Broad Street Brief: City Council Hears Testimony on Affordable Housing Legislation; Mayor’s Race Picks Up Momentum in Final Weeks

April 28, 2023

City Hall

City Council Hears Testimony on Affordable Housing Bills

On Monday, City Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development & The Homeless held a public hearing about two components of District 3 Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s signature “People’s Preservation Package.” The proposed legislation would implement restrictions on the sale of properties whose owners contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide low-income renters with affordable housing, including mandating a right of first refusal for potential buyers who would continue to provide affordable housing, extending the time frame for the mandatory advance notice of intent to sell, and expanding the list of parties that would need to be notified. The legislation would also require the City to maintain a current list of affordable housing providers and resources.

Upcoming Budget Hearings

The full schedule of FY24 budget hearings and a link to watch them can be found here.

  • School District of Philadelphia (Tuesday, May 2 at 10 a.m.)
  • Community College of Philadelphia (Tuesday, May 2 at 1:30 p.m.)
  • Public testimony (Wednesday, May 3 at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)

Election Update

Top Democratic Mayoral Candidates Participate in Final Live Debate Ahead of May Primary

This week, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted the final live televised mayoral primary debate, co-sponsored by Cozen O’Connor, which featured sparring over campaign finance ethics and union endorsements, among discussion of other pertinent issues such as poverty and public safety.

In addition to this week’s mayoral debate, candidates have continued to discuss their proposed strategies to address a myriad of challenges, including how to stem Kensington’s open-air drug marketcurb abuse of Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung benefits by police officers, and bring transparency to the City’s Land Bank.

Mayoral Endorsements Continue to Trickle In During Final Weeks of Race

With mere weeks left until the May 16 primary, there are few potential mayoral endorsements still up for grabs. On Tuesday, former City Councilmember At-Large Derek Green announced his endorsement of former colleague and political competitor Cherelle Parker for mayor. Both Green and Parker have roots in the Northwest and were political protégées of former District 9 City Councilmember Marian Tasco. Green is the first former mayoral candidate from this cycle to make an official endorsement.

The following day, former Governor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell endorsed former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, making him the third ex-mayor to do so — and her the only candidate in recent memory to secure the endorsement of as many former mayors. This also marks the first competitive mayoral election during which Governor Rendell has made an official endorsement since 2000.

Committee of Seventy, Partner Organizations to Release First Independent Opinion Poll of Campaign Cycle

The results of the first independent opinion poll of this mayoral campaign cycle will be released by this Friday by good-government group Committee of Seventy. While said results will by no means be a perfect estimation of the actual outcome of the upcoming primary, they are expected to demonstrate to voters tiers of candidate viability. In addition to the official poll, Committee of Seventy is also conducting an “unscientific” online poll intended to help voters explore the concept of ranked-choice voting, which has become increasingly popular given the crowdedness of this year’s race. The polls are just one of several tools designed to help voters make their decision, which include numerous voter guides and a “political matchmaking quiz” recently released by Billy Penn.

City Council Candidates Weigh in on Future of BIRT

Philadelphia’s business taxes are among the highest in the nation, and while mayoral candidates have fielded numerous questions on the topic, the next City Council also has the potential to make significant changes to the City’s tax structure. While many candidates are in favor of cutting Philadelphia’s Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT), others believe there may be better alternatives to making Philadelphia more business-friendly.

Around Town

Faculty Union Votes “No Confidence” in Temple University Board Chair, Provost

The Temple Association of University Professionals announced on Monday that its members had voted “no confidence” in Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell Morgan and Provost Gregory Mandel. The vote comes weeks after the resignation of former President Jason Wingard, who also would have been subject to the no-confidence vote.


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