You see them hauling away your trash on the hottest days of July and the rainiest ones in March. Philly’s sanitation workers are some of the hardest-working laborers in all of the city, and some of the most passionate too.
Then there are the pothole fillers, the men and women who wage battles against the seemingly endless constellation of treacherous traps that line our city streets, catching our tires (and twisting our ankles) when we least expect them.
There are the folks behind the scenes, office workers who field our complaints and questions, direct us to new recycling bins or help us navigate new neighborhoods’ trash schedules and how to get oversized items like mattresses and fridges hauled away.
Their work may not be glamorous; it certainly isn’t resourced enough to be as effective as we’d always like. In a city known for litter and potholes and inequitable sanitation policies, members of the beleaguered Streets Department have their work cut out for them.
That’s why finding Streets workers who go above and beyond to make a better city for all of us is definitely worth celebrating. Now you can: As City workers, they’re all eligible to be nominated for the 2023 Integrity Icon Awards, The Citizen’s ongoing partnership with the nonprofit Accountability Lab to “name and fame” City workers who go above and beyond their job descriptions, to do ethical, high-integrity work for Philadelphia.
Who’s an Integrity Icon?
The qualities we’re looking for: The Icon must be a high-integrity public service employee who is respectful and caring; knows their work makes a difference to people’s lives; acts in a trustworthy and transparent way to solve problems the best they can; treats everyone equally, without regard to politics or influence; and goes above and beyond to provide good service to Philadelphians.
The process to nominate someone is simple: Fill out this form, then Accountability Lab and The Citizen will get to work learning more about each nominee before our panel of high-integrity judges — which this year includes previous winners Richard Gordon IV, principal of Paul Robeson High School, and Rebecca Lopez Kriss, a deputy commissioner in the City’s Revenue Department; Angela Val, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia; Amy Kurland, former Inspector General of the City of Philadelphia; and SEAMAAC Executive Director Thaoi Nguyen — review the finalists and choose the winners. You’ll then have a chance to vote on one of them as the “People’s Choice” winner, too.
Come fall, we’ll celebrate all of the winners, and fête them like the true heroes they are.
You have until March 31, so get nominating — and spread the word far and wide!
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