Highlights from the 2022 Philly Ward Elections

Philadelphia’s political parties held ward reorganization meetings a couple of Mondays ago, choosing new ward leaders and other officers for the next 4-year term.  These contests are always worth watching because they offer a glimpse into the parties’ mood and direction in different parts of the city, the relative power of different factions of party activists, and the potential consequences for next year’s municipal elections.  Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the Ward Reorganization Meetings

Primary Election Day may be over, but the fun continues for people who won their elections for party committee person seats on Tuesday as the focus turns to the all-important ward reorganization meetings. Continue reading

How Can Philly Cushion the Blow from New Property Assessments?

(Image:Jon Geeting New city real estate assessments will be released on Monday after a 3-year pause on reassessing property, with the Kenney administration reporting a 31% increase in the average property’s assessment.  That’s going to turn up the political heat on a major pocketbook issue for many residents, and it’s important that decision-makers resolve to address that with some thoughtful policy remedies rather than knee-jerk opposition. Continue reading

City Council’s New “1,000 Affordable Homes” Announcement and the “Where?” Question

Council President Darrell Clarke announced last week that as part of the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative (NPI), City Council would pursue a plan to build 1,000 affordable homes on city-owned land.  Continue reading

Map: Open Seats and Competitive Seats in the 2022 Philly Ward Elections

With over 3,000 tiny precinct-level seats in play in this year’s party committee elections on May 17th, it can be hard to wrap your head around what is happening all across the city.  In the interest of helping journalists, activists, and local politics watchers better understand what’s going on, and where there could be opportunities to act in the final few weeks before Election Day, we’ve published a new interactive map for visualizing some of the dynamics more clearly. Continue reading

Why SEPTA's New Institutional Pass Program is a Sea Change for How Transit Is Funded in Philadelphia

A few weeks ago SEPTA announced a new pilot initiative, SEPTA Key Advantage, that has the potential to seriously transform the transit agency’s business model in exciting ways that could create a lot more stable local transit funding. Continue reading

Philly Permitted Two-Thirds of the Housing in PA in 2021

(Photo: Jon Geeting) A few weeks ago we reported that Philly had permitted over half the new housing units in Pennsylvania in 2021, based on the November totals published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)   Continue reading

Where Domb and Gym Agree: It’s Time for City Council Term Limits

Aside from two high-profile upsets in 2019, Philadelphia City Council has been a very low-turnover local legislature for all of modern history, with Councilmembers serving exorbitantly long terms.  Almost purely generational turnover has introduced some newer members into the body over the last two election cycles, mostly through the At-Large seats, but what you rarely see happen is serious challengers running and winning in District seats—the real power seats on Council. Continue reading

Bill Greenlee is the Father of Washington Ave Political Dysfunction

(Some guys who really love Councilmanic Prerogative) Very large majorities of residents living near Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia have told the City’s transportation office that they want the Kenney administration and City Council to prioritize the safest possible redesign option for pedestrians there when the street is repaved and restriped next year. Continue reading

How the Overdue Ward Redistricting Hurts Local and State Redistricting Efforts

(Philadelphia Ward Map) Once a decade, political districts of many kinds are required to be redrawn to reflect population changes measured in the Census, including Congressional districts at the federal level, state House and Senate districts, and local City Council districts.  Continue reading