Philly Organizers Urge Chamber of Commerce to Drop Wage Equity Lawsuit

From left: Attorney Rupali Patel Shah with Philadelphia United for Progress; Melissa Robbins, delegate for the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women; and Daisy Cruz, 32BJ SEIU Mid-Atlantic District leader at City Hall.

For the first time since Philadelphia’s wage equity law has come under attack, members of the public came forward on Tuesday to express their support for the legislation. At the same, the advocates — all gathered at City Hall—expressed strong disproval of the 13 city businesses that have attached their names to the Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the law.

“The Chamber and the corporations who stand behind the lawsuit are always on the wrong side of progressive legislation,” Katherine Black, treasurer of the Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women, who helped organize the event told Philadelphia magazine. “They say they care about pay equity but they don’t want anything mandated. They can’t take any scrutiny, and we can’t count on them to do the right thing.”

Black added that most of the 13 businesses and institutions are run by white men and have histories of leadership that lack both women and minorities.

The wage equity law, which was unanimously passed by City Council last year and signed by Mayor Kenney at the start of 2017, was supposed to take effect on May 23 this year and would have prevented employers from asking applicants about past earnings. The law’s intention is to close the pay gap between men and women, the city has said, but the Chamber of Commerce, along with thirteen member businesses, says the law would unnecessarily complicate business operations. Read more »

Mad Music Scientists Combine Drums and Magnets

The 16-drum Drumhenge can be played via strike, MIDI, or theremin.

Chances are, you’ve never seen anything like Drumhenge — a brand new musical instrument composed of 16 drums each of which can be vibrated electromagnetically. The sound is thick and oddly organic — somewhere between whale songs and the Inception soundtrack, maybe? I think we should keep it handy to talk to alien visitors.

Drumhenge was created by musician/artist Peter English and music/tech researcher Jeff Gregorio at Drexel’s ExCITe Center (more on that in a sec). The behemoth instrument makes its debut this Saturday when Chris Powell (of Man Man) and other musicians incorporate it into a live musical performance. After watching this amazing video, I fired off a bunch of questions to English.

I had no idea drums could be used in this way. Where did the idea come from? Read more »

Chamber Says CHOP, Drexel Would Suffer Under Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Law

Rob Wonderling. Image via Twitter.

The Chamber of Commerce has finally opened up about the “broad coalition” of business community members who say they’d suffer if Philadelphia’s new wage equity law takes effect.

In a revised lawsuit submitted this week, the Chamber reestablished its case, which was thrown out by a court on May 31. Common Pleas Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg dismissed the Chamber’s complaint on the grounds that the organization lacks standing, mainly because it failed to name a single member business that’d be harmed.

The Court gave the Chamber 14 days to respond with a revised complaint—counsel for the Chamber responded just in time on Tuesday.

The revised lawsuit still argues that the law violates employers’ First Amendment rights, and would make it harder for companies to do business because salary history is integral to the hiring process. The complaint also posits that Philadelphia will become less competitive as businesses will overlook the city as a place to settle down.

And to strengthen its case for standing, the complaint also names just thirteen out of over a thousand of the Chamber’s member companies, including Philly behemoths like Drexel, CHOP and Comcast.

“The Ordinance faces opposition from abroad cross-section of businesses in the city—including prominent women-owned companies, rapidly growing small businesses, and established large firms, who collectively have created tens of thousands of jobs across all sectors,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint organizes the companies according to how they’d be harmed by the law:  Read more »

Drexel Frat Suspended for Five Years

Drexel’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house via Google Maps

A Drexel University fraternity has been suspended for five years.

Tau Kappa Epsilon, located at 3421 Powelton Ave., was already temporarily suspended earlier this month amidst a sexual assault investigation. Drexel officials say the five-year suspension is unrelated to the sexual abuse allegations and is instead a result of the fraternity’s disregard of the school’s alcohol policy. Read more »

Report: Drexel Police Investigating Second Frat for Sexual Assault

drexel frat

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house via Google Maps

A little more than a week since Drexel University suspended a fraternity amidst a sexual assault investigation, a second frat is allegedly being probed for a reported rape.

Campus police told 6ABC that the alleged incident at Pi Kappa Alpha, located at 210 N. 34th Street, was reported this past weekend. No other details have been offered.  Read more »

Drexel Suspends Frat Amid Sexual Assault Investigation

Drexel’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house via Google Maps

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

Drexel University has suspended a fraternity under investigation amid two sexual assault allegations.

The university has suspended the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house (known as TKE), located at 3421 Powelton Ave. Officials say the incidents are alleged to have occurred between April 28th and May 4th.  Read more »

Tickets On Sale Now For The 2017 Philly Chef Conference


Once again, Drexel and its school of hospitality and sports management is holding their Philly Chef Conference. This time around, it’s happening on Sunday and Monday, March 5 and 6, at Drexel University.

For the past couple years, Foobooz has been covering these events because Drexel has done something special with them–offering a split program that provides value both to the public (generally during the first day’s sessions) and to the industry (during the second). It’s a conference put together by chefs, for chefs, and while it deals with certain issues that concern the general public, it does a lot more to speak to the professionals in the city.

It’s also a very small, intimate kind of conference–usually kept to around a hundred or so attendees each day–so it’s important to know that tickets are on sale right now, and they go VERY quickly. Below, we’re going to discuss some of the guests coming to this years event, and how the sessions will shake out, but if you’ve been to one of these before and are just here for ticketing information, you can score yours right now by visiting the 2017 Chef Conference website. Registration for Day One (the public sessions) is $25. Day Two (industry only) will run you $125.

Read more »

11 Things You Might Not Know About Drexel University

Drexel's Bossone Research Enterprise Center. Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

In case you somehow missed the cake and balloons, Drexel University turned 125 this year. To celebrate, two Drexel profs, Richardson Dilworth (grandson of the two-time Philly mayor) and Scott Gabriel Knowles, have put together a comprehensive history of the school, with chapters on everything from its architecture to its sports teams, its Greek life to its role in the civil rights movement and relations with adjacent neighborhoods. Building Drexel: The University and Its City, 1891-2016 is published by Temple University Press. Here are 11 things you might not know about Drexel, recently named by U.S. News & World Report one of the top 500 universities in the world. Read more »

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