Broad Street Brief: T-5 Days Until Election Day

November 3, 2023

City Hall

Councilmember Lozada Advocates for Stronger Law Enforcement in Kensington

Councilmember Quetcy Lozada (District 7) is advocating for Philadelphia police to more aggressively enforce drug laws in Kensington — a neighborhood in her district that is home to one of the nation’s largest open-air opioid markets. Her goal is to curb not only the rampant illegal drug use, but also related issues like its impact on local businesses and contributions to gun violence. Cherelle Parker, who has also advocated for increased police presence throughout her mayoral campaign, is likely to be an ally in this endeavor if she performs as expected in next week’s election.

Proposed Charter Amendment Would Offer Legal Protection to RCOs

Last week, Council President Darrell Clarke introduced legislation that would secure Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) legal protection from the City for their involvement in zoning matters. Because it proposes amending the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, if it passes City Council, the measure would be put to Philadelphia voters on the ballot in April 2024.

Election Update

GOP vs. WFP, City Council Candidates on the Issues, Election Guide

This time next week, Philadelphia will have elected its historic 100th mayor, as well as several new City Council members and other municipal and statewide positions. The Philadelphia Inquirer is keeping tabs in real time on the elections including the tight competition between Philadelphia’s Republican and Working Families Party (WFP) City Council candidates, where City Council candidates stand on Philadelphia’s top issues, and a no-frills guide to everything on the ballot.

Around Town

Cozen O’Connor’s Michael Heller, Joe Hill Among 2023 Most Influential Philadelphians

Philadelphia Magazine released its annual list of most influential people in the city, including Cozen O’Connor CEO and Executive Chairman Michael Heller and Public Strategies Senior Principal Joe Hill.

Meet the 15th President of the Nation’s First Zoo

This week Jo-Elle Mogerman began her tenure as the 15th president and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo, becoming the first Black woman to hold the prestigious position. The Philadelphia Inquirer sat down with Dr. Mogerman to discuss her experience in conservation and animal care, her vision for redefining America’s urban zoos, and her plans to steward the beloved institution.

Former City Budget Director Assumes Executive Director Role at PICA

The City’s former budget director Marisa Waxman is now the executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), a state-controlled agency that was created in the 1990s to oversee Philadelphia’s finances.

Philadelphia Bail Fund Ceases Operations Indefinitely

The Philadelphia Bail Fund, a nonprofit that grants loans to those who cannot afford their bail payments, ceased operations indefinitely late last week. The fund was founded in 2018 to combat the inequity of Philadelphia’s cash bail system.

City Announces Winning Design for New Harriet Tubman Statue

This week the City’s Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy announced that a design by sculptor Alvin Petitt has been selected for a new, permanent statue to honor Harriet Tubman on the northeast apron of City Hall. The sculpture, titled “A Higher Power: The Call of a Freedom Fighter,” is expected to be completed by 2025.

Suburban Spotlight

Crime “Spillover” From Philadelphia Central Focus of Delaware County DA Race

As Philadelphia struggles to deal with an uptick in violent and quality-of-life crimes, neighboring Delaware County is experiencing a “spillover” effect. Public safety is center stage in the county’s district attorney race between Democratic incumbent  Jack Stollsteimer and Republican challenger Beth Stefanide-Miscichowski.

Meet the Candidates Running for Montgomery County Commissioner

Four candidates — two Democrats and two Republicans — are vying for all three spots on Montgomery County’s Board of Commissioners, a body responsible for a $500 million budget and the county board of elections. In recent years, Democrats have maintained the majority, but only time will tell whether Republicans will be able to flip control.


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