Which Wards Received the Most Money from 2017 District Attorney Candidates?

(Image: Gabrielle Beaudry) Azavea 'Summer of Maps' fellow Gabrielle Beaudry has a new blog post up about a fascinating data project she worked on with Committee of 70 analyzing the flow of money from the 2017 District Attorney campaigns through Democratic ward organizations. The results help shed light on some of the less-understood low-level political machinations in our elections, and Beaudry offers helpful advice on improving campaign finance record-keeping to allow for easier citizen analysis. Continue reading

Philly Politicians' Love for Unfunded Civic Engagement Mandates

(Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting | Photo credit: Maria Pouchnikova) Philadelphia city government wants people to be very engaged.  Continue reading

Cindy Bass's District-Wide Daycare Ban is Councilmanic Prerogative at Its Worst

City Council is back in session for the fall, and with the primary elections coming up next year, some endangered members are looking to make a splash.  Continue reading

"No Direction" at City Office Managing $65 Million in Anti-Poverty Spending

(Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity Executive Director Mitch Little) Following on the new Census numbers showing that Philadelphia's deep poverty rate actually rose in 2017, while wages fell a bit and the overall poverty rate remained the same at around 26%, Claudia Vargas and TyLisa Johnson's report that the city's primary anti-poverty office, the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, is utterly ineffectual with the $65 million it manages is particularly infuriating. Continue reading

Philly Needs A Plan to Capture More of the Region's Growth

One of the more disappointing aspects of what we know about the Kenney administration's Housing Action Plan is the lack of a regional perspective on how we want the Philadelphia region to grow. Continue reading

Kenney Reaches Deal on General Funding for Affordable Housing As Alternative to Construction Tax

(Mid-rise housing construction on North Broad | Photo: Jon Geeting) Mayor Kenney struck a deal with City Council on affordable housing funding Thursday, with a counter-proposal to Council's construction tax bill which narrowly passed the full chamber with a narrow vote of 9-8 back in June. Kenney's alternative proposal would increase general funding to the Housing Trust Fund by $53 million over 5 years, with an additional $18 million projected to come in from in-lieu payments from Mixed Income Housing bonuses.  Continue reading

Rochelle Bilal and Dan Stevenson Consider Run for Sheriff Against Jewell Williams

Sheriff Jewell Williams is up for reelection next year in 2019, and is expected to be highly vulnerable to a primary challenge due to confirmed allegations that he sexually harassed one of his employees. Williams has actually been accused of harassment by four women, and so far an investigation has confirmed one of those accounts. Continue reading

Kenney Sets Sights Too Low With Housing Action Plan Overview

(Single-family zoning in South Philly, all along one of our two subway lines) The Kenney administration debuted a draft version of their Housing Action Plan overview this week, and while the plan isn't yet complete, so far it's looking pretty underwhelming. Continue reading

Lauren Vidas Will Challenge Kenyatta Johnson for 2nd Council District

(Lauren Vidas | Photo: Celeste Sloman) The 2019 City Council campaign are getting an early start this year, with City & State PA's Ryan Briggs reporting that Graduate Hospital-based lawyer and activist Lauren Vidas has filed paperwork this week to run in the 2nd Council District against two-term incumbent Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.  Continue reading

Innovations in Machine Politics from NYC to Philly

(Some wards) How far will Party machines go to keep out newer activists? Andy Newman and Tyler Pager at the New York Times talked to some of the candidates running for Democratic County Committee seats in Queens who had no idea they were even running, because someone else had filed on their behalf. Continue reading