Over the last several months, we here at The Philadelphia Citizen have scoured the country for the people, organizations and ideas that are solving some of cities’ most intractable problems — problems shared by Philadelphia.
Our search has revealed some pretty incredible findings. Consider these:
- The city of Chester has reduced gun violence by 38 percent since November 2020.
- Chicago is embedding arts programming into every neighborhood.
- Ithaca, NY, is decarbonizing all of its buildings.
- Evanston, IL, is using a tax on cannabis to fund the country’s first housing reparations program to address years of systemic racism.
We’ve invited problem-solvers from all of these cities — and several others — to Philadelphia for our 5th annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival® presented by ComcastNBCUniversal on December 14 and 15 at RJR Forum at Comcast Technology Center.
And now I’m so excited to invite you to join us to hear from these folks, as well as other thinkers and doers from across the country, including:
- MSNBC anchor (and Citizen board member) Ali Velshi
- Former New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, co-founder of the Forward Party
- Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele
- Journalists Emily Bazelon, Jennifer Rubin and Errin Haines
- Homeboy Industries founder Father Greg Boyle
- Georgetown’s Prisons and Justice Initiative Founding Director Marc Howard
- Tech entrepreneur Michael Ellison, founder of codepath.org
They, and many more guests, will be talking about democracy, media, criminal justice reform, jobs, empathy, customer service, community building, housing and the climate — issues that are at the forefront of making cities thrive. Find our current, and growing, list of speakers here.
Our aim is to provide a roadmap for fixing some of our city’s most urgent problems by highlighting solutions that have already worked in other places. (Because why reinvent the wheel?) More than that, our aim is to enact actual change. To that end, we’ll be inviting Philly’s changemakers, leaders, practitioners, community members, students and public servants to join us as well.
The event kicks off on the evening of December 14, with a conversation about truth and media post-midterm elections with Velshi, Bazelon and Haines. (Details on that to come.) It continues on December 15, from 10am to 4pm at Comcast. We’ll provide lunch and snacks and lots of food for thought.
Hope to see you there!
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