Seventy was established in 1904 for the express purpose of combating corruption in Philadelphia. We played a major role in the adaptation of civil-service reform and the passage of the 1919 and 1951 Home Rule Charters.
In this century, Seventy led the fight to defend campaign finance limits, a fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court, thanks to a lawsuit we initiated. Our battle against pay-to-play politics in Philadelphia helped turn the ideas of better government and fair elections into a movement. Most recently, Seventy has called for the elimination of the elected City Commissioners, antiquated "row" offices which we called attention to in a 2009 Needless Jobs report. The outmoded and opaque Clerk of Quarter Sessions, also targeded in the report, was abolished in 2010.
Seventy also championed the creation of the city’s Ethics Board and the enactment of a lobbyist registration and disclosure law. And our constant criticism of ultra-rich DROP pension payouts to elected city officials resulted in wholesale turnover in City Council in the next election and a change in state law.