Broad Street Brief: City Council Wraps Up 2023 Session

December 15, 2023

City Hall

City Council Passes Dozens of Bills, Resolutions During Last Meeting of 2023 Session

During their last meeting of the 2023 session — and the final meeting of Council President Darrell Clarke’s tenure — City Council approved dozens of bills and resolutions, including the midyear budget transfer, an end to “unlawful deportations” of non-citizens by local hospitals, a revision to rules and definitions related to nightclubs and private clubs, and revisions to the existing single-use plastic bag ban. The ski mask ban passed earlier this month has become law without Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature.

Impending Inauguration of New Mayor, City Council Members Represents Changing of the Guard

January 2024 will mark a historic changing of the guard in City Hall, with the swearing in of Philadelphia’s first-ever Black female mayor, the first openly LGBTQ+ and immigrant members of City Council, and two Council members representing the Working Families Party. Furthermore, City Council will elect new leadership, with Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (District 2) expected to ascend to the Council presidency. Given the unprecedented amount of turnover, the pressure will be on to make big, lasting change.

Darrell Clarke Reflects on Time as City Council President; Looks Toward His, Philadelphia’s Future

City Council President Darrell Clarke sat with NBC10 Reporter Lauren Mayk in the latest episode of Battleground Politics to discuss the balance of power at City Hall, expectations for the incoming Parker Administration, and his future role — pending state Senate approval — on the State Liquor Control Board.

Around Town

President Biden Highlights Federal Grant for Philadelphia Fire Department During Visit

President Joe Biden made his 16th visit to Philadelphia since taking office Monday to announce the Philadelphia Fire Department’s receipt of a $22.4 million federal grant that will help them build capacity. President Biden also attended his first Philadelphia fundraiser since announcing his reelection campaign. His most recent visit offers a preview of both the strategy and challenges his campaign faces heading into 2024.

Fashion District Mall Operator Files for Bankruptcy

Philadelphia-based shopping mall operator Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), whose portfolio includes the Fashion District in Market East, announced Monday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Philadelphia 76ers Co-Owner and 76 Devcorp Chair David Adelman said the news does not impact plans to develop a new arena for the team in the Center City location currently occupied by the Fashion District.

Penn Names Interim President, Board of Trustees Chair

Following the resignations of Liz Magill and Scott Bok, the University of Pennsylvania named J. Larry Jameson as interim president and Julie Platt as interim chair of its Board of Trustees. Jameson has served as executive vice president of Penn’s health system, as well as dean of its medical school, while Platt currently serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

SEPTA Releases Final Version of Bus Network Overhaul

After several years of research, revisions, and community input, SEPTA released the final version of its Bus Revolution, a complete overhaul of its entire bus network. SEPTA will begin implementing changes to the system, which will include route consolidations to make service faster and more reliable in late 2024.

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