Jobs Are the Top Reason People Leave Philly

Why do people leave Philadelphia? A first-of-its-kind report from Pew looked at this question for the first time, based on a random survey of people who'd changed their addresses, and found that jobs topped the list.  Continue reading

How to Make the New Plumbing Code a Housing Affordability Win

(Mid-rise building on Memphis Street in Fishtown | Photo: Jon Geeting) Philadelphia has some of the highest relative construction costs of any big U.S. city, and one of the bigger contributors to this problem has been our antiquated Plumbing Code.  Continue reading

Liquor Control Board's Open Records Fight is Regulatory Capture at its Worst

(Grocery stores like Acme can get restaurant licenses now, and have been bidding up costs | Photo: Jon Geeting) How many liquor licenses are available to bid on in Pennsylvania counties?It sounds like a simple question that should already be public information on the Liquor Control Board's website, but amazingly, Jan Brewer reports that the LCB doesn't publish these figures, and they're even going so far as to appeal an order to release this by the Office of Open Records. Worst of all, they're saying plainly it’s because they want to protect inflated values for liquor license holders. Continue reading

Will Dan Tinney Be the Big Winner of Philly's Oddly Exciting Fall At-Large Council Race?

(Everything's coming up Dan Tinney | Image: Dan Tinney for Council) Two Inquirer articles out this week about the intra-labor rifts and the intra-Republican Party rifts that are shaping the battle lines for Philadelphia's fall general election together help to explain why Republican challenger Dan Tinney is the biggest beneficiary of all the excitement. Continue reading

Kenney Loading Zones Pilot Points the Way Forward for Taming Congestion

(Image: City of Philadelphia) As Center City has become increasingly traffic-clogged, due to a combination of more driving, more e-commerce deliveries, and more roving ride-hailing drivers, the Kenney administration, Philadelphia Parking Authority, and other agencies have made congestion fighting more of a priority, and this week they announced a six-month pilot where they'll test out some appropriately aggressive steps for managing loading on Chestnut Street.From the release: Continue reading

How Do We Know Whether a Primary Will Be Competitive?

(3rd Council District primary results in the 188th House District | Image: Sixty-Six Wards) Political scientists use Partisan Voting Index scores to estimate how competitive different districts will be in races between Democrats and Republicans, but how do you judge competitiveness in a primary, when everybody has the same party label? A new tool from the Sixty-Six Wards blog lets users visualize election data in new ways that can provide some interesting insights about primary dynamics in different Philadelphia districts. Continue reading

Governor Wolf's Redistricting Commission Releases Recommendations for Redrawing PA's Electoral Maps

Governor Tom Wolf's Redistricting Commission has released their recommendations for reforming how political districts are drawn in Pennsylvania, and they've come up with a process that would go a long way toward removing incumbent lawmakers' ability to choose their own voters.  Continue reading

Positive Steps from PA Lawmakers on Liquor Licensing Reform, But We Still Need More Licenses

(Beer and wine at Acme, a local "restaurant" in Northern Liberties | Image: Jon Geeting) PA lawmakers are working on a new package of reforms to the Commonwealth's archaic Prohibition-era liquor licensing system, many of which sound at first pass like common-sense ways of encoding in the law the changes to the retail landscape that have taken hold since the PA Supreme Court ushered in a wave of pro-consumer changes almost a decade ago. Continue reading

Jewell Williams is Right? It's Time to Move More Sheriff Powers to the Mayor's Office

(Image: Jewell Williams) Outgoing Sheriff Jewell Williams has been caught before spending what's left of his term plotting to punish the enemies he believes contributed to his loss in the May primary, and Chris Brennan reports on a new Williams plan to undercut incoming Sheriff Rochelle Bilal by moving certain contracts and responsibilities from the Sheriff's office over to the Kenney administration.  Continue reading

Map: Rebuild Projects Now In-Progress by Council District

(Hancock Rec Center | Photo: Jon Geeting) Laura McCrystal is out with an update on where things stand with soda tax collections, and what's been spent on Mayor Kenney's signature Pre-K, and Rebuild initiatives. We've been following the issue of how the Rebuild spending would be divided up across the city, and how City Council politics would impact the project selections, so we were interested to see this reference in the article to the number of projects currently underway.  Continue reading