Educational Institutions

COMMITTEE OF 70

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • http://www.seventy.org

Mission Statement

The fiercely non-partisan Committee of Seventy fights tirelessly for better government in the region by striving to involve more citizens in public life, promoting greater competition among candidates and parties, and making sure that our public officials are held accountable.

To keep its voice independent, the non-profit Seventy does not accept government funding, nor does it endorse candidates. Seventy is unencumbered by special interests. It speaks freely and uses its reputation as an honest broker to:

• Educate citizens on how government can work better;
• Fight for the best use of taxpayers' dollars, calling attention to government misconduct and wastefulness;
• Monitor and work to ensure fair and well-run elections; and
• Advocate for efficiency, transparency and ethical behavior from public officials and all branches of regional governments.

Seventy is the only independent, non-political organization of its kind in the region pursuing these goals.

ruling year

2002

President & CEO since 2014

Self-reported

David B Thornburgh

Keywords

Self-reported

government, Philadelphia, elections,

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EIN

23-0487205

Physical Address

123 South Broad Street Suite 1800

Philadelphia, PA 19109

Also Known As

Committee of Seventy

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Since its beginning, Seventy has been very successful in its election day mission of defending the integrity of the elections process. Over the years Seventy has collected evidence that has led to hundreds of convictions of law-breaking election officials, ward leaders, police officers and elected officials, including the 1926 investigation that resulted in the U.S. Senate's refusal to seat newly elected Senator William S. Vare. This election day, like every other, Seventy will continue its long-standing tradition of monitoring Philadelphia's elections by sending scores of trained volunteers out to inspect polling places throughout the city. Our office will field hundreds of calls from citizens with questions and concerns that they rely upon Seventy to resolve. Seventy's efforts were instrumental in winning the passage of key election and civil service reforms and the creation of a municipal court in Philadelphia. Seventy provided great input in the creation of the 1919 and 1951 Charters, which ultimately brought Home Rule and improved management to the city. Further electoral system efforts helped to produce the Reapportionment Act of 1965 which gave Philadelphia voters representation in the General Assembly proportional to their population, a privilege long denied the city by a state legislature biased against urban areas. Seventy's reputation for nonpartisan watchdogging was exemplified when both sides of the highly charged 1976 effort to recall then-Mayor Rizzo asked Seventy to supervise the counting of the recall petition signatures. Seventy also led the campaign that ultimately defeated the piecemeal charter change proposed by Mayor Rizzo to eliminate mayoral term limits. In the last twenty years Seventy has won several lengthy legal battles, the results providing ward realignment, an equitable redrawing of the city's voting divisions, and compliance with federal election law. The Committee of Seventy has also published comprehensive analyses of the history and reform of public policies that have proved to be very useful to officeholders, candidates, and the general public. These studies cover various aspects of Philadelphia regional governance such as the ports, housing, utilities, transportation systems, the Philadelphia School District, City Personnel Practices, the Riverfront Renaissance, the Judicial Selection Process, the Commerce Court Program of the Court of Common Pleas, and Charter Reform. As a private, non-partisan entity, Seventy is uniquely situated to objectively critique public policy well into the future. Through our governance studies Seventy continues to report to the Philadelphia region's residents on the issues that affect the social and economic well-being of our community. Even today, Seventy seeks to teach the public how government functions, how to participate in the process, and how to communicate with and secure better solutions from our elected representatives. These efforts have made Seventy an essential institution in the region, benefiting all citizens, regardless of political affiliation or ideology. Since its formation in 1904, Seventy has not accepted funding from any political organization or government source. Although it has never had a guaranteed base of funding, it has continued its mission of good government for the region through the annual support of corporations, foundations, and private citizens who share its concerns. Over the years, our contributors, both large and small, have served as a genuine vote of confidence for Seventy's efforts, but they have also provided a testimony to the desire and ability of our citizenry to shape their future. In its long history, the Committee of Seventy has worked hard to narrow the gap between what government is and what it ought to be. Some gap remains, of course, but Seventy remains active as well, ever watchful.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

COMMITTEE OF SEVENTY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

COMMITTEE OF 70

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

President & CEO

David B Thornburgh

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Stephen S. Tang

The University City Science Center

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?