There’s a Way to Get Republicans Out of City Hall Once and for All

L-R: City Commissioner Al Schmidt, City Council members David Oh and Al Taubenberger.

In the past year, I’ve become less and less impressed with both major political parties. I was never a Republican: I’m too black, too gay, and don’t own enough property to feel as though those less fortunate are taking something from me. But I’m also not exactly proud to say I’m a Democrat: Being forced to be loyal to a party that has used fear-mongering tactics to keep blacks like me voting for them—while never, ever following through on promises to disrupt the status quo—is getting tired. Republicans can’t acknowledge their party’s aggressive nationalism, while Democrats can’t produce a salient message other than “we’re not as bad as the other guys.” Read more »

Philly Just Unveiled Its First Memorial to an African-American Figure

Photo by Helen Amstrong

A 12-foot bronze statue of Octavius V. Catto — 19th century educator, baseball player, abolitionist, and civil rights activist — was unveiled today on the south apron of City Hall. The memorial, called “A Quest for Parity,” is the first monument to a single African-American person on public space in Philadelphia. Read more »

OK, Who Stole the City’s Lawnmower, Dell Server, and $16K GPS?

An image shared by the City Controller’s office on social media on Wednesday.

We know that many of you have probably taken things home from your employer that you most likely shouldn’t have. Some boxes of pencils for back-to-school supplies. Those Keurig pods. A few reams of paper here and there. But that’s all child’s play compared to what’s gone missing from the City of Philadelphia. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Rafael Alvarez Febo

Rafael Alvarez Febo

Rafael Alvarez Febo is the community economic development coordinator for the Office of City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez. We chat with the long-time social justice advocate on being out in politics, defending DACA, and dismantling stereotypes about the Latinx queer community. Read more »

Philly to Trump’s Big New State Dept. Hire: Your Company Owes Us $100K

Michael Karloutsos’s Water Works Restaurant and Lounge closed in 2015, when the Cescaphe Event Group took over. | Photo by Melissa Kelly

Michael Karloutsos, a political heavy-hitter who owned Philadelphia’s upscale Water Works Restaurant and Lounge for nearly a decade, landed a high-level job at the U.S. Department of State in July.

Perhaps that means his company can finally pay off the giant bill that City Hall says it owes.

In January 2016, an arbitrator issued a $403,903 award against Karloutsos’s now-shuttered restaurant, arguing that it had failed to pay years’ worth of utilities and gross sales fees to the city. The Kenney administration told Philadelphia magazine that Water Works hasn’t forked over $109,345 of that award.

Karloutsos declined to comment, but his wife and co-owner, Anastasia Karloutsos, said Water Works owes only $38,019 and will satisfy that debt by early 2018. Read more »

LGBTQ Event of the Week: First Annual Pride Month Kick-Off at City Hall

The First Annual Pride Month Kick-Off is at City Hall on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The event will reveal a new city Pride flag.

For its festive inclusion and momentous engagement, this week’s LGBTQ Event of the Week is the First Annual Pride Month Kick-Off at City Hall. The Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs and Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs want you to come out for a “celebration of resilience, diversity, and strength of our Philly LGBTQ community.” The event will feature performances by Wordz the Poet Emcee, Kaleia Brown, Denice Frohman, and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. Expect to hear remarks from the mayor and the major unveiling and raising of a brand new Pride flag that will be flown in the city. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 8th, at City Hall. All members of the community are encouraged to attend. Read more »

UPDATED: Council Unanimously Passes Bill Prompted by Gayborhood Racism Complaints

CityHall-940x540

After passing out of City Council’s Health and Human Services committee in a unanimous vote last month, an anti-discrimination bill introduced by Councilman Derek Green that would strengthen penalties against Philadelphia businesses found to discriminate against their employees, tenants, or customers was passed, again unanimously, by Council on Thursday.

“I am thankful that Council has once again demonstrated its allegiance to a culture of inclusion and acceptance in the City of Philadelphia, and hope that businesses and residents alike are reminded that discrimination is unacceptable,” Green said in a statement. Since introducing this bill in November 2016, Green has consistently cited incidents of Gayborhood racism as the genesis of his interest in amending the Fair Practices Ordinance.

Read more »

City Council Passes Immigration Resolution

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Amid heated national debate about so-called sanctuary cities, Philly is making its immigration stance loud and clear.

City Council has passed a resolution this week “recognizing every person’s fundamental right to earn a living, regardless of immigration status, and affirming the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to protect and secure a safe and dignified workplace for all.”  Read more »

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