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The podcast for people who expect more from their government.

The podcast for people who expect more from their government.
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The podcast for people who expect more from their government.






Episode 29: Swan song for the last of the GOP moderates

On his last day in office as a U.S. congressman - and as one of the last GOP moderates on Capitol Hill - Charles Dent (R., Pa.) sat down with Chris Satullo to talk about his time in office, the plague of hyper-partisanship, the fight over Obamacare and other adventures. The setting was the 10th anniversary celebration of the Penn Project for Civic Engagement in Philadelphia, so some of the talk was about the the quest for rational political dialogue and the negative impact of social media....


Episode 28: Mid-term election special - The contest in Pa.'s 184th House district

For the first time in a very long time, Philadelphia's diverse 184th House District will be getting a new state representative. Competing to replace the retiring Bill Keller are Nicholas DiDonato Jr., Elizabeth Fiedler and Tom Wyatt. Each stopped by 20 by Seventy to chat with David Thornburgh about their credentials, their sense of the district, what they'd fight for in Harrisburg, and what they'd never support, no matter what. David also chats with co-host Chris Satullo about the stakes...


Episode 26: Mid-term election special - The race for the Pa. 117th House seat

In this episode, we dig into the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania's 177th House District, where long-time incumbent John Taylor has resigned, leaving an open seat. Host Chris Satullo interviews contenders Dan Martino, Maggie Borski and Joseph Hohenstein about what they've done, what they'd fight for and what they'd never support. If you live in the 177th, this is a great way to prepare to vote on May 15. Seventy CEO David Thornburgh gives you a short rundown of what generally is at stake...


Episode 24: The ABC's of a new era for Philadelphia schools

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kristen Graham joins host Chris Satullo to talk about a topic she knows as well as anyone: the ins and outs of the Philadelphia schools, now poised to go back under city control after years of state oversight. The changeover puts a $1 billion budget shortfall squarely in the lap of city taxpayers. Then Seventy CEO David Thornburgh talks with Chris about Mayor Kenney's plan for coming up with the money. And David and Chris actually disagree!


Episode 23: The Pa. gerrymander mess, explained

Lawsuits. Dueling maps. Weird terms like "efficiency gap." Talk of impeachment. And endless partisan sniping. Want to be able to decipher what's going on in the fight over Pennsylvania's congressional map. Jonathan Lai of the Philadelphia Inquirer explains it all calmly and crisply in a conversation with host Chris Satullo. This is the one road map you'll need to follow the Great Map Fight of 2018.


Episode 22: How cities can save themselves, because no else is going to

David Thornburgh chats with Jeremy Nowak (at right in photo) and Bruce Katz, authors of a new book called "The New Localism." Their thesis: Many American cities have more things going for them than they seem to realize - untapped wealth and assets that could enable them to address many of their challenges. Those cities just have to stop behaving in 20th-century ways, including waiting for federal help that isn't coming anytime soon. Nowak and Katz talk about cities on the rise - yeah,...


Episode 18: How to survive Turkey Day (and Uncle George) in the age of Trump

It’s time for the quintessential American holiday. Are you looking ahead to the table talk over the cranberries and turkey with anticipation or dread? Or to put it another way: What to do about Uncle George, who, after that first glass of wine, always begins spouting opinions that make you crazy? The Committee of Seventy is ready with your Thanksgiving Day “survival through civility” guide. Two seasoned experts in civil dialogue – Dr. Harris Sokoloff of the Penn Project for Civic...


The "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" Episode

Philadelphia is the rare "Rust Belt" city that's growing. That's thanks in part to success in hanging onto recent college graduates. But, as much as these Millennials might love the city, they aren't sure they can stay. In this episode, three young professionals discuss the three main reasons why even some fans of Philly sometimes reluctantly decide to leave: schools, career prospects and a closed-off political system. Host Chris Satullo interviews Jason Tucker (pictured), Jennifer Devor...


Episode 17: How to help an airport soar

Everybody complains about their local airport, but the Committee of Seventy decided to do something about it. The good government group recruited a team of 18 wicked-smart Philadelphians to help Philadelphia International Airport tackle some of its customer service issues. In this episode, we review this adventure in civic consulting, which was called "The Franklin Challenge: Project Runway." Two of the volunteer consultants, Lauren Hughes of the Arden Theatre and Stefan Frank of the...


Episode 16: Our "slay the gerrymander" edition

Meet Amanda Holt, the Joan of Arc of Pennsylvania politics. Hear about this Allentown-area piano teacher's stubborn, inspiring and victorious (well, partially) quest to stop her state's politicians from gerrymandering. Hear Ben Geffen of the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia make the case for the center's lawsuit against the state's notorious congressional map. If, during this July Fourth week, you care about making democracy work again, take a moment listen to two people who are...


Episode 15: In which we discuss election upsets, zombie parties and the Big Sort

Six months ago, few could have predicted the results of the recent Philadelphia Democratic primary, which produced upset winners in the district attorney and controller races. Both results suggest to some that the city Democratic organization may be tottering on the brink of collapse, a zombie party. In this episode, we test that hypothesis with two savvy reporters, Jim Saksa of PlanPhilly/NewsWorks and Claudia Vargas of the Philadelphia Inquirer (pictured here with Seventy's CEO, David...


Episode 11: The young, the involved and the hopeful

What do you get when you bring dozens of students from an Ivy League university together with dozens of students from a Christian college to talk about the election? Well, in a recent experiment in civil dialogue, what you got were insights gained and friendships made. Call it a tendril of hope in a sour time. Continuing the hopeful theme, hear from Bekah Gable, the dynamic new head of Young Involved Philadelphia, on what her group is up to. And hear from cynical old head Chris Brennan, as...


Episode 9 - Keep the Republic, or, there is a cure for those election-time blues

While last year's election left some people bruised and apathetic, it has made others feel a call to political renewal. Committee of Seventy head David Thornburgh talks about how his nonprofit will try to heed the call, including a campaign against gerrymandering. Alison Perelman of Philadelphia 3.0 talks about efforts to recruit millenials into the trenches of local politics. And an expert on a different election system called "ranked-choice voting" explains how it could transform the...


Episode 8: Were you born to run? Most say no, baby, but a few give a resounding yes

The "Election Hangover" episode of 20 by 70. After what we just went through, why would anyone think of running for political office? Well, listen to some of the 270 young Philadelphians who attended the recent Born To Run event because they are thinking of doing just that. Hear 70's head honcho, David Thornburgh, lay out the ways Philly has to tighten up how it runs an election. And listen to top political journalist Holly Otterbein (pictured) as she talks (with host Chris Satullo (her...


Episode 7: The truth about voter fraud in Philly (plus, a word on 'Tinder for voters'!)

Donald Trump claims massive voter fraud will happen next week in Philadelphia in a bid to steal the election from him. David Thornburgh, president and CEO of Philadelphia's chief civic watchdog, the Committee of Seventy, explains crisply and thoroughly why this claim is a bunch of hooey. Also, in this episode, Seventy's guide to the new array of election apps that aim to help you make your choices at the polls. Finally, to cleanse your palate from the bad taste of this election, a few...


Episode 5 (DNC-American Experiments): How civic tech aims to form a more perfect union

In a sour election year, what does hope sound like? Hear it percolating in this episode taped at the American Experiments event in Philadelphia on the Democratic National Convention's first day. Civic tech and election reform leaders gathered to compare ideas for improving our politics, while showing off apps and handing out swag to a steady stream of curious voters. Six took part in a lightning pitch contest (what's your hot idea for fixing democracy by 2024?) before a lively crowd....


Episode 3: Philly's Millennial face-off - good living vs. bad schools

In this latest podcast on Philadelphia issues and politics, writer Mark Dent of BillyPenn.com talks about what's been attracting Millennials in droves to Philadelphia, and what could drive them away in equal numbers. And David Thornburgh and Chris Satullo of the Committee of Seventy talk about the hidden, hopeful message inside the recent cascade of political corruption cases coming out of Philly.


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