Half of City Council Just Got Cybersquatted

The 5th Square's website.

The 5th Square’s website.

Go to MarkSquilla.com, and you won’t find a word about the South Philadelphia Councilman bearing its name. JannieBlackwell.com, too, has nary a sentence about the longtime Councilwoman representing parts of West Philadelphia.

Instead, both websites redirect visitors to 5thSq.com — the site of a new urbanist PAC known as “The 5th Square.”

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Q&A: Marian Tasco Explains Why She’s Quitting Council

Marian Tasco | City Council Flickr Page Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2015/01/13/marian-tasco-retiring-council-darrell-clarke-statement/#c5SFdluhl6uj7R4V.99

Marian Tasco | City Council Flickr Page 

A day after Council President Darrell Clarke announced that he won’t be running for mayor, veteran Councilwoman Marian Tasco came out with the huge news that she won’t be seeking reelection this May. Tasco is endorsing Democratic State Rep. Cherelle Parker, who was formerly her top aide in Council, to replace her.

We talked to Tasco Tuesday afternoon about her long career, why she’s endorsing Parker, and whether her announcement had a little something to do with Clarke’s.

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Marian Tasco to Retire From Council

[UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.] City Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Tuesday issued the following statement on 9th District Councilwoman Marian Tasco’s announcement that she will not seek reelection this year:

“Councilwoman Tasco’s fierce advocacy for the most vulnerable Philadelphians has shaped her long and admirable career in public service. She is a spirited ally and friend who will be greatly missed. I am thankful to have known and worked with her.

“Marian Tasco is a terrific mentor to women in an arena that has a long way to go toward full inclusion. Councilwoman Tasco has also been so generous to her offer support and guidance throughout my own career in public service. Those who’ve landed on her bad side, such as predatory lenders and payday loan operators, have learned firsthand that she is a formidable advocate. She also has used her strong knowledge of government to help shape the annual budget process.

“It is selfish to be sad at this time, so instead I enthusiastically congratulate Councilwoman Tasco on a well-deserved retirement.”

[ORIGINAL, 8:45 a.m.] Longtime City Councilwoman Marian Tasco is not seeking reelection in the May 19th primary, according to a press release from State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s campaign.

Tasco, a Democrat, represents the 9th Council District in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia. She is currently serving her seventh term on City Council.

Tasco could not immediately be reached for comment.

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City Council Spending $20K on Ads Defending Delay on PGW Sale

In February, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the sale of PGW for $1.86 billion. But City Council has questions, and didn’t review the sale before the summer recess. That delay matters: Since Council hasn’t taken any action yet, UIL Holdings can back out of the proposed sale after July 15.

Now, of course, the latest twist: City Council is spending $20,000 on radio ads defending the delay. Wait, what?

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Philly FIGHT and City Councilwomen Announce HIV Clinic for Spanish-Speakers

Philly FIGHT Executive Director Jane Shull and councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco announce a new HIV clinic at a City Hall press conference this morning.

Philly FIGHT Executive Director Jane Shull and councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco announce a new HIV clinic at a City Hall press conference this morning.

In a forward-thinking move, Philly FIGHT and city councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco announced at a press conference this morning the development of a brand-new HIV clinic that caters to Spanish-speaking Philadelphians.

The clinic will open Dec. 11 at the North Philadelphia Prevention Point space, located at 166 W. Lehigh Ave. It is the first of its kind in the city, and a testament to the growing Hispanic population in Philadelphia. Census data from 2010 demonstrates as much: Philly added 58,683 Hispanic residents in a 10-year period, an increase of 45.5 percent. As a region, it also has the second-largest Hispanic population in the Northeast.

Jane Shull, executive director of Philly FIGHT, says FIGHT applied for a Department of Health and Human Services Special Projects of National Significance grant in February, receiving a response two weeks ago that the department would fund the project. Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez has contributed as, Shull says, “a strong voice for services in the community” — the starring role of “rallying the troops,” so to speak. Read more »