Mayor Kenney to Sign Pay Equity Bill

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Mayor Kenney’s support for the pay equity bill hasn’t wavered over the last week. He’s expected to sign the bill into law on Monday, the Inquirer reports.

Kenney made it clear that he will not veto the bill, which will ban employers from asking job candidates what they earned in the past. And he’s made it clear that he’ll sign the bill in the face of opposition. Comcast threatened to lob a lawsuit at the city over First Amendment claims, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce has argued that the bill would create a bureaucratic hassle for businesses that rely on wage history to make decisions about job candidates.

“We just wanted to make sure that all the legal aspects of it were tight before we signed it,” Kenney said. “We may get sued, we may not. But Council passed this measure by a unanimous vote, and I see no reason why I shouldn’t sign it.” Read more »

Philly’s Biggest Losers of 2016

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Now that the last shreds of wrapping paper have been vacuumed up and the good dishes are finally put away, we revisit our time-honored tradition of taking a look back at the year and the losers, miscreants, and ne’er-do-wells it spawned. (For a more optimistic view of Philadelphia, consider Holly Otterbein‘s Biggest Winners of 2016.)

Ed Rendell

The once-lovable former champion of the everyman now spends his time being largely irrelevant and making facepalm-worthy comments in places like the Washington Post. But when you’re pulling in a cool $5,000 each month to do virtually nothing for a casino in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you probably don’t care. Read more »

The Philly Ballot Questions You’ll See on Election Day 2016, In Plain English

Photo by

Photo by

We know what you’re thinking: Who in God’s name cares about ballot questions when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are up for election? It’s true. The presidential race makes these proposals look as important as the choice between taking a nap and watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But the truth is, it will take just 10 minutes to learn everything you need to know about next week’s ballot questions. And one of them is kind of shady!

Below, we list the questions as you’ll see them in the voting booth, as well as how officials described them “in plain English.” Then we broke them down into really, really plain English.
Read more »

Councilman Derek Green Introduces Bill Addressing Gayborhood Racism

Councilman at Large, Derek S. Green, Esq.

Councilman-at-Large Derek S. Green, Esq.

On the heels of the October 25th Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations hearing on Gayborhood racism, City Councilman-at-Large Derek Green introduced companion bills on Thursday that would tie a business’s ability to retain its commercial activity license to its adherence to the city’s existing Fair Practices Ordinance. Read more »

OPINION: Black City Officials Should Speak Out Against Gayborhood Racism

City Council President Darrell Clarke

City Council President Darrell Clarke

It has been nearly two weeks since a video leaked of ICandy owner Darryl DePiano repeatedly using the n-word among his peers. Since then, it has been revealed that one of the named victims during DePiano’s racial tirade was Ricky Peterson, a former black employee of ICandy who no longer feels “comfortable going back to the Gayborhood.”

But despite numerous boycotts and protests that have taken place before and since this incident, black elected officials in Philadelphia — both City Council members and state legislators — have not spoken out publicly against this particular act of racism and potential discrimination in the city.

Read more »

How a Council Bill Requiring More Parking Could Backfire

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

PlanPhilly reported yesterday that the City Planning Commission and a number of community groups are having a rough time coming to terms with a bill that would increase the amount of off-street parking developers are required to provide when they build new houses and apartments.

If you’re someone who has ever struggled to find parking in the city, the bill might strike you as a good idea. More off-street parking for residents means more on-street parking for everyone else, right? Well, maybe. Maybe not. And in the long run, it could make parking more difficult and housing more expensive. My former colleague Ashley Hahn has the whole thing in a nutshell right here, but here it is in an even smaller nutshell. Read more »

Henon: “To My Knowledge,” the FBI Hasn’t Contacted My Office

Photo via City Council's Flickr

Photo via City Council’s Flickr

Thursday was City Council’s first meeting of its fall session, which also marked the first day that Councilman Bobby Henon, whose office was raided by the FBI a month ago, had to face a scrum of reporters.

In case you haven’t been following HenonWatch 2016 over here at Philly Mag, we’ve been trying to get him to answer questions about the FBI raid on August 5th. That was the same day that the feds searched the home of John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, the leader of IBEW Local 98, the union that also pays Henon as a consultant. We’re all still sort of in the dark about the nature of the investigation, and Henon hasn’t been turning the lights on. Read more »

Yes, Black Lives Matter Has an Agenda — and Philadelphians Helped Write It

Last week, | Photo by Maria McGeary

Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrated on Broad Street during the Democratic National Convention last week. | Photo by Maria McGeary

Don’t say Black Lives Matter doesn’t have an agenda.

The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 50 organizations around the country that represent African-Americans, released a six-point platform on Monday. It includes demands for reparations, adequate education funding, the end of the death penalty, and the decriminalization of drugs.

At least two local groups are part of that coalition: the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice and the Philadelphia Student Union.

“This is a huge milestone. We needed to take it to the next level,” said Asa Khalif, leader of the Pennsylvania chapter of Black Lives Matter and a member of the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice. “We really needed as Black Lives Matters activists to come in solidarity and say, ‘This is where we stand. This is our list of demands, so there is no misunderstanding.'”
Read more »

WATCH: Supercut of Darrell Clarke Attacking Donald Trump

Last week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign opened its first field office in North Philadelphia, near Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

City Council President Darrell Clarke spoke at that opening, and he spoke at length (well, 90 seconds) about Donald Trump while rallying the troops. We here at Philadelphia magazine figured you might enjoy that 90 seconds, so we made a supercut of all of Clarke’s comments about Trump. Enjoy!

Kudos to City Council for Standing Up to the Powerful Soda Lobby

Rev. X

Rev. James Hall Jr. | Photo via Philadelphians for a Fair Future

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Rev. James Hall Jr. Hall is the pastor of Triumph Baptist Church in Germantown.)

Philadelphia City Council said yes to historic, heroic legislation last week. Three- and four-year-olds who have been on wait lists will now have access to quality pre-K. Children who go to school too hungry or traumatized by neighborhood violence to learn will now have access to resources right in their community school. Neighborhood libraries, rec centers and parks that have long suffered from neglect will now be rebuilt. However, many Philadelphians have not heard about these programs that will be supported by the soda tax because the same soda industry lobbyists who have been lying to residents for months with claims of “grocery taxes” have only ramped up their deceitful tactics in recent days. Read more »

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