mayor michael nutter, shown here presenting his budget address to city council

Mayor Michael Nutter presents his budget address to City Council.

— Photo courtesy the Flickr stream of the city of Philadelphia/photo by Kait Privitera

Civic-minded college students have little over a week to tell the city ways it can better reach African–American males, particularly the young.

Mayor Michael Nutter has opened the Spring 2015 Public Policy Case Competition, which encourages undergraduate and graduate students within the city to come up with proposals for some of society’s most pressing issues. This year’s question — “What can the city of Philadelphia do to best improve outcomes for boys and young men of color?”

“I have been impressed by the finalists’ proposals from our previous public policy case competitions, and I look forward to considering the innovative and significant proposals from our Philadelphia–area college students on this topic,” Nutter said. “Boys and young men of color in Philadelphia face entrenched barriers to success and improving outcomes for them would benefit the city as a whole through higher educational attainment, lower unemployment rates and increased public safety. I am confident our college students will present thoughtful and original proposals addressing this critical issue.”

Teams must submit their proposals by March 27. Four finalists will present before a panel at City Hall on April 17, which will be followed by a reception announcing the winning team.

“College students provide policymakers new ideas to intractable issues and influence city government through their participation in Philadelphia’s Public Policy Case Competition,” said Maia Jachimowicz, director of policy for the city of Philadelphia. “I encourage all area college students to participate.”

The Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination is managing this competition; the first–place team will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to Nutter, as well as tickets to a Philadelphia Phillies game in the mayor’s box.

The Spring 2015 Competition is jointly sponsored by Drexel University and Campus Philly, and the leadership of both entities are looking forward to the solutions presented during the competition.

“Drexel University is dedicated to our partnership with the city of Philadelphia, as we work to build vibrant communities and greater connectivity among our students with their city,” said Drexel University President John Fry. “The Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition is an opportunity for students to think deeply about the policy challenges of their city and to present their best ideas directly to the mayor. We are excited for our students and for students throughout the Greater Philadelphia area to be part of this program.”

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