Broad Street Brief: First State of the Schools Address Given

February 1, 2024

City Hall

Council to Consider Bill Trio Aimed at Protecting Renters, Homeowners

City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (District 3) introduced a legislative package that, if passed, would freeze property taxes for eligible residents, strengthen anti-discrimination measures for housing voucher holders, and ensure that payments made by developers to the city “in lieu” of creating affordable units under the Mixed-Income Housing Bonus program go entirely to the Housing Trust Fund. The trio of bills is intended to protect low-income tenants and homeowners from displacement.

Council Committee to Investigate City’s Progress Toward Carbon Neutrality

City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas (At Large) introduced a resolution to allow the City Council Legislative Oversight Committee to investigate Philadelphia’s progress on meeting its goal of zeroing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

New Kensington Caucus to Focus on Improving Neighborhood Conditions

During a news conference on Thursday, City Councilmembers Mark Squilla (District 1), Mike Driscoll (District 6), Quetcy Lozada (District 7),  and Jim Harrity (At Large) — who each represent or live in parts of Kensington — announced the formation of a new caucus focused on improving conditions in the neighborhood. The caucus floated a proposal to seek funding for a “triage center” for police and outreach workers to help get those suffering from substance use disorders off the streets and into recovery programs.

Around Town

Superintendent Watlington, Mayor Parker Deliver Inaugural State of Public Education Address

During Tuesday morning’s inaugural State of the Schools address, Mayor Cherelle Parker emphasized the need for increased funding for public education in Philadelphia, calling it the City’s top priority and expressing support for year-round access to educational opportunities. Superintendent Watlington outlined progress and strategic investments made to date under the District’s five-year “Accelerate Philly” plan, which focuses on areas such as safety, academics, teacher retention, and facility improvements, with a call for collaborative efforts from all sectors of the city to accelerate progress.

The Economic Impact of Unexpected Storefront Vacancies

The closing of several Philadelphia-area Rite Aids has raised concerns about economic development logjams, unexpected vacancies, and potential challenges for commercial landlords who need to replace rents from the broken leases under the bankruptcy court process.

Former Councilmember Oh Begins Role as AACCGP President, CEO

Former City Councilmember At-Large and recent Republican mayoral candidate  David Oh started his new role as president and CEO of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (AACCGP).

Rebuild Funding to Renovate Cecil B. Moore Library

The Cecil B. Moore Library — which serves Sharswood, Strawberry Mansion, and Brewerytown in North Philadelphia — will undergo a $2.6 million renovation thanks to funding from the City’s Rebuild program. The renovations — which are expected to take about a year to complete — will include new HVAC and electrical systems, ADA-accessible bathrooms, the installation of an elevator for better accessibility to the basement community room, and more.

Franklin Institute Celebrates 200 Years by Honoring Nine Scientists, Engineers

The Franklin Institute announced its annual science and business leadership awards, recognizing researchers in areas such as plant energy harnessing, children’s language learning, and internet infrastructure, with winners, including Lisa Su and Paula Hammond, addressing advancements in semiconductors, drug delivery, and ovarian cancer treatment.


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