Broad Street Brief: Voters Approve RCO Ballot Question

April 25, 2024

City Hall

Mayor Parker’s Law Enforcement Strategy Part of Larger National Trend

Philadelphia’s political landscape has shifted to embrace law enforcement, with Mayor Cherelle Parker rejecting progressive drug policies, supporting low-level crime arrests, and unveiling a plan to combat the open-air drug market in Kensington. The strategy aligns with a broader trend of Democrat-majority jurisdictions adopting tougher stances on public safety and drug policy.


City Council Takes Aim at Quality-of-Life Issues

City services in Philadelphia, including trash pickup, streetlight maintenance, and illegal dumping enforcement, have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting City Council to push for increased funding to address these quality-of-life issues, particularly in neighborhoods impacted by violent crime. Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s (District 3) “Just Services PHL” campaign seeks to allocate additional resources to tackle blighted properties, abandoned vehicles, and other persistent problems, emphasizing the need for more effective personnel assignments and better resource allocation to improve responsiveness.

City Council Approves Eight School Board Appointees

This morning, City Council voted to approve eight of nine of Mayor Parker’s School Board appointees.

Upcoming Budget Hearings

The full schedule of FY25 budget hearings and a link to watch them can be found here. The following hearings are coming up next week:

  • Office of Property Assessment, Board of Revision Taxes (Monday, April 29 at 1 p.m.)
  • School District of Philadelphia (Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m.)
  • Community College of Philadelphia (Tuesday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m.)
  • Public Testimony (Wednesday, May 1 at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar year. Watch here.

  • A Technology & Information Services Committee hearing on Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m. will include testimony regarding how to effectively implement place-based strategies and appropriate technologies to reduce violence through the targeted investment of resources, services, and environmental improvements.
  • A joint hearing of the Committees on the Environment and Global Opportunities & the Creative/Innovative Economy on Friday, April 26 at 3 p.m. will include testimony regarding the reliability and servicing of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations in Philadelphia.
  • A Rules Committee hearing on Monday, April 29 at 10 a.m. will include testimony regarding various zoning ordinances, including the expansion of an existing mixed income neighborhoods overlay district.

Election Update

Philadelphia, Montgomery County Incumbent State Rep. Boyle Ousted

Former public defender Sean Dougherty defeated incumbent state Representative Kevin Boyle in Tuesday’s high-profile Democratic primary race for Pennsylvania’s 172nd House District (HD). He will face Republican nominee Aizaz Gill in the general election. Meanwhile, a Democratic primary for HD-10 in West Philadelphia is still too close to call, with incumbent Representative Amen Brown leading his closest opponent by less than one percentage point as of Thursday at 2 p.m.

Philadelphia Voters Approve RCO Ballot Question

During Tuesday’s primary election, Philadelphia voters approved a ballot question requiring the City to indemnify Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), allowing legal protections for neighborhood groups involved in zoning matters.

Who is Running for DA in 2025?

District Attorney Larry Krasner is reportedly considering a run for a third term in 2025 — an unorthodox move, as few Philadelphia district attorneys have pursued this path. Former City Councilmember Derek Green is said to be considering a run as well.

Around Town

SEPTA Adds Metro Info to Website, Launches Multi-Rider Feature

SEPTA unveiled new Metro colors and nomenclature on its website, marking the beginning of a two-year transition plan to communicate name changes for subway, elevated train, and trolley lines, aiming to simplify wayfinding and improve rider experience. SEPTA also announced that, starting Monday, Key cards will allow up to five riders to share the same card across all modes of transportation.

Philadelphia Zoo Joins 2026 Children’s World Fair Collaboration

The Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo, and Mann Center for the Performing Arts are collaborating to host a Children’s World Fair in 2026, drawing inspiration from Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exposition. The Fair will engage children in topics like science, technology, the environment, and cuisine.

PHA Unveils First Phase of Bartram Village

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) unveiled the first phase of its Bartram Village redevelopment in Southwest Philadelphia — featuring 64 mixed-income rental housing units including townhouses, apartments, and amenities — with the goal of providing affordable housing options and deconcentrating poverty.

Intercity Bus Stop Could Relocate Again

Intercity bus carriers in Philadelphia may be relocating from their current spot in Northern Liberties by Labor Day, marking the third move in less than a year. A final location has not been confirmed yet, though a parking lot near Front and Spring Garden Streets has been suggested as a potential site.


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