Nutter appoints no Latinos to Land Bank board
Mayor Michael Nutter named five appointees to the Philadelphia Land Bank Board as required by the Land Bank ordinance. Although councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez spearheaded the bill, there are no Latino appointees by the mayor.
Paul Badger, president and CEO of the Badger Group; Nora Lichtash, director of Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP); Deborah McColloch, director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD); Majeedah Rashid, the Chief Operating Officer for the Nicetown Community Development Corporation (NTCD); and Denise Joy Smyler, a partner at Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC. who currently serves as general counsel for Pennsylvania Governor-Elect Tom Wolf comprise the group appointed.
“I am confident that these board members will help provide the leadership to shape the Land Bank as it supports the renewal of Philadelphia neighborhoods by repurposing vacant properties and turning them into new homes, yards and commercial venues on the tax rolls,” Nutter said. “I am honored that the new appointees have agreed to undertake this important responsibility. Their expertise and insight will be invaluable.”
The bill requires a board with five members chosen by the mayor, five chosen by City Council, and one chosen by the combined group.
Last week City Council selected Angel Rodriguez, Anjali Chainani, Jennifer Kates, Courtney Voss and Herb Wetzel to join the board.
The City Council selections, in conjunction with Mayor Nutter’s appointees, will meet in January 2015 to select the eleventh member of the board and elect officers.
Early action items for the board in 2015 will include the development of policies to guide the Land Bank’s governance and operations, and the acquisition and marketing of property currently owned by three city agencies. All board meetings are public, and meeting dates and agendas will be available online at Philadelphia Land Bank.