Climbing The Summit…

Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution calling for a gun violence summit designed to get everyone on the same page for the next mayor. But what about now?

The last session of Philadelphia City Council is always interesting because it’s a combination of a look back and a look forward.

It’s also a time when folks send a crapload of bills and resolutions to be passed or sent to the Council committees that will meet over the summer. Many of them are for the standard stuff. Land transfers. Traffic lights. Those kinds of things.

But one of the resolutions that came through Council on Thursday kinda caught my eye, mostly because it had my least favorite word in it: summit.

City Councilmember (and City Council Presidential candidate) Curtis Jones introduced a resolution calling for an anti-gun violence summit. This summit would bring together all interested parties and stakeholders to put together a plan for the city’s next mayor.

“Over the summer, we hope to work with the private sector, the public sector, educational institutions, and universities to come up with a game plan that we can present to the 100th, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia,” Jones said. “We’d like both recommended nominees to sit in.”

(But because of how Philadelphia’s political system currently works, I’m pretty sure that Jones assumes the 100th Mayor will be his former Council colleague Cherelle Parker, although inviting his other former Council colleague, Republican David Oh, makes sense.)

Now I get it. This is one of those “Jesus is coming! Look busy!” kind of things that it makes sense for Council to do during a time of year that seems to bring out the worst in people. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Do The Right Thing”, you know that heat makes people cranky and can sometimes lead to someone’s pizza shop winding up in flames.

But I have a few questions about it. The first one, and it’s probably not a surprise to anyone that this is my question, is why are we doing this for the next mayor when we didn’t do it for the current mayor?

And the second one is, aren’t you tired of talking?

One of the things that has made “summit” my least favorite word when it comes to stuff like this is the fact that this isn’t the first time that groups of councilmembers, non-profit leaders, and criminal justice officials have gotten together to discuss the issue of gun violence.

This isn’t even the first time that a bunch of politicos have decided to do this during a campaign season. This mayoral campaign has been going on for so long that I don’t even remember when it started.

But if I had a nickel for every solution proposed, every demand for accountability posed, and every call for help made by those most impacted by the violence and their families, I could end my journalism career right now and retire to a really big house, with a really big porch, where I’ll sit on one of those really nice rocking chairs you can get at Cracker Barrel.

I’m sure that everyone will be waiting with baited breath to see what this latest climb up the city’s personal Mount Everest will yield. Hopefully, it’ll be more than brownie points for the Council President’s race.

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