Open Wards for All

(Image: Philly Ward Leaders) This year's ward elections doubled the number of Open Wards, writes Tom Beck at South Philly Review, which is the largest burst of progress for intra-Democratic Party democracy since the 60's and 70's. Continue reading

Allow Half-Day Shifts for Election Day Workers!

(Photo: Timothy Rezendes via Creative Commons) Jen Devor and Anton Moore reported a striking finding in their op-ed this week urging more Philadelphians to step up and become Election Day workers: nearly half of these positions are currently occupied. Just 51% of the seats are filled, and 49% are vacant. Continue reading

The Kenney Administration Left Money on the Table in Provident Mutual Building Sale

The saga of the old Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 4601 Market continues, as Jacob Adelman reports the city has found a tenant who's proposing a new public health campus on the property. Continue reading

The Case for Enlisting Landlords in Registering Philly Renters to Vote

Renters now make up about 48% of Philadelphia households, according to a new study from Zillow—a break from the city's traditionally higher-than-average homeownership rate that brings us closer in line with other big cities. Continue reading

Philly's Block Party Ban List is 922 Blocks Long

(More than half of banned blocks haven't had a shooting | Image: Jared Whalen / Philadelphia Inquirer) Following up on the controversy over the City's new block party rules, Julia Terruso reports that the City has banned 922 blocks from hosting block parties, and only about 400 of those blocks were banned as a result of nearby shootings in the past three years. What accounts for the rest? Continue reading

With Easier Voter Registration, PA Sees a Surge in Youth Voter Registration

(Image: Billy Penn) Pennsylvania leads the nation in under-30 voter registration, according to a new voter data from Democratic analytics firm TargetSmart, and Billy Penn reports this cohort now outnumbers voters over 64 statewide. Continue reading

With SEPTA Key's New Prepaid Debit Card Feature, Could SEPTA Become a Public Bank?

(SEPTA is already going to do a version of public banking | Image: SEPTA) SEPTA Key implementation achieved some new milestones in the past month, with the Zone 4 regional rail rollout, elimination of paper transfers, and now, the apparent introduction of prepaid debit card features that could function as a basic checking account for some riders. Continue reading

Rumored Mayoral Candidate Alan Butkovitz Trying On David Oh's Bad Assessment Cap Ideas

(Photo credit: Logan Krum, Northeast Times) The latest property assessments are a dicey topic for local elected officials running in 2019, since many property owners in gentrifying neighborhoods were hit with large tax increases. But they've also introduced a black hat political opportunity for irresponsible politicians to run on nuking the whole assessment system in various ways.  Continue reading

Michael Boyle, Ward Leaders Rush Through Bait-and-Switch for 175th District Nominee

Image: Philadelphia Public Record Ward leaders in the 5th, 25th, and 31st wards completed their bait-and-switch plan in the 175th District on Monday, just five days after we first wrote about this last Wednesday. Continue reading

The Robert A. Brady Building's Weirdly Low Tax Assessment

(The Robert A. Brady Office Building | Image: Google Streetview) Social media mentions of the Robert A. Brady Office Building at 219-27 Spring Garden Street, in reference to the 175th District ward leaders meeting, prompted a tipster to look up the Atlas listing for the Brady building, and wouldn't you know—it's got a weird assessment issue. Continue reading