Philly's Finances are on the Mend as City Passes 2020 Budget

(Image: PICA) City Council passed a $5 billion 2020 budget on Thursday, with a $300 million increase in spending that will primarily go toward salary and benefit increases and various anti-poverty initiatives. Claudia Vargas reports that the budget will also include a first-ever contribution to the City's Rainy Day Fund, as a result of higher than expected tax collections.  Continue reading

Jewell Williams Might Retaliate Against the Media by Pulling Sheriff Sale Ads

(Sheriff Jewell Williams) Sheriff's sale ads for property foreclosure sales are a well-known source of influence peddling by the Sheriff's office, and now that Sheriff Jewell Williams has been deposed in the primary by Guardian Civic League President Rochelle Bilal, there are signs Williams may try and use his control of the $8 million ad budget to punish media outlets he thinks contributed to his loss. Continue reading

Legalizing Low-Cost Housing: Philly's Untried Affordable Housing Strategy

(Thin Flats | LEED Duplexes from Inhabitat) Affordable housing advocates demonstrated in Council last year in opposition to a move to open up the city's Housing Trust Fund to "workforce housing" projects, which are targeted at lower-middle class residents instead of the lowest-income residents. That measure still passed, but advocates had a good point: if there are only so many public dollars for affordable housing to go around, the most housing-insecure groups should come first.  Continue reading

State Reps and Corridor Managers Talk Commercial Corridor Policy

One of the big themes candidates discussed a lot during this year's City Council campaign was refocusing economic development policy to create more opportunities in places outside of Center City, and commercial corridors are a great focal point for thinking about how to do that in practice.  Continue reading

PA Lawmakers Unveil a Raft of Voting Reform Bills, Including Ranked Choice Voting in Philly's Local Elections

Pennsylvania has been pretty far behind the times when it comes to voting access, and has lagged a lot of other states in taking proactive steps to make it easier to vote like allowing early voting, same-day registration, automatic registration, and more absentee and vote-by-mail options. But that could change if the State Government Committee, and ultimately the Republican legislative leadership, allows a raft of newly-proposed voting reforms to come up for a vote in Harrisburg. Continue reading

Philadelphia 3.0 Highlights Successes in 2019 City Council Primary

Philadelphia 3.0 is thrilled with the success of five out of six endorsed City Council candidates in Philadelphia’s 2019 primaries last Tuesday, including a major upset win by Jamie Gauthier in the 3rd City Council District, where 3.0 focused the vast majority of its resources. Continue reading

Which Wards Saw the Biggest Voter Registration Gains in 2019?

The pre-primary 2019 voter registration numbers are in, and we now know that just over 13,000 people registered to vote in Philadelphia between January 1st and April 22nd. Which areas of the city saw the biggest gains? Continue reading

How to Help Your Favorite City Council Candidate on Election Day

Election Day is less than two weeks away on May 21st, and with such unusually competitive races for City Council, there are some real opportunities to make a difference for candidates you support by spending even just a couple hours volunteering to help them persuade voters, turn those voters out on Election Day, and make sure they’re provided with information about the candidate at their polling place Continue reading

The Opposite of Councilmanic Prerogative is Planning

A recent controversy that popped up this week over a weird "flag lot" development in Garden Court in West Philly, where a 30-unit mixed commercial building is going to be built essentially in the middle of the block behind a row of homes, provides an excellent example of what's wrong with some Council members' approach to neighborhood planning and zoning.  Continue reading

Angel Cruz's Jobs Plan: Full Employment for 7th District Ward Leaders

(State Rep. Angel Cruz | Image: NBC 10) The Philly Democratic machine has had it in for 7th District Council member Maria Quinones-Sanchez ever since she beat their preferred candidate Danny Savage in a primary back in 2007, and she's since developed a reputation as the one incumbent Democratic City Committee never supports for reelection—an incredible fact given how many questionable candidates can always count on the Party's uncritical backing. Continue reading