dignitaries or to host people from companies that may be wanting to locate in the city of Philadelphia, which Councilman Oh has been on the front lines of that, he wants to have at the discretion of City Council the ability to promote those kids of activities.”

The bill will go up for a vote at Council’s session next week.

Council unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown supporting a state House resolution urging Penn State University, which has in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal established a $60 million endowment for assisting victims of sexual abuse, to use that money to fund child advocacy centers in Pennsylvania.

“This would be a huge step in the right direction to protect children throughout Pennsylvania, turning tragedy into advocacy,” said Reynolds Brown, who is herself a Penn State alumnus, in a statement.

She noted that child advocacy centers currently have no dedicated stream of funding, instead relying on dollars from government, corporations, foundations and individual donors. “When a child is victimized, they need our help immediately. A parent or guardian should not have to search or travel far and wide for such support services.”

Councilman Bill Green introduced legislation that would require all city websites to be compatible with and optimized for multiple widely-used Internet browsers.

The ordinance, which calls the current municipal technology “outdated and sub-optimal,” states that certain city departments’ websites function only on Internet Explorer and that citizens or vendors who attempt to conduct business using other popular browsers are often delayed or prevented from doing so, feeding into the perception that the city is “antiquated, inefficient and a difficult place to do business.”

The legislation was referred to a Council committee for further discussion.