What Should Voters Look For When Electing Election Officials?

(Photo: Timothy Rezendes via Creative Commons) This election season, most of the attention is on the City Council primaries, and to a lesser extent, our snoozer of a Mayoral primary, but there are also important row offices on the ballot like the City Commissioners who run our elections, Sheriff, and Register of Wills. Unlike with the City Council race though, where most voters have at least some idea of what the job entails and what issues Councillors are in charge of, the issues at stake in a City Commissioner or Sheriff race are less well understood.  Continue reading

Rep. Chris Rabb Wants to Fix the Nomination Process for Special Elections

(State Rep. Chris Rabb | Photo: Kentucky Educational Television) Special elections are one of the areas of Philadelphia politics most ripe for undemocratic shenanigans since city Democratic Party ward leaders are empowered to choose a nominee through a closed-door process.  Continue reading

Philadelphia 3.0 Announces 2019 City Council Endorsements

Philadelphia 3.0 is pleased to announce our 2019 endorsements for the City Council primaries this May 21st. Continue reading

Who Won the 2019 Council At-Large Ballot Lottery? It's Not Over Yet

Philadelphia's crowded 2019 primary for City Council At-Large passed a key milestone yesterday with the drawing of ballot positions, leading to some big surprises that could impact the primary results on May 21st. Continue reading

Philly's Election Filings Portend a Competitive 2019

With the 2019 petition deadline in the rearview last Tuesday, and ballot position drawings coming up next week, the shape of Philadelphia's municipal primary is starting to firm up. Let's dive right in to some of the highlights. Continue reading

Mayor Kenney Actually Going Through with the Leaf Blower Plan for Street Sweeping

Mayor Jim Kenney really would like to get the Sweeperheads off his case about breaking his campaign promise to bring back citywide street sweeping, and in his budget address this week, he committed another $2.3 million to increase sweeping service. That earned Kenney some glowing headlines, but reading deeper into the Mayor's plan, it's clear it's not time to put the pitchforks down yet.  Continue reading

Report Shows Philly’s Vacant Land Problem is Still a City Council Problem

A new data analysis of requests for city-owned vacant lots from Ryan Briggs at WHYY clearly shows that Philadelphia's vacant land problem is still very much a City Council problem, and that the Land Bank will never work while we still have Councilmanic Privilege over land sales. Continue reading

To Grow the Housing Trust Fund, Scale Up Council’s 2018 Affordable Housing Package

City Council is out with a new anti-poverty plan timed to the primary elections that you can think of as a sort of campaign platform for incumbents. There are several good ideas in there, but also some misguided ideas, particularly in the affordable housing plank, which unfortunately just reinforce an unhelpful narrative about housing that we were just starting to get away from with Council's much better affordable housing package that passed last Fall.   Continue reading

The 2019 Election is Becoming a Referendum on Councilmanic Prerogative

(Image: Provident Mutual Building) A bumper crop of recent reporting about City Council land scandals is conspiring to make the 2019 City Council elections into a welcome referendum on Councilmanic Prerogative—an unfortunate governance tradition that's landed past Council members in jail, and that stifles Philadelphia from doing any real planning. Continue reading

Kenney Reluctantly Replacing OPA Chief, But Will He Replace His Broken Assessment Approach?

With the steady drumbeat of criticism from property owners about the Office of Property Assessment's 2019 assessments, and City Council's recent decision not to reapprove OPA's chief assessor Michael Piper, the Kenney administration has announced they'll conduct a national search for someone new to lead the city's property assessment office. But just a day later, in a separate story about OPA's land valuation methods, Kenney spokesman Mike Dunn is still out there defending the biggest thing OPA is doing wrong.  Continue reading