By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Eighteen Philadelphia students are spending the day getting an insider’s view of City Hall, as part of the annual PAL DAY activities, in which the students trail a city official.
One student from each of the city’s 18 Police Athletic League Centers was chosen to be paired with a top Philadelphia leader. Welcoming them was Mayor Nutter, who referenced the national debate over how police interact with minority communities:
“If we could give some percentage of our time and effort and resources to highlighting the great work that they are doing with young people across the city, in contrast to some of the other negative things we see. This is community policing in the city of Philadelphia.”
Seventeen-year-old Donte Meares (far right in below photo), of the Tacony PAL, was selected to hang out with none other than Mayor Nutter.
“I feel really good,” Meares says. “There are some things that what I want to discuss with him — how do you go about this, and how you go about that?”
Meares says he is interested in politics, but would not be interested in running for mayor some day.
Seventeen-year-old Chantel Jones of the Fairhill PAL followed a family friend, City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
“I hope to see how the city is run,” Jones says, “to be able to interact and see the background of what our city really entails for us, the plans that we have for the future. And just to see how much they care about the citizens here.”
Jones says she has been involved in PAL for more than a decade:
“PAL has just been something so amazing to me. It helped me stay in school and give me scholarship money, and just keep me active in my community.”
She, too, was not too interested in running for mayor, but says she could see herself running for council in the future.