Talk by Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson

Nadine Stoner

[ GroundSwell, July 2012]

Current Harrisburg, PA Mayor Linda Thompson addressed the Council of Georgirst Organizations conferees at the reception, Monday evening, July 30, 2012, at the start of the 32nd Annual North American Conference. She is the first African-American and the first woman mayor of Harrisburg, PA. She had previously been first elected to the Harrisburg City Council in 2001 and had been appointed to serve as President of City Council in 2005. She was elected mayor in 2009 and faced a large deficit crisis. She sought out the Center for the Study of Economics’ Executive Director Joshua Vincent to learn more about the split-rate or land value tax.

In her speech to the Georgists she spoke at length about econonic development and about public safety.

(editor’s note: For a related story, see the May-June 2011 issue of GroundSwell for Josh Vincent’s testimony at the Act 47 Recovery Plan hearing June 28, 2011 where he spoke in favor of keeping the land value tax. During the controversy over Pennsylvania Act 47 Mayor Thompson testified in favor of retaining the split-rate or land value tax. The Act 47 Recovery Plan would give the state the right to take over Harrisburg and any other financially distressed third class city. Residents at the June 28, 2011 hearing said the Act 47 plan went out of its way to protect bond investors, Dauphin County, and the bond insurance company that backed much of Harrisburg’s $310 million incinerator debt but asked too much of the city. The Harrisburg, PA City Council turned down the state’s Act 47 proposal. )

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