November 23 — 4:12 pm, 2011

The new SRC: Mapping the members’ connections

src power map

In an effort to draw a richer picture of the members of the SRC, this map shows their past and present employment, recent local civic interests, and various affiliations, as well as who appointed them. It is thorough but not exhaustive, especially with regard to board service and past employment.

Wendell E. Pritchett

Chancellor, Rutgers-Camden University
Appointed by Mayor Nutter, September 2011

Pritchett, 47, has a longstanding connection to the mayor, including a stint as Nutter’s deputy chief of staff and director of policy.  He also has a long relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been a doctoral student, professor, and associate dean. Pritchett’s wife, Anne Kringel, is a law professor there.  

He has served on the boards of government agencies, such as the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and the Pennsylvania State Planning Board, and nonprofit organizations, such as Community Legal Services.

He now serves on several boards in Camden, including the United Way of Camden County. Pritchett has occasionally contributed to the campaigns of both local and national Democratic candidates, including $1,000 to Nutter in 2011.

Lorene Cary

Executive director, Art Sanctuary
Appointed by Mayor Nutter, September 2011

Cary, 54, is a celebrated author of six books, including the memoir Black Ice and the historical novel The Price of a Child, which was the first One Book, One Philadelphia selection in 2003.

In 1998 she founded Art Sanctuary in North Philadelphia, which “uses the power of Black art to transform individuals, unite groups of people, and enrich, and draw inspiration from the inner city.” It has a gallery, trains teachers to use arts in their classrooms, and runs programs for young people. She is also a senior lecturer in English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her husband, the Reverend Robert C. Smith, is the rector of the Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, an Episcopal church in East Falls. She has made a handful of mostly small campaign contributions to Democratic candidates.

Pedro A. Ramos

Partner at Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards
Appointed by Gov. Corbett, November 2011

Ramos, 46, is in his second round of heading the District’s governing body; he was president of the Board of Education from 1999 to 2001, when it was disbanded. Relationships he built with Republicans in the Ridge administration, many of whom now work for Corbett, led to his nomination.

A Central High graduate, he was the first in his family to attend college. He was city solicitor and then managing director under Mayor Street. He also served as chief of staff to the president of the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, and has worked at three local law firms.

He serves on many local nonprofit boards. His wife, Rafaela Torres, is senior operations manager at Philadelphia Futures. He is a Democrat who has given to mostly national and state Democratic candidates.

Joseph A. Dworetzky

Shareholder, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Shiller
Appointed by former Gov. Rendell, October 2009

Dworetzky, 60, was a member of former Mayor Rendell’s cabinet, serving as city solicitor. In that capacity, he represented the city in a Commonwealth Court case, arguing that the state’s school funding formula discriminated against Philadelphia. He now specializes in bankruptcy law. He previously was a partner at Drinker Biddle and Reath.

For Mayor Nutter, he has served as the vice-chair of the city Task Force on Tax Policy and Competitiveness. Since 2004, he has been on the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority board.

His wife, Amy Banse, an executive at Comcast, was recently named to start a new venture in San Francisco. They have moved there and he now commutes cross-country to SRC meetings. A Democrat, he has contributed primarily to Democratic candidates for Congress.

Feather O’Connor Houstoun

Appointed by Gov. Corbett, awaiting confirmation

Houstoun, 65, spent six years as president of the William Penn Foundation, overseeing a $64 million annual budget. She now advises the Wyncote Foundation, run by the Haas family.

She has done extensive government service in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She was the secretary of public welfare in Pennsylvania for eight years in the administration of Gov. Tom Ridge and served for five years as chief financial officer for SEPTA. In New Jersey, she was the state treasurer under Gov. Tom Kean. She also worked 11 years for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Houstoun’s husband, Larry, now semi-retired, is an urban planning consultant. When confirmed, Houstoun will be the lone Republican on the SRC. She has given few contributions to political campaigns.

Disclosure: The Notebook has received substantial grant support from the William Penn Foundation before, during, and after Feather Houstoun’s tenure there. Notebook staff members have attended conferences with support from the Wyncote Foundation, where Houstoun is now a consultant.

Research by Notebook staff and interns Avi Wolfman-Arent and Will Treece
Photos of commissioners by Harvey Finkle
Design by Joseph Kemp

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