By Nicole Contosta
Center City residents braved the blustery wind for Representative Brian Sims’ first Town Hall Meeting Thursday, February 12th.
“This is an opportunity to ask me about issues that matter to you so I can better represent you in Harrisburg,” Sims told the audience gathered at Community College’s Bonnell Auditorium. “This may be the start of a conversation. Maybe we can meet and talk about this further,” Sims said, adding, “There’s an advantage to serving this district. I don’t have to go out and pay experts. I have a district chocked full of them.”
Those in attendance proved Representative Sims right by asking pointed questions. This proved particularly true when it came to public education and its funding deficit.
Referencing the disconnect between Philadelphia and the rest of the state, one resident asked Sims if he knew of other commonwealth’s that dealt with similar situations more effectively when it comes to education funding.
“Illinois,” Sims said, explaining, “It has one major first class city, kind of like Philadelphia.” At the same time, “Chicago operates differently with the state government than Philadelphia,” Sims continued, explaining that after the Democratic primaries, “Chicago Democrats pump their money back into the state to make sure that their interests are not taken over by the rural legislature the way it is in Pennsylvania and a lot of other states.”
However, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not have a good relationship with the city’s teachers unions, Sims said, noting, there isn’t one successful model or solution.