The Shame of a City

March 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007

Evolve Strategies built a website to publicize and distribute the DVD of The Shame of a City

From Wikipedia (

The Shame of a City is a 2006 feature-length documentary, which premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival,[1]. Filmmaker Tigre Hill chronicles the 2003 Philadelphia mayoral race between Democrat incumbent mayor John Street and Republican challenger Sam Katz. Early polls showed Katz with a small lead in this predominantly Democratic city but twenty-seven days before the election, an FBI bug was found in the mayor’s office. The discovery at first seemed like a death knell to the Street campaign and a near certain victory for Katz. Yet this prediction was proven wrong when Street and his supporters successfully polarized the campaign by leveling accusations of instituational racial prejudice and playing on historical skepticism of the Republican-controlled federal government. As a result, Street won re-election by a sixteen-point margin.

The film quickly drew the attention of local politicians, journalists, academics and activists in addressing the endemic problems of a city once referred to as “corrupt and contented.”[8] The timing of these civic discussions inarguably benefited reformer and former city council member Michael Nutter,[9], who was by then attempting to succeed Street by securing the Democratic primary vote for mayor against two Street supporters portrayed negatively in Hill’s movie: Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah. After receiving Hill’s endorsement, Nutter himself screened “The Shame of a City” five times to sold-out audiences, using it to raise money and awareness of his opponents’ admitted nefarious political techniques. Also, the DVD release was timed to coincide with the primary election cycle, thereby more broadly reminding voters about the previous elections controversies. In the primary of May 2007, Nutter went from underdog to winner then proceeded to statistically annihilate his opponent in the general election. “The Shame of a City” also provided an introduction to a Katz campaign consultant, Carl Singley, whose strongly positive appearance in the movie briefly made him the focus of an early, informal city-wide campaign for him to run for mayor[10] – a municipal conversation legitimized by a feature article in Philadelphia magazine [11] and silenced when Singley declined to run.[12]

People Involved: 
Hall Stuart-Lovell
People Involved: 
Pete Stuart-Lovell
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