To Keep Philly Affordable, Legalize More Small Apartment Buildings

(The Claridge | Photo: Al Shapiro) In Philadelphia, discussions about affordable housing tend to assume a binary world with "affordable housing" on one side, and "market rate" housing on the other. "Affordable housing," as the term is commonly used, assumes some form of public subsidy is going to be required, while "market rate" housing is assumed to be too expensive for the average person to afford, just by definition. Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of April 3

In which Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Bill Greenlee (for Darrell Clarke) introduce some changes to American Street, including new bike lanes; Bill Greenlee (on behalf of Darrell Clarke) proposes allowing a digital accessory sign on 1900 Market along with some planters; Bobby Henon (for Clarke) proposes allowing the City to make Capital Expenditures on buildings it doesn't own; Brian O'Neill makes a populist point about the City's poor track record of shoveling the sidewalks around public properties after snowstorms; and David Oh and Mark Squilla propose still more regulations for installing electric vehicle charging stations, including Art Commission approval. Continue reading

What Happens After Election Reform Advocates Win the City Commissioners Lawsuit?

(Anthony Clark, Lisa Deeley, and Al Schmidt. Photo credit: Emma Lee / WHYY) As you've probably read by now, Philadelphia 3.0, along with the Committee of Seventy and the Public Interest Law Center, filed a suit in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This suit asks the court to compel the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas to appoint temporary election overseers to run Philadelphia's May 2017 primaries in the place of the City Commissioners. Continue reading

BREAKING: Election Reform Advocates File Suit to Ensure Accountability in May Primary

(Philadelphia City Commissioners | Photo: Emma Lee / WHYY) Philadelphia 3.0, along with the Committee of Seventy and three independent petitioners, filed a lawsuit in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday to ensure that the May 2017 primary election complies with Pennsylvania election law. We’re working with the Public Interest Law Center on this matter. Read the story in today's Inquirer. Continue reading

Take the Poll: Rank Your Choices in Philly's District Attorney Race

Vote in our Ranked Choice poll of the Democratic primary for District Attorney! Fill in your information in the form below, and you'll soon receive an email with an individualized link to the poll. We are using a ranked choice polling app called OpaVote, and the email will be sent via their website to prevent anyone from voting multiple times.The poll runs until Tuesday, April 11th, and we'll announce the results that day.https://goo.gl/forms/3KWsZJV3AVstNMLB2

Untangle Local Politics and Elections at Code for Philly's Civic Engagement Launchpad

  (Registered Community Organization map | Philadelphia City Planning Commission) With so many hundreds of minor seats in play, Philly's off-year local elections can be hard to follow from a citywide viewpoint. In fact, it's fairly cumbersome even to figure out which seats might be open in your neighborhood.  Continue reading

To Support Independent Retail Business, Fix Neighborhood Commercial Zoning

(Darrell Clarke proposes down-zoning a big section of Sharswood right next to Ridge Ave. Image: Philadelphia City Planning Commission) Diana Lind had a thoughtful piece in The Philadelphia Citizen this week about the need to proactively support and preserve independent business on Philly's commercial corridors before a tidal wave of national chain retail makes everything really boring. Continue reading

Retire the Coffee Can of Justice! Randomize Ballot Position

  (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer) The 2017 candidates for District Attorney, Controller, and various judicial seats have been traveling across the city doing their level best to persuade voters that they are the best people for the job, but sadly, the qualification many voters seem to find most persuasive is largely out of the candidates' control--their position on the ballot. Continue reading

Council Report Card: Week of March 13th

In which David Oh and Council Republicans introduce a resolution honoring Patrick Blessington--one of the attorneys on those Porngate email chains--to seething opprobrium; Allan Domb and others resolve to hold a hearing on why reassessments are still all messed up even after the Actual Value Initiative; Domb and crew also back a resolution promoting Earned Income Tax Credit participation for eligible residents; and Curtis Jones, Jr., Kenyatta Johnson, and Brian O'Neill get serious about hazardous intersections. Continue reading

Welcome to Budget Season

It’s everyone’s favorite season- budget season! Over the next three months we're going to provide different kinds of analysis of the City's budget process. We'll talk about budget documents, what passes for negotiation, and the administration's priorities. But first, the basics.   Continue reading