Announcing the Local Government Accountability Project
Grassroots effort to ensure Philadelphians have the local government leadership we deserve
Resolve Philly and the Scattergood Foundation are excited to announce a multi-year partnership to ensure Philadelphia’s top local elected officials — especially the next Mayor — respond to and address the questions, needs, and demands of Philadelphians who have long been excluded from traditional avenues of political power. Resolve’s team will lead an in-depth outreach and engagement operation that will surface under-heard questions, needs, and solutions related to the overall health and wellbeing of our local communities.
“Philadelphians deserve strong local leadership that holds itself accountable to the residents of our neighborhoods and works collaboratively in service of the priorities they set forth,” says Cassie Haynes, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Resolve Philly.
During a $100,000 initial planning phase funded by Scattergood, Resolve will leverage its existing community listening tools as a non-profit journalism organization to form a core set of critical questions for 2023 Mayoral candidates to address during their campaigns. These resources include a text line, an ongoing series of community conversations, and a citywide network of neighborhood leaders collaborating to produce Resolve’s free community newsletter.
“By the time the next Mayor hopefuls throw their hat in the ring, the work of Resolve and its partners will already be on the radar of these candidates,” says Joe Pyle, President of the Scattergood Foundation. “Future leaders of this city are on notice that they must speak to—and ultimately be held accountable to—a wider range of people than the usual power-brokers.”
Over the next several months, Resolve will lay the groundwork for an accountability platform that will monitor City Council and Mayoral policies, granting the public access to gauge the progress of elected officials on campaign promises. The project also promotes civic literacy of local government so that city residents better understand what the Mayor and City Council can and can not control.
Scattergood and Resolve are eager to partner with others carrying out aligned work, including community-based organizations, media outlets, and other funders. Resolve will leverage its role as convener of the Broke in Philly collaboration to offer the perspectives and questions it uncovers directly to local media outlets. These newsrooms will use this insight to complement their own reporting before, during, and after the election. “Access to information leads to agency,” says Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, Resolve Philly’s other Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director. “As a journalism organization, we are proud to build an engagement process that can enhance local reporting and also equips city residents with tools to more directly hold power to account.”