Mayor Nutter: Don’t Worry, Be Happy About the Pope’s Visit!


Maybe you’re not all that jazzed about Pope Francis’ visit next month. You’re not sure how you’re going to get to work, what with the road closures and limited SEPTA service. Or you’re unconvinced the event is worth all the trouble that the city is going to. Or you just don’t like crowds.


That was the general message of a press conference Wednesday held by Mayor Michael Nutter, World Meeting of Families executive director Donna Farrell, and other officials. “Now is the time for all of us to get excited!” said a totally stoked Farrell. “Now is the time of all of us to declare, ‘I’ll be there!'” Read more »

Finally, a One-Stop Shop for All Your Questions About the Pope’s Visit


Pope Francis | neneo / Mayor Nutter | Jeff Fusco

There will soon be a one-stop shop for all of your #PopeinPhilly needs.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced Thursday that the World Meeting of Families is publishing a comprehensive guide for residents about Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia. It will include information on the event itself, road closures, security measures, transportation options and more.

The “Papal Visit Playbook” will be available here on August 24th at noon. Residents can register at that website to receive an alert when it is posted online. Read more »

The Weekly Brief: Who Would Replace Kathleen Kane?

Photo by the Associated Press

Attorney General Kathleen Kane

1. Lynne Abraham Wants to Be Pennsylvania’s Next Attorney General

The gist: Last week, after months of speculation, Attorney General Kathleen Kane was finally hit with perjury, official oppression, criminal conspiracy and other serious charges. A grand jury determined that she illegally leaked information to the Philadelphia Daily News in order to sabotage a political enemy. Kane is adamant that she is innocent and refuses to resign for now, but Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on Kane to step down. If she quits, who would take her place? Former Philadelphia District Attorney and mayoral candidate Lynne Abraham is reportedly interested in the gig, according to PoliticsPA. Read more »

Au Contraire, Mayor Nutter: The Pope Panic Does Make Sense


Mayor Nutter’s op-ed in the Daily News — defending planning for Pope Francis’ visit and saying, in essence, “I got this” — would’ve been mighty reassuring if not for one thing: It came within a day of reports that the city’s rank-and-file police officers have no idea what their assignments will be during the visit.

“The [Fraternal Order of Police] has repeatedly inquired as to the plans for the Papal visit as it relates to our members and their working conditions,” FOP President John McNesby said in a Monday letter to his membership. “The FOP is concerned about an apparent lack of planning and notice to our members.”

Can’t anyone here play this game? Read more »

If Fattah Goes Down, Who Would Voters Replace Him With?

Clockwise from the top: Mayor Michael Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams and state Sen. Vincent Hughes.

Clockwise from the top: Mayor Michael Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Seth Williams.

It finally happened: Philadelphia Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was indicted on corruption charges Wednesday.

Already, political insiders are wondering if the congressman will resign in the coming months or simply choose not to run for reelection in 2016. If either scenario unfolds, who would replace him? And how would that work?

The question has been bubbling up ever since two members of Fattah’s inner circle pleaded guilty last year. You can expect more names than ever to be bandied about now.

Some of the bigger ones include Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams, Councilman Curtis Jones, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, state Sen. Vincent Hughes, state Sen. Anthony Williams, state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brian Sims, School Reform Commission member Bill Green, former mayoral candidate Doug Oliver, ward leader Daniel Muroff and real estate analyst Dan Kessler. That’s not even a full list. Check out some other possibilities here.

Watching some of these candidates confront each other in an open election would be a sight to see, but there’s no guarantee that’s what would happen. Indeed, there are five distinct scenarios that could unfold here. Let’s run them down.
Read more »

Mayor Launches Free-Book Program for Low-Income Kids

This afternoon, Mayor Nutter announced the launch of Playstreet Book Club, a pilot program that aims to keep children from low-income families reading while they’re out of school for summer.

“We know that children, particularly low-income children, can lose up to two months of reading skills during the summer, putting them behind before the new school year begins,” Mayor Nutter says in a press release. “By providing children with free books to read during the summer, we hope to instill a lifelong love of reading, help them to build their own libraries at home and give them the skills they to be successful in the classroom. … We know that children need access to nutritious meals, enriching activities and supportive adults all year long in order to reach their full potential. The Playstreet Book Club connects children to all three of these elements at one location during the summer months.”

Read more »

The Brief: What Will Happen to the Homeless During the Pope’s Visit?

Pope Francis | giulio napolitano /

Pope Francis |

1. Organizers say they are carefully considering the needs of homeless people as they make preparations for the Pope’s visit.

The gist: On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter got in a physical confrontation with a homeless man who said that he was worried about the city’s plans to sweep the Benjamin Franklin Parkway of the homeless during Pope Francis’ visit in September. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that organizers say that is not quite what will happen: Instead, everyone — including the homeless — will be required to leave the Parkway before the Pope arrives for security reasons, but then will be allowed back inside through gates. The World Meeting of Families has also formed a committee whose aim is “to protect the dignity and rights of people who are homeless, to make sure there is no detrimental treatment,” Project HOME’s Will O’Brien told the Inquirer.

Read more »

Nutter’s International Trip Hopes to Lure Businesses to Philly

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mayor Michael Nutter is once again leaving Philadelphia — this time going to Frankfurt, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel in an effort to lure businesses to Philadelphia.

In Germany from Tuesday-Friday, the mayor and a small delegation will join Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann to sign a sister-city agreement. The goal is to increase economic and cultural collaboration between the two cities. (It’s Philly’s first sister-city agreement since 1992. Others are Tianjin, China; Florence, Italy; and Tel Aviv.) Read more »

Rich Negrin: My Day Begins and Ends With Gun Violence

Richard Negrin | Photo courtesy of the Managing Director's Flickr

Richard Negrin | Photo courtesy of the Managing Director’s Flickr

Richard Negrin, Philadelphia’s managing director, gets the question over and over again: “What’s your typical day like?”

A few weeks ago, he decided to pick a random day in advance, document his experiences rigorously throughout the 24-hour period (with the help of an intern, of course), and then write about them on his blog. When someone asked him the question in the future, he could point them to his essay. He settled on June 17th as the date.

His day, he said, ended up being a horrifyingly perfect “snapshot of what it’s like to be a big-city managing director” — as well as just “what it’s like to be an American.”

That’s because it began and ended with gun violence.
Read more »

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