Congrats, Detroit! Another City Gets Street Sweeping

(Have you seen me? | Photo: MOTU Blog) Welcome to 2018. The Eagles are Super Bowl champs, the Sixers are in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs, Meek Mill is free. And even broke-ass Detroit has street sweeping.   Continue reading

Trust the Assessment Process! No Council Votes on Property Values

(Councilman David Oh | Image: Philadelphia City Council) A new charter amendment from Councilman David Oh would be a major setback for the cause of fair property taxes in Philadelphia by giving City Council veto power over assessments for the first time—a move that would ensure Philly once again goes decades without updating our valuations. Continue reading

Rank Your Choices for the 5th Congressional District Democratic Primary

The Democratic field for the 5th Congressional District is very crowded, with ten candidates running to be the party's nominee in what is expected to be one of the easier Democratic pick-ups this year. Continue reading

What is Philly's New Construction Tax Going to Pay For?

(Photo: AL DIA) City Council's new housing package hits a lot closer to the mark than other recent proposals, with a much better approach to revenues and bonuses that should actually yield some durable funding for creating more below-market-rate units. Continue reading

In Trimming the Abatement, Let's Not Create a Housing Slowdown

The Controller's office's report on the 10-year tax abatement has a lot of good insights into the economics of housing in Philadelphia in 2018, and raises some important questions about the different scenarios under discussion for reforming it. Continue reading

Commissioners bail on order to modernize machines before 2020

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued an order requiring that all counties in the Commonwealth transition to auditable voting machines in time for the 2020 Presidential election. The goal: Make sure there are paper backups of all votes cast in the most highly-scrutinized election in American history. The City Commissioners announced this week that they aren’t going to comply. Continue reading

Darrell Clarke Done Even Pretending to Care About Pedestrian Safety

(Multiple children were struck on the Parkway one day after Clarke's comments: Image credit: Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg on Twitter) According to the Kenney administration's Vision Zero Action Plan, Philadelphia has the highest per capita traffic death rate among peer cities at 6 fatalities per 100,000 people. It's a big problem, and the administration is trying to do something about it through a comprehensive program of engineering, enforcement, and education aimed at halving the rate of serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities on Philly's public streets within 5 years. Continue reading

In Philly Q1 Housing Report, An End in Sight for the Seller's Market

Kevin Gillen's Q1 Housing Report for the Lindy Institute is out today, and the results are a bit of a mixed bag.  Continue reading

PA House Republicans Just Mutated Redistricting Reformers' Favorite Bill

(Image: Rep. Daryl Metcalfe) Thanks to a state Supreme Court decision, Pennsylvania has new Congressional maps for the 2018 election, but these new maps are only going to be in effect for a couple years. That's because the 2020 Census is right around the corner, and following that, the redistricting process is going to start all over again. Continue reading

Harrisburg to Philly: Buy new voting machines

(Image: WHYY) Thanks to an order from the Department of State, all counties in Pennsylvania will be required to debut new, auditable voting machines by the 2020 Presidential election. Now the pressure is on the Kenney administration, City Council, and the City Commissioners to develop a forward-looking plan for election security—and pay for it. Continue reading