Independent Investigation Confirms Harassment Claim Against Sheriff Jewell Williams

(From left to right: Bill Keller, Darrell Clarke, Anthony Williams, and Jewell Williams) In the latest turn of the Sheriff Jewell Williams sexual harassment scandal, Holly Otterbein and Anna Orso report that for the first time an independent investigation has substantiated the claims of one of the four women accusing Williams of workplace harassment. Continue reading

175th District Ward Leaders Trying to Pull a Shady Switcheroo After Mike O'Brien Withdraws From Ballot

(Left to right: Rep. Steve McCarter, Mary Isaacson, Rep. Mike O'Brien | Image: Philly Public Record) Despite Democratic Party primary voters' clear preference for change in the 2018 ward elections this May, Party insiders are trying to sneak through a mid-summer State Rep switcheroo in the 175th District while everybody is down the shore and not paying attention. Continue reading

New Study Measures Philly's Parking Surplus, Finds More Parking Spaces Than People

(Surface parking coverage in central Philadelphia | Image: Research Institute for Housing America ) A big new study from data scientist Eric Scharnhorst for the Research Institute for Housing America measures the parking supply in five large U.S. cities and finds that Philadelphia is actually flush with parking, with a parking density about 3.7 times greater than the density of homes. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke, Use Councilmanic Prerogative to Save St. Laurentius

(St. Laurentius | Photo: Jon Geeting) Councilmanic Prerogative is one of Philadelphia's more problematic governance traditions, but if it's going to exist at all, it should at least be used to solve local problems in cases where no other policy tools will suffice. Saving Fishtown's St. Laurentius church from demolition is exactly one of those occasions, and it's time for Darrell Clarke to pull out the big guns. Continue reading

Another Piece of Philly's Democratic Machine on the Chopping Block as Tartaglione Faces Possible Jail Time

(Renee Tartaglione and Carlos Matos) Demographic change, political change, and the criminal justice system have slowly been weakening the traditional Philadelphia Democratic Party machine, and the latter appears ready to take down one of the city's most prominent political families, the Tartagliones.  Continue reading

Unicameralism: The Only Good Way to Shrink the PA Legislature

(Image: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania has the largest full-time state legislature in the nation, and our General Assembly is the second-largest lower House, and this fact has led to populist calls over the years to shrink the legislature, largely for cost-savings reasons.  Continue reading

After Ocasio-Cortez Win, City Council's Top Brass Look Way Less Invincible

This Tuesday's stunning primary upset in New York's 14th Congressional District, where 28-year-old first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley—the 4th highest-ranking Democrat in the House, and leader of the Queens Democratic Party—has us thinking about what might have happened in Philly's old 1st Congressional District if the PA Supreme Court hadn't redrawn the Congressional Districts, and if Rep. Bob Brady hadn't announced his retirement. Continue reading

Why Is City Council Making Major Housing Decisions Before the Mayor's Housing Plan is Done?

(Photo: Jon Geeting) City Council passed a flurry of legislation in their final session day yesterday, summarized here by City & State, including a big housing package they had been debating over the last several months, the centerpiece of which was a new 1% construction tax.  Continue reading

Women Won Over Half of Philly's Democratic Committee Person Seats

(The 18th Ward leadership slate | Photo: Jon Geeting) With over 3,000 people elected to Democratic committee person seats all across the city on May 15th, there's still a lot left to learn about the most downballot of the 2018 downballot elections, and a new analysis from 18th Ward committee person Ruokai Chen helpfully fills in some crucial demographic dimensions to the narrative.  Continue reading

Kenney Appoints Party Stalwart Jonathan Saidel to Lead Task Force Reconciling City Accounts

Rumored Brady replacement Jonathan Saidel (right) with Seth Williams and Bob Brady Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has been going hard after Mayor Kenney's Finance Director Rob Dubow for failing to correct the City's sloppy financial practices that resulted in $33 million going unaccounted for.  Continue reading