Broad Street Brief: Leaders Promote City Jobs; November Election Updates

August 24, 2023

City Hall

Mayor Kenney, Labor Leaders Promote City Jobs, Benefits Amid Ongoing Staffing Shortage

On Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney joined several of Philadelphia’s top organized labor leaders to promote thousands of open city jobs — including positions in Parks & Recreation, Licenses & Inspections, and more — as well as the health care and union benefits that come with them. Like many cities, Philadelphia’s municipal government has been experiencing a severe staffing shortage, though some municipal offices, like the Philadelphia Police Department, have recently found success thanks to a recruitment-focused advertising blitz.

Councilmember Driscoll Running for Council President

Last week, City Councilmember Mike Driscoll (District 6) officially threw his hat in the ring for city council president. He is the fifth councilmember to express interest in succeeding current Council President Darrell Clarke, who will be retiring at the end of his term in December.

Election Update

Philadelphia Politicos Celebrate Annual “Brady Bash” Down the Shore

Longtime Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady hosted his annual “Brady Bash” in North Wildwood last weekend, where hundreds of elected officials, political leaders, and operatives from Philadelphia toasted the continued success of the city’s Democratic establishment ahead of the November general election.

Philadelphia Republicans Aim to Block WFP City Council Candidates From Ballot Again

Last week, Philadelphia’s Republican Party appealed a judge’s ruling allowing Working Families Party (WFP) City Council candidates, incumbent Councilmember Kendra Brooks (At-Large) and Pastor Nicolas O’Rourke, to remain on the ballot despite allegedly having filed their respective statements of financial interest improperly. Republican and WFP candidates are vying for two available at-large City Council seats that are reserved for members of minority parties.

Meet the Republican Candidates Running for City Council

The 2018 Democrat turned Republican, City Council candidate Drew Murray prides himself on not being able to pass either party’s ideological “purity test.” Meanwhile, his running-mate Jim Hasher hopes to leverage his 35 years of experience as a real estate broker to advocate for Philadelphia’s small business owners. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently showcased these two aspiring councilmembers’ platforms, legislative priorities, and qualifications.

Around Town

Xylazine Continues to Complicate Treatment For Kensington’s Sufferers of Substance Use Disorder

Xylazine — an animal tranquilizer colloquially known as “tranq” and increasingly found in Philadelphia’s open-air drug market supply — is wreaking havoc on those suffering from substance use disorder in Kensington, making outreach and treatment more challenging than ever before.

Landlord-Tenant Office Resumes Evictions with Revised Guidelines

Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant office resumed tenant lockouts this week after a monthslong hiatus of the controversial for-profit system. Following two landlord-tenant officer-involved shootings and subsequent lawsuits, the office introduced new guidelines to curb the use of force during evictions.

Federal Hurricane Ida Recovery Funds May be Spent on Home Upgrades, Repairs

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s allocation of $50 million in Hurricane Ida recovery dollars, Philadelphia homeowners will be able to apply for funds to make flood resistant upgrades and repairs.

SEPTA Makes Several Key Improvements to Service, Accessibility

SEPTA unveiled several projects to improve services and increase access throughout Philadelphia, including the expansion of the red bus-only lane pilot in Center City; the return of renovated green Route 15 trolleys; the piloting of contactless fare payments; the completion of ADA accessibility upgrades to North Philadelphia’s Susquehanna-Dauphin station on the Broad Street Line; and the extension of free SEPTA Key program to city employees.


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