Pennsylvania’s capitol city is going through some hard times. Like many cities across the country, Harrisburg has found itself cutting programs left and right to deal with its rising debt. But now, the city has sunk so far in debt that many feel there is nothing else to be done.
Nothing, that is- but pray.
This week, Harrisburg’s Mayor Linda Thompson announced that she will be participating in three days of fasting and prayer in the hopes of encouraging cooperation between the different arms of the city government. After attempting to trim the budget down through layoffs and various program cuts, the city may have to file for bankruptcy.
Critics have argued that Mayor Thompson is taking her religious convictions too far, but she says she is merely acting on her faith, saying, “I am open about my faith and will be participating in the voluntary prayer and fast.”
Thompson will be joining in the fast and prayers with several religious leaders from several denominations. Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders from Harrisburg plan to begin midnight on June 21 and continue until June 24.
On Monday, a team of state-appointed advisors recommended the city sell a deeply indebted incinerator at the root of its fiscal problems, renegotiate its labor agreements, cut jobs, sell other assets and assume $26 million in new borrowing.
The city council has until July 23 to adopt the plan.