Broad Street Brief: City Council Leadership to Shift

October 27, 2023

City Hall

The Impending Shift of City Council Power Dynamics

Regardless of the November election outcome, the power dynamics within City Hall are set to change as members elect new leadership including a council president. While Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (District 2) is favored to become the next council president, Councilmembers Curtis Jones (District 4) and Mike Driscoll (District 6) continue to vie for the position.

City Council Votes to Condemn Hamas Attack Against Israel

Last week, City Council passed a resolution condemning the October 7 Hamas attack against Israel, drawing impassioned public comment from members of Philadelphia’s Jewish community and pro-Palestine activists.

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar, view here.

  • The Committee on Public Safety hearing on Wednesday, November 1 at 10 a.m. will cover the recent escape of two inmates from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center and other challenges faced by the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.
  • The Committee on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs hearing on Thursday, November 2 at 1 p.m. will address a bill that would rename the Charles Baker Recreation Center.

Election Update

Mayoral Ambitions: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

During a town hall event hosted by 6ABC Monday, Democratic mayoral nominee Cherelle Parker — who is favored to win the November election — indicated that, if elected, she would seek assistance from the National Guard to address the opioid crisis in Kensington. The neighborhood is widely known as one of the nation’s largest open-air drug markets. Parker’s Republican opponent and former City Council colleague, David Oh would address the issue by attracting and retaining police officers.

Philadelphia Democrats Expel Member for WFP Endorsement

Philadelphia Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady made good on his promise to expel committee members who endorse Working Families Party (WFP) candidates, which he claims is a violation of party rules. After expelling a committee member in the 31st ward (East Kensington), more than 100 committee members signed a letter endorsing incumbent Councilmember Kendra Brooks and her WFP running mate, Nicolas O’Rourke.

Around Town

Philly Counts Battles Stigma Surrounding Narcan to Save Lives

Philly Counts volunteers are canvassing to destigmatize the use of Narcan, a lifesaving overdose treatment drug, in order to combat the disproportionate number of overdose deaths seen in Black and brown communities. The project is funded in part by Philadelphia’s share of national opioid settlement payments.

FDR Park’s Verna Playground Opens

Saturday marked the grand opening of FDR Park’s new Anna C. Verna Playground, named after the late city council president. The playground features the nation’s largest “mega” swing set.

Philadelphia Selected for $1 Million Public Art Grant for Temporary Gun Violence Installation

Last week, the City of Philadelphia announced that it will be receiving a $1 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, which supports temporary public art projects addressing an urgent civic issue. The grant will fund the Healing Verse Germantown: The Streets Are Talking, a series of installations that will address gun violence in the community.

Suburban Spotlight

Elections to Watch: Bucks County Commissioners Races

While Bucks County has been reliably purple in recent years, heightened political tensions and increased polarization may be responsible for the red trend. According to voter registrations,Democratic support has dwindled from 2021 by more than half. The upcoming commissioners races will be a bellwether for 2024 suburban voting trends.


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