Thank you for visiting.

I post my sudden thoughts and second thoughts here from time to time -- usually having something to do with Philadelphia and governmental accountability, but occaisionally on something more (or less) interesting. Check out my Recent Writing for issues of the day and take a look at some more in-depth writing in Brett's Books. Or, view the Bulldog Budget, which represents a wonderfully visual way to conceive and account for how our government works (or doesn't work) for us.

Let me know what you think.





Most recently, I wrote
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Still In The Dark

How will the next mayor of Philadelphia spend our money?  How will the next mayor involve us in those decisions?

"In the land of the blind," it is said, "the one-eyed man is king."  But when it comes to figuring out how public money is spent: it is our money and we deserve a clear-eyed view of where every penny goes.  More important, we need budgetary accountability for us to be able to participate meaningfully in decisions about how our money should be best invested in the future.  Today, however, we are treated like mushrooms by elected and public officials (we remain in the dark and often under piles of manure) when it comes to how they spend our money.

Two years ago this month during my campaign for City Controller, I debuted a new tool to visualize and understand the city budget.  The Bulldog Budget -- available online at http://budget.brettmandel.com -- not only shows how every single penny was spent, but allows users to search for any expenditure in the city budget.

(read more)