What Happens If the PA Supreme Court Strikes Down PA's Gerrymandered Maps This Month?

(IMAGE: The Washington Post) Pennsylvania's Congressional maps are arguably the most extreme recent example of partisan gerrymandering in the country, so it's not surprising that there are now three different lawsuits targeting them, one state and two federal. One of the federal lawsuits had a setback in federal court yesterday, but that's not the last word on the issue, as there seem to be decent odds that the state Supreme Court will throw out PA's maps in a few weeks. Continue reading

City Council Can't Be Trusted to Do Land Sales

(Thank Mark Squilla for this glowing used-car vending tower | Image: Carvana) Land deals are constantly getting City Councilmembers into trouble—sometimes of the criminal variety—and two recent news stories help underscore the need to cut Council out of the business of selling city-controlled land.  Continue reading

Court Strikes Down Zoning Board's Political Ruling in Quaker Building Case

This story broke over the holiday week so it didn't get as much play, but the Court of Common Pleas struck down the Zoning Board of Adjustment's highly political ruling against Post Brothers' proposed industrial-to-residential conversion of the Quaker Building in North Philly. Continue reading

A Closer Look at 2014's Competitive Committeeperson Elections

(Philadelphia Wards and Divisions) We know that the 2014 ward elections were really uncompetitive, with only 14% of Philly's 1,600+ divisions seeing of their seats substantially contested. But digging into that slice of competitive races a bit more, we see that things only look worse from a competitiveness perspective. Continue reading

Philly's Too Complacent About Middle-Class Housing Affordability

(Image: Neighbors for More Neighbors) The Wall Street Journal might have chosen a more sympathetic protagonist for their article about rising home prices in Philadelphia, but there's been a surprising reaction to the article by some of the online commentariat that reveals the true roots of the budding middle-class housing affordability issues in greater Center City. Continue reading

PPA Appoints Bucks GOPer Scott Petri as New ED, Who Pushed For More Suburban Residents on the PPA Board

In a Friday afternoon news dump, the Philadelphia Parking Authority announced that their brief experiment with leadership diversity has come to a swift end with the hiring of suburban Republican Rep. Scott Petri as the Authority's new Executive Director. Continue reading

Three Ways to Reform the 10-Year Tax Abatement

(Rare by-right CMX-2 construction spotted in the wild on Frankford Ave | Photo: Jon Geeting) Ryan Briggs reports that the 10-year tax abatement for property improvements may be in the Kenney administration's crosshairs in next year's budget.  Continue reading

Plan Your Run for Committeeperson With This New Interactive Map

Last week The Hill ran a story about a Philly resident who won a neighborhood Board of Elections seat this year with one write-in vote from himself. This got a lot of national traction, which seemed weird to many of us who follow Philly politics since it's such a common occurrence. In a follow-up post on this, Dave Davies reported that 71 people won Board of Elections seats this way in 2017. Continue reading

Flashback: GOP Councilman Al Taubenberger Dismissed PPA Harassment Scandal as "High School Puppy Love"

(Republican At-Large Councilmember Al Taubenberger | Image: Tom MacDonald, WHYY) The Auditor General's report on the Philadelphia Parking Authority looks terrible for the PPA Board, as it makes clear that board members knew about former Executive Director Vince Fenerty's 2015 sexual harassment settlement, and they chose to let him stay on the job instead of terminating him. Continue reading

Parking Authority Audit Shows Unpaid Tickets Hurt School Funding the Most. City Council Wants to Make That Worse.

(3rd District Councilmember Jannie Blackwell) Auditor Eugene DePasquale released the results of two audits his office conducted of the Philadelphia Parking Authority this morning, in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal that brought down former Executive Director Vince Fenerty.  Continue reading