Democratic Party Selects State Representative MikeDriscoll to be Nominee in 6th Council District Special Election
Ward leaders in the 6th Council district selected State Representative Mike Driscoll to run in the special election to replace former Councilmember Henon. Council President Clarke has not yet selected a date for the special election.
Vaccine Mandate for City Employees has Been Delayed Again
On Tuesday, a labor arbitration panel made a decision that will force the vaccine mandate for city workers to be pushed back until at least February 11.
Council Members Brooks Introduces New Version of Public Health Emergency Leave Bill
On Thursday, Councilmember Brooks introduced her third version of a Public Health Emergency Leave bill. This bill would allow workers to receive up to 40 hours of paid leave to recover from COVID-19 or to take care of a family member, and businesses with 10 or more workers would be required to comply. If passed, this law would sunset one year following the effective date of the ordinance. It is scheduled to have a hearing on February 14.
Councilmember Green Introduces Ethics and Election Reform Package
Last week, Councilmember Green introduced five bills that would call for increased transparency and accountability for local elected officials. This package also introduces a proposal to publicly fund elections. Councilmember Green hopes that these proposals will lead to increased civic engagement and voter turnout.
Airport Cuts Ties with Philadelphia Parking Authority, Potentially Privatizing Parking
Philadelphia’s Department of Aviation now has full control over the operation of parking lots at the airport after paying off over $50 million in bonds. Airport officials say they will now accept proposals for a new operator of its parking lots starting in 2023.
Councilmember Oh Introduces Bill to Repeal Soda Tax
Councilmember David Oh introduced a bill that would repeal the city’s sugary beverage tax after a report from City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart found that much of the money collected goes to the city’s general fund, not specific programs that were supposed to be funded by the tax. While Oh’s bill is unlikely to pass, it does reignite a contentious debate about the tax.
City to Provide Lawyers for Some People Facing Eviction
Tenants facing eviction proceedings in two Philadelphia zip codes will be provided a free lawyer as part of a pilot program following the end of some pandemic-related eviction programs. Greg Wertman, president of the Philadelphia Homeowners Association (HAPCO), said the program would help level the playing field for those facing eviction.
New Members of Police Oversight Commission Announced
Nine Philadelphians were announced as inaugural members of the Police Oversight Commission, a new commission that will oversee the operations of the Philadelphia Police Department. Before their final confirmation to the commission, the new members will hold a Zoom call for community members.
Adara Combs Confirmed as City’s First Victim Advocate
Philadelphia attorney Adara Combs will serve as the city’s victim advocate, a new position that will include assisting victims of crime as well as policy planning. Combs previously served in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office as supervisor of the Juvenile Division.
Philadelphia City Council will hold several hearings in the next few weeks. You can watch the hearings here.
- On Monday, February 7 at 10:00 a.m., the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development will hold a hearing on the diversity and inclusion in contracting by the city of Philadelphia and related public sector agencies.
- On Wednesday, February 9 at 1:00 p.m., the Committees on Finance and Transportation and Public Utilities will have a joint hearing about the sustainability and diversification of Philadelphia Gas Works.
On Monday February 14 at 1:00 p.m., the Committee on Public Health and Human Services will hold a hearing regarding several topics. Legislation concerning the abatement of rats and vermin in properties, the Public Health Emergency Leave bill, and a discussion of the city’s compliance with the Pennsylvania Firefighter Cancer Presumption Act will be included in the hearing.
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