Another Piece of Philly's Democratic Machine on the Chopping Block as Tartaglione Faces Possible Jail Time

(Renee Tartaglione and Carlos Matos) Demographic change, political change, and the criminal justice system have slowly been weakening the traditional Philadelphia Democratic Party machine, and the latter appears ready to take down one of the city's most prominent political families, the Tartagliones.  Continue reading

Unicameralism: The Only Good Way to Shrink the PA Legislature

(Image: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania has the largest full-time state legislature in the nation, and our General Assembly is the second-largest lower House, and this fact has led to populist calls over the years to shrink the legislature, largely for cost-savings reasons.  Continue reading

After Ocasio-Cortez Win, City Council's Top Brass Look Way Less Invincible

This Tuesday's stunning primary upset in New York's 14th Congressional District, where 28-year-old first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley—the 4th highest-ranking Democrat in the House, and leader of the Queens Democratic Party—has us thinking about what might have happened in Philly's old 1st Congressional District if the PA Supreme Court hadn't redrawn the Congressional Districts, and if Rep. Bob Brady hadn't announced his retirement. Continue reading

Why Is City Council Making Major Housing Decisions Before the Mayor's Housing Plan is Done?

(Photo: Jon Geeting) City Council passed a flurry of legislation in their final session day yesterday, summarized here by City & State, including a big housing package they had been debating over the last several months, the centerpiece of which was a new 1% construction tax.  Continue reading

Women Won Over Half of Philly's Democratic Committee Person Seats

(The 18th Ward leadership slate | Photo: Jon Geeting) With over 3,000 people elected to Democratic committee person seats all across the city on May 15th, there's still a lot left to learn about the most downballot of the 2018 downballot elections, and a new analysis from 18th Ward committee person Ruokai Chen helpfully fills in some crucial demographic dimensions to the narrative.  Continue reading

Kenney Appoints Party Stalwart Jonathan Saidel to Lead Task Force Reconciling City Accounts

Rumored Brady replacement Jonathan Saidel (right) with Seth Williams and Bob Brady Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has been going hard after Mayor Kenney's Finance Director Rob Dubow for failing to correct the City's sloppy financial practices that resulted in $33 million going unaccounted for.  Continue reading

Philly Dems: Steal These Ideas from the Allegheny County Party

Over the last couple weeks, local party organizations across Pennsylvania have been reorganizing and choosing new leadership in the wake of the May 15th primaries, and there have been a few interesting stories out of Allegheny County we wanted to flag, as they highlight some practices Philly's Democratic Party should think about stealing from their counterparts in Allegheny. Continue reading

Rhynhart: Philly's Accounting Practices the Worst Among the 10 Largest U.S. Cities

(Image: Philadelphia Inquirer) New Controller Rebecca Rhynhart held a news conference this week blasting the Kenney administration and Finance Director Rob Dubow, after a new Controller audit uncovered nearly $924 million in book-keeping errors last year. Rhynhart claims that Philadelphia has the weakest internal financial controls of any of our peer cities, including some processes are ripe for abuse by Revenue Department staff. Continue reading

Parking ticket amnesty program is terrible policy, even for City Council

(The PPA’s version of a PR Campaign) City Council and the PPA just wrapped the most Philly project ever: Parking ticket amnesty. And good news! It only cost the city a few million dollars to wipe out the parking tickets of roughly 20,000 Philadelphians. Continue reading

Council: Make Housing More Affordable, But Also More Expensive

(Just a couple of cool guys making housing unaffordable) A pair of diametrically-opposite housing bills City Council is considering this session really starkly highlight the confused thinking about the topic of housing affordability that prevails in Council, and what we might do differently if we really cared about providing a range of housing choices at different price points. Continue reading