Philly's Block Party Ban List is 922 Blocks Long

(More than half of banned blocks haven't had a shooting | Image: Jared Whalen / Philadelphia Inquirer) Following up on the controversy over the City's new block party rules, Julia Terruso reports that the City has banned 922 blocks from hosting block parties, and only about 400 of those blocks were banned as a result of nearby shootings in the past three years. What accounts for the rest? Continue reading

With Easier Voter Registration, PA Sees a Surge in Youth Voter Registration

(Image: Billy Penn) Pennsylvania leads the nation in under-30 voter registration, according to a new voter data from Democratic analytics firm TargetSmart, and Billy Penn reports this cohort now outnumbers voters over 64 statewide. Continue reading

With SEPTA Key's New Prepaid Debit Card Feature, Could SEPTA Become a Public Bank?

(SEPTA is already going to do a version of public banking | Image: SEPTA) SEPTA Key implementation achieved some new milestones in the past month, with the Zone 4 regional rail rollout, elimination of paper transfers, and now, the apparent introduction of prepaid debit card features that could function as a basic checking account for some riders. Continue reading

Rumored Mayoral Candidate Alan Butkovitz Trying On David Oh's Bad Assessment Cap Ideas

(Photo credit: Logan Krum, Northeast Times) The latest property assessments are a dicey topic for local elected officials running in 2019, since many property owners in gentrifying neighborhoods were hit with large tax increases. But they've also introduced a black hat political opportunity for irresponsible politicians to run on nuking the whole assessment system in various ways.  Continue reading

Michael Boyle, Ward Leaders Rush Through Bait-and-Switch for 175th District Nominee

Image: Philadelphia Public Record Ward leaders in the 5th, 25th, and 31st wards completed their bait-and-switch plan in the 175th District on Monday, just five days after we first wrote about this last Wednesday. Continue reading

The Robert A. Brady Building's Weirdly Low Tax Assessment

(The Robert A. Brady Office Building | Image: Google Streetview) Social media mentions of the Robert A. Brady Office Building at 219-27 Spring Garden Street, in reference to the 175th District ward leaders meeting, prompted a tipster to look up the Atlas listing for the Brady building, and wouldn't you know—it's got a weird assessment issue. Continue reading

Independent Investigation Confirms Harassment Claim Against Sheriff Jewell Williams

(From left to right: Bill Keller, Darrell Clarke, Anthony Williams, and Jewell Williams) In the latest turn of the Sheriff Jewell Williams sexual harassment scandal, Holly Otterbein and Anna Orso report that for the first time an independent investigation has substantiated the claims of one of the four women accusing Williams of workplace harassment. Continue reading

175th District Ward Leaders Trying to Pull a Shady Switcheroo After Mike O'Brien Withdraws From Ballot

(Left to right: Rep. Steve McCarter, Mary Isaacson, Rep. Mike O'Brien | Image: Philly Public Record) Despite Democratic Party primary voters' clear preference for change in the 2018 ward elections this May, Party insiders are trying to sneak through a mid-summer State Rep switcheroo in the 175th District while everybody is down the shore and not paying attention. Continue reading

New Study Measures Philly's Parking Surplus, Finds More Parking Spaces Than People

(Surface parking coverage in central Philadelphia | Image: Research Institute for Housing America ) A big new study from data scientist Eric Scharnhorst for the Research Institute for Housing America measures the parking supply in five large U.S. cities and finds that Philadelphia is actually flush with parking, with a parking density about 3.7 times greater than the density of homes. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke, Use Councilmanic Prerogative to Save St. Laurentius

(St. Laurentius | Photo: Jon Geeting) Councilmanic Prerogative is one of Philadelphia's more problematic governance traditions, but if it's going to exist at all, it should at least be used to solve local problems in cases where no other policy tools will suffice. Saving Fishtown's St. Laurentius church from demolition is exactly one of those occasions, and it's time for Darrell Clarke to pull out the big guns. Continue reading