Subscribers of this blog may recall that recently I profiled two people who hope to succeed Ed Pawlowski as mayor, Siobhan Sam Bennett and Charlie Thiel. Yesterday, I sat down with Bennett at The Benner Mansion, her bed and breakfast, and she elaborated on her thoughts about Allentown. Although she benefits from being the first and only bed and breakfast in Allentown, she knows that distinction signifies a stagnate tax base. She recognizes the NIZ for the boost that it will provide, but she believes that it will not be a silver bullet by itself, and that many more small businesses need to be cultivated. She has no doubt that the perception of the school district and the city's future go arm in arm. While the perceptions of both are currently negative, she knows that there are many positive assets, which can be branded for success. She cites the many cultural institutions, such as Symphony Hall, the art museum, the historical society and the Allentown Band, which are unique for a city this size. The school district's gifted and honor programs, along with it's rich music and art tradition, must be featured. The demographics must be viewed as an opportunity for preparing for the diversity in our changing country. Recognizing these assets, and branding them to middle class home buyers, is part of her formula for revitalizing Allentown.