'Home Rule' Episode 2: Popularity Contest - Does America Need a National Popular Vote?

In 2016, President Donald Trump was able to win the Electoral College by flipping a few Rust Belt swing states that had been trending Democratic—specifically Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—despite receiving 2.9 million fewer actual votes than Hillary Clinton. And current polling in those swing states suggests there are decent odds that could happen again. Continue reading

Rep. Kevin Boyle Wants to Mail Every PA Voter a Mail-In Ballot Because of Coronavirus

With health officials urging social isolation measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, and uncertainty looming over upcoming large-scale public events, Philadelphia Rep. Kevin Boyle is announcing a new bill that would lean into Pennsylvania’s new vote-by-mail system and mail every voter a ballot. Continue reading

The Race is on to Shape PA's Post-Census Redistricting

Most people who follow politics know about gerrymandering in the sense of districts being skewed to favor one political party or another, but there are also other methods that state politicians can use to weaken the political power of people in dense metros in state politics. Continue reading

Council Report: Week of March 9th

Readers rejoice! We're bringing back our weekly Council Report, with plain-English summaries of the big-ticket City Council bills that were introduced in the last week.  Continue reading

A Rough Start for Philly's New Sheriff

(Photo: Emily Neil/AL DÍA News) Newly-elected Sheriff Rochelle Bilal campaigned on a fresh start for the trouble Sheriff's office, which faced some weighty corruption issues under the two prior leaders, and won her election decisively. John Green, who held the office prior to Jewell Williams, was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison last August after pleading guilty to a bribery scandal, and last May it was reported that there has also been a federal investigation into an official in the most recent Sheriff Jewell Williams's office as well, centered on an unnamed official in the real estate department accused of accepting bribes for giving buyers advance notice of Sheriff sales. Continue reading

$1 Land Sales and City Council's Role in the Blight Problem

In a follow-up piece to their earlier report on people flipping land they bought for $1 from the City, Claudia Vargas, Chris Williams, and Dylan Purchell found 500 examples of blighted or tax-delinquent lots owned by people who benefitted from $1 land deals, which were allowed to rack up garbage and tax debt totalling almost $900,000. Continue reading

Citywide Street Sweeping Is Actually Going to Happen

Mayor Kenney included a proposed over $10 million for street sweeping in his budget proposal to City Council for fiscal year 2021 this week, with $67 million pledged over the next 5 years. While it's too soon to unfurl the 'Mission Accomplished' banner just yet, it's worth taking a minute to celebrate this milestone and take stock of just how far the politics of this issue have moved in the past couple years. Continue reading

Rep. Chris Rabb Wants a More Open Process for Special Election Nominations

Philadelphia had another special election this week in the 190th state House district, where Roni Green, the Democratic nominee, handily won with 85%. Green will finish out former Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell’s term—the second state Rep. in a row to leave the office following a criminal conviction.  Continue reading

Wolf: Over 20,000 People Signed Up to Vote By Mail Already

Over 20,000 Pennsylvania voters have already signed up for PA’s brand new vote-by-mail program since the state launched their online application two weeks ago on February 14th. Continue reading

Council Moves Forward with Domb’s Low-Income Wage Tax Credit

Several of the bills that Mayor Kenney pocket-vetoed at the end of the last term have since found their way back onto the agenda in City Council, and one of the most high-profile of those that resurfaced is Councilmember Allan Domb's bill creating a new low-income wage tax credit. That passed Council this week. Continue reading