“Regardless of the outcome of City Councilman Bobby Henon’s federal corruption trial, the past few weeks have been a sad time for Philadelphia City Council. We have heard both testimony and wiretap recordings that cast serious doubt on the integrity of our legislative body. Now that the trial is over, City Council must act to address some of the troubling issues raised by evidence presented at the trial.
“Philadelphia City Council must put in place rules to ban outside employment for members. The potential for the appearance of conflict of interest is simply too strong and erodes the public trust. There can be no disputing that outside employment has the potential to compromise the integrity of our members.
“I would also point out that we are a full-time legislative body with a generous salary in the poorest big city in America. Certainly, our legislative duties deserve our full attention.
““I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting a change. If we look at sister cities only exemptions for education with a cap on earnings have been allowed to build public trust. I believe we need to restore public confidence given the testimony in federal court. Philadelphia cannot simply shrug and move on to the next scandal.”
Maria Quiñones Sánchez is the Chair of Philadelphia City Council’s Education Committee. She is a veteran change-maker with over 3 decades in public service. She made history in 2007 by becoming the first Latina elected to Philadelphia City Council to represent North Philly’s 7th Council District.