Broad Street Brief: Council Investigates City’s Carbon Neutrality Efforts

March 7, 2024

City Hall

A Preview of Mayor Parker’s First Budget Proposal

Mayor Cherelle Parker will present her first budget plan next week, which is expected to focus largely on her campaign promises to make Philadelphia safer, cleaner, and greener. Her proposal may include increased funding for the Philadelphia Police Department, support and stronger accountability measures for violence prevention programs, and the expansion of the Philadelphia Taking Care of Business commercial corridor cleaning program.

City Council Investigates Emissions Reduction Efforts

During a Legislative Oversight Committee hearing Monday, Office of Sustainability officials described current emissions reduction efforts — which have focused primarily on “low-hanging fruit” and budget-neutral changes — while advocates urged City Council to fund home repairs and transition away from natural gas in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In a similar vein, Councilmember Nina Ahmad introduced a resolution during today’s Council meeting to allow a joint hearing of the Committees on Environment and Global Opportunity and the Creative Innovative Economy to investigate the reliability and accessibility of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city.

City Council to Evaluate Outdoor Dining Regulations, Challenges

Last week, Councilmember Rue Landau introduced a resolution calling for a public hearing to review Philadelphia’s outdoor dining regulations, aiming to assess their impact and identify challenges that current regulations pose to business owners. The city experienced a “streetery” boom during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in large part to more relaxed temporary regulations.

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar year. Watch here.

  • A Committee on Public Health and Human Services hearing on Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m. will include testimony regarding proposed solutions to racial disparities in Philadelphia’s maternal mortality rate.
  • A Committee of the Whole hearing on Monday, March 11 at 1 p.m. will include testimony regarding the reappointment of James Aros, Jr., to the position of Chief Assessment Officer of the Office of Property Assessment.
  • A Committee on Public Health and Human Services hearing on Tuesday, March 12 at 1 p.m. will include testimony about a proposed requirement that the Managing Director’s Office publish regular reports concerning the City’s use of opioid antidote and illegal camping activities.

Around Town

Philadelphia Flower Show Opens

United by Flowers, the 2024 iteration of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Philadelphia Flower Show, opened this weekend, showcasing vibrant floral arrangements and landscape designs. The show will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through March 10.

Temple Athletics Receives Historic Gift

On Tuesday, Temple Athletics announced the receipt of its largest-ever donation, courtesy of graduates Debbie and Stanley Lefkowitz, which will endow the athletic director position.

PWD Launches Public Listening Sessions Regarding Infrastructure Improvement Plan

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) began public listening sessions on Monday to discuss its $2.5 billion 25-year Water Revitalization Plan, aiming to upgrade infrastructure and improve resilience in response to climate change and contamination threats.

Philadelphia Nonprofit Secures Federal Funding to Use AI to Find Alternative Applications for Approved Medications

University of Pennsylvania immunologist David Fajgenbaum  secured $48 million from a new White House health agency to propel his nonprofit Every Cure, aiming to expedite the discovery of treatments for rare diseases using AI technology, inspired by his own success story battling Castleman disease.

Two LGBTQ Leaders Temporarily Detained by State Police

Over the weekend, the City’s Executive Director of LGBT Affairs Celena Morrison and her husband were detained by Pennsylvania State Police after a traffic stop, with video of the interaction posted online. An internal investigation regarding the trooper’s conduct is underway.


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