By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia voters may face a few ballot questions when they go to the polls for the May 19th primary. Among them is whether the city should create a permanent commission devoted to women’s issues, including equal pay.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown says the city has not had a commission devoted to women’s issues since the 1980’s and she says it is sorely needed.
“Women make up 17 percent of corporate boards in the region. Women of color make up less than 1 percent of corporate boards in the region. That’s egregious in a town where there are 52 percent women. So I would hope that five years from now, those numbers change in a favorable way.”
So Reynolds Brown wants to change the city charter to create a commission for women.
“The purpose of this is to put a permanent, new department in government that focuses purely on women, the status of women, the advancement of women. And as long as women are still making 77-cents on the dollar, compared to men, that suggests, to me, we have work to do.”
Reynolds Brown’s measure was approved in City Council. If the Mayor lends his signature, it would appear as a ballot referendum in May.
Reynolds Brown believes a permanent commission would only cost the city about $150,000 a year to pay for an executive director and one assistant.