Wednesday, January 31, 2018

And again with the unexpected news!

Bob Brady not to seek re-election! His opponents have been getting more serious, the machine less powerful, and himself older, but still, didn't expect him to leave without a fight. Crazy times! The linked article is a good overview of his activities over recent years, for those not aware of the invisible lines of power in this city...

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Wasn't sure I'd ever see this!

School reform commission to give control of Philadelphia's schools back to the city? dissolve itself?
On Nov. 16, the five-member SRC will consider a vote to dissolve itself, and Kenney is confident that it will be approved. The state Secretary of Education would certify the dissolution by Dec. 31, a move that seems a given with Gov. Wolf on record supporting local control for Philadelphia schools. The SRC would cease to exist on June 30.
Amazing! Won't fix everything overnight, but will at least let the city work on its own priorities and issues rather than feeling like a colonial holding of an atagonistic state entity. Forward, ho!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Philly's changing skyline

The text here is a little breathless, but it's neat to move the sliders and see how a few large developments can really change the feel of whole sections of town.

10 Before-and-Afters Show a Transformed Philadelphia

Have a happy Halloween tomorrow, and don't forget to vote on Tuesday, in the PA Supreme Court race if nothing else!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guide to the May, 2015 primaries

Mayor and City Council, plus a heap of judges from Supreme Court (a historical number of openings) to Municipal Court. I've been meaning to do a full write-up here, but it just got bumped by a bunch of other brushfires over the last week or two, so I will direct you to the carefully annotated recommendations that are spelled out at the website of this Center City division -- your local District Council race might differ, but the rest of the positions discussed are city-wide, and these represent my choices for all of those races. Judges were really a challenge, given all the contenders, and we even changed our recommendations between sending our official letter and today (because of some late-released Bar recommendations that allowed us to endorse a couple of candidates who impressed us in person), but this captures our best efforts. Don't forget to vote tomorrow!



Friday, May 08, 2015

Mayoral info

Readers of this blog probably realize that the mayoral race in Philadelphia takes place mostly in the Democratic primary on May 19. There are six contenders in this race, and several sources have attempted to make information about them and their views available. For those tuning in just now, having missed the deluge of mayoral forums and debates, these might be helpful in making up your mind:
  1. Brief write-ups of question-and-answer sessions held earlier this year by Plan Philly, which help illuminate how the candidates think about the city's future (these are their headlines):

    • Tony Williams on gentrification, consensus-building, transportation infrastructure, and more
    • Jim Kenney on public transportation, pedestrian safety, and South Philly's organized chaos
    • Lynn Abraham on L&I, councilmanic prerogative, protected bike lanes and more
    • Nelson Diaz on affordable housing, attracting new business, and expanding SEPTA
    • Doug Oliver on the 10-year tax abatement, Vision Zero, and Philly's waterfront
    • Update: Milton Street on Michael Nutter, community planning, tax abatements, aging

  2. Longer radio interviews (45 minutes or so) with individual candidates on Radio Times, all held the last week of April; probably the best source of insight, if you can put in the time:

I'll be putting up a full list of endorsements (especially since there are an ungodly number of judicial candidates again!) this weekend, but wanted to post these separately as a resource, since I think most people like to get a good look themselves at the choices at the top of the ticket. But one of the frontrunners stood pretty far ahead of the others when I saw them in person at recent Ward meetings, so I think it will be an easy choice for anybody with progressive leanings (and interest in continuing Nutter's legacy of good government and city greening).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Republicans hate Pennsylvanians

At least, they're writing off anybody who can't get a Voter ID as not worth the effort:
As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that.
Maybe the voters can fix this attitude by kicking some jerks out of office! Meantime, check whether you have the ID necessary to cast your vote at this website, which will tell you what you need to do if your current forms of ID are insufficient.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Latest on Tracey Gordon

... and attempts to hold the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee accountable: Too much to hope that people would welcome all sorts of reformers into the democratic process?