There was a time in Allentown's past, during the Heydt Administrations, when neighborhood groups had great influence. Special parochial interests prevailed; the neighbors of Muhlenberg College got the city to past special restrictive zoning against student renting(unconstitutional,shame on the college for laying down), Rental Inspections Law, in effect creating two classes of property owners, West Park Historic District, against the majority of homeowners wishes, etc... yes it was an effective machine which even resulted in the election of two members to city council, Pam Varkony and Tom Burke., everyone was happy, the mayor got support and the neighborhood associations got special considerations., There was only one fly in the ointment, the one and the only EMMA TROPIANO. She always voted for the "people" and what she considered fair. She delayed the passage of these measures, and was punished on Oct. 16, 2001. Invited to a candidate's night, she was confronted with special "yes or no" questions designed to specifically humiliate her. She refused to acknowledge that she was delinquent in taxes and had a building declared unfit (two recent developments from property she inherited) The Morning Call reporter was more than glad to answer for her in the next morning's paper. That was the end of Emma's career. It was also the end of decency in Allentown's political arena. She served 16 years on City Council, aided thousands of citizens, and earned my lasting respect.
reprinted from June 2, 2007
ADDENDUM: BILLY GIVENS RECOGNIZES EMMA