The Brief: Ethics 2.0 in the Mayoral Agenda

Mark Headd

Mark Headd

In 2015, should a mayoral candidate’s ethics platform be taken seriously if it doesn’t address open data?

Mark Headd, Philadelphia’s former Chief Data Officer, argues that open data is a key part of any ethical government.

Almost three years ago, Mayor Nutter signed an executive order establishing the city’s open data policy. Headd writes on his blog:

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Education Firebrand Helen Gym Lands Big Union Endorsement, Donation for Council

HELEN-GYM-alex-hogan-flickr-940x540

It’s official: The firebrand education activist Helen Gym says she is running for Democratic City Council At-Large in the May 19th primary.

Though she hasn’t made a formal announcement yet, she’s already got one major endorsement under her belt: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ executive board voted Thursday to support her.

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The Brief: Anthony Williams Scores Another Union Endorsement

Willie Brown

TWU Local 234 president Willie Brown

SEPTA’s Transport Workers Union Local 234 announced Thursday it is endorsing state Sen. Anthony Williams for mayor.

“Throughout his career, Tony Williams has dedicated himself to fighting for the good of all Philadelphians,” said TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown in a statement. “He has been on the front lines working to bring people together. He’s a consensus builder and problem solver with the skills that will be required of the next mayor to meet the challenges of this city.”

Williams also already has the endorsements of the carpenters union and the Teamsters in the bag.

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Victory Fund Endorses Out Candidate Paul Steinke for City Council

Paul Steinke

Steinke when he announced his run for City Council in January.

This week, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund (GLVF), an organization that provides financial support to LGBT people in politics, announced that it would be getting behind out City Council At-Large candidate Paul Steinke. GLVF Senior Vice President Denis Dison explains the organization’s choice in a release sent out today:

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Jim Kenney: Philly Must “Take Control of Its Own Destiny”

Jim Kenney Campaign Launch

Nearly a half-century ago, Jim Kenney walked through Philadelphia City Hall’s doors for the first time as a 9-year-old kid to watch his father, a firefighter, get promoted to captain. The ceremony was held in the mayor’s reception room and attended by then-Mayor James Tate.

On Wednesday, Kenney stood in the same room and launched his campaign for mayor.

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Jim Kenney: Pa. Could Sell Legal Pot in State Stores

jim kenney philly

A day before he was scheduled to formally announce his candidacy for mayor, Jim Kenney spoke about pot decriminalization to dozens of students at Temple University.

Kenney, a former City Councilman, appeared at the school on Tuesday as part of a panel titled “The Decriminalization of Marijuana and Its Effects on Policing,” alongside representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department, Temple Police and Temple Student Health Services.

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Legislation Aims to Free Up Food Trucks

Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla has introduced two bills to loosen the city’s regulations of food trucks. The bills would allow food trucks to legally vend on private property and to vend in areas zoned for high density commercial use (CMX-4 and CMX-5 for the zoning geeks) and industrial lots as well.

The bills will also separate mobile food vendors out of the city’s definition of street vendor, which also regulates any “peddler”, “hawker”, “huckster” or “transient vendor.” This will allow future bills to legislate (and free up) mobile food vendors directly.

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Council At-Large Challengers Rival Incumbents in Cash Game

Philadelphia will elect at least one new City Council at-large member this year. And unless hell freezes over, it will be a Democrat.

No fewer than 12 Democrats are currently running in the at-large race, and more potential candidates, including education activist Helen Gym, Council aide Derek Green and attorney Sharif Street, could jump in any day now.

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After First Round, Kenyatta Johnson Vs. Ori Feibush a Cash Draw

Johnson: PA House of Representatives; Feibush: Jeff Fusco

Johnson: PA House of Representatives; Feibush: Jeff Fusco

The race for Philadelphia’s 2nd Council District seat is proving to be one of the best political showdowns this year.

Incumbent 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and challenger Ori Feibush were neck and neck in fundraising last year, according to campaign finance reports released Monday.

Johnson raised about $330,400 in 2014, while Feibush raised just a hair less, nearly $327,000, during the same period. Feibush didn’t have to look far for most of that money: He gave $246,500 in cash contributions (including a $75,000 loan) to his own campaign.

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