How Pennsylvania Can Help Eliminate the Electoral College Without Congress

Eliminating the Electoral College system in favor of a national popular vote for Presidential elections is an idea that's gotten some traction over the years, and now that Donald Trump is set to become President despite likely losing the popular vote, it looks to be gaining traction again.  Continue reading

Get Mad, Then Get Elected

(Philadelphia division map) There's a lot of grief and anger here in Philadelphia in response to the outcome of Tuesday's election, with many of the city's voters (and not just Democrats) feeling like they've been stripped of their power and agency in national politics. That's a perfectly natural response to losing an election, and people should take the time they need to cope. But in the days ahead, we have to channel that frustration into building Philadelphia's political power back. Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of November 7th

In which Blondell Reynolds-Brown calls for a sustainability pro on the Civic Design Review Committee; Darrell Clarke (via Bill Greenlee) proposes upzoning parts of Logan Square; Bobby Henon proposes changing the way city contracts are awarded; Kenyatta Johnson proposes buying some land near the airport; Derek Green, Helen Gym, and Mark Squilla propose giving L+I the power to shut down discriminatory businesses; and everybody except Darrell Clarke, Bill Greenlee, and Maria Quinones-Sanchez calls for hearings on increasing the number of buffered and protected bike lanes. Continue reading

Map: Some Councilmembers still aren't cooperating with zoning remapping

Back in 2007, city voters approved a ballot initiative establishing a Zoning Code Commission that would review and make changes to Philly's 1950's-era zoning code with the aim of making development more predictable, and less political. Continue reading

Single-Building Improvement District Passes, 9th Street BID Being Reworked

A City Council bill creating a Neighborhood Improvement District for just one single parcel--the W Hotel at 15th and Chestnut--passed Council unanimously last Thursday, reports Ryan Briggs. Continue reading

SEPTA Strike Highlights Competition Between Progressive Priorities on Transit

One important point of fact that's been curiously absent from the SEPTA strike conversations is that the state troopers budget is on course to gobble up the entire increase in transportation funding by the end of the decade. Continue reading

Philly Making the Most of the Rail Park Through Pro-Growth Zoning

(Original photo by Kyle Huff, Sumopaint by Jon Geeting) Philadelphia broke ground on the first section of the Rail Park yesterday, after closing most of the funding gap for the project's first-phase with a $3.5 million Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant from the state. This is exciting news for Philly not just because we're getting a great new public space, but also because the state's investment will attract lots of follow-on private investment in the area. It's a near-perfect example of how state economic development spending should work.  Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of October 31st

In which Maria Quinones-Sanchez tries to tone down the reality TV pizzazz of our local towing industry; Council calls for hearings on the distribution of City contracts for Rebuild projects; and Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, and Mark Squilla hold hearings to introduce the Commerce Department's new small business lending consortium. Continue reading

Derailed 9th Street BID Highlights Undemocratic New State BID Law

(Totally not in need of street cleaning) Jake Blumgart reports that Italian Market property owners succeeded in stopping a vote on a bill from Councilman Mark Squilla that would have established a Business Improvement District for the Market and parts of Washington Avenue. Continue reading

Philly Restaurants Shouldn't Have to Compete With Wawa For Liquor Licenses

  As part of the last-minute burst of legislating in Harrisburg, Jan Murphy reports the PA Senate passed another round of liquor modernization legislation that, among other things, would allow beer distributors to sell six-packs. Continue reading