Broad Street Brief: Parker Admin Hits Ground Running

January 4, 2024

City Hall

Mayor Parker Takes Office, Signs Three Executive Orders

On Tuesday, Mayor Cherelle Parker was sworn in as the city’s first-ever female executive. During the historic ceremony at the Met Philadelphia on North Broad Street, Mayor Parker referenced her 100-Day Action Plan, which outlines the administration’s vision for creating a safer, cleaner, and greener Philadelphia while promoting economic opportunities for everyone. Mayor Parker also marked her first day in office by issuing three executive orders, including the declaration of a public safety emergency and the removal of college degree requirements for certain city jobs to diversify the workforce.

Councilmember Johnson Ascends to City Council Presidency, Cementing Transition in Legislative Body Leadership

After securing the votes last fall, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (District 2) succeeded Darrell Clarke as City Council president. Council President Johnson is widely known for his commitment to anti-violence initiatives, quality of life issues, property tax relief, and managing development, and is expected to collaborate closely with the Parker Administration. City Councilmembers At-Large Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Isaiah Thomas were elected majority leader and majority whip, respectively.

How City Council’s Four Newest Members Hope to Address Climate Change

This year, City Council welcomes four new members, Nina Ahmad (At-Large), Rue Landau (At-Large), Nicolas O’Rourke (At-Large), and Jeffery “Jay” Young (District 5), each of whom aim to help the city lessen the impacts of climate change throughout the region. Policy ideas include transitioning away from the city’s overreliance on fossil fuels, incentivizing use of public transportation and expanding bike infrastructure, and mitigating the effects of worsening heat, extreme rain, and flooding.

City’s New Police Commissioner Sworn In

Kevin Bethel was sworn in as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, succeeding Danielle Outlaw. His primary focus will be community engagement and addressing the city’s gun violence epidemic.

Around Town

New School Opens in North Philadelphia

The Thomas M. Peirce School opened Wednesday, the first new public elementary school in North Philadelphia in over 70 years. The school features a multi-million dollar, 77,000-square foot building with state-of-the-art learning facilities, and will serve 500 students from pre-K through 5th grade.

Suburban Spotlight

President Biden to Visit Valley Forge on Saturday Campaign Stop

President Joe Biden will deliver his first major campaign speech of 2024 in Montgomery County on Saturday, the three-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Valley Forge was intentionally selected as the backdrop for a speech expected to emphasize the existential threat President Biden believes former President Trump poses to American democracy.

Plastic Bag Bans Come to Philadelphia Suburbs

A ban on single-use plastic bags has gone into effect in Upper Merion Township, with a similar ban going into effect in Lower Merion later this month. Philadelphia City Council recently updated its own existing plastic bag ban with additional fee requirements for paper bags; however, the bill was pocket vetoed by outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney and will not become law.

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