Here’s an Animated GIF of Mayor Nutter Dancing

Yesterday, a group of 10 local nonprofits — known as Get Hype Phillywere awarded a $5 million grant from GlaxoSmithKline. The money will go to promoting healthier lifestyles for kids in Philadelphia.

“Not only will Get Hype Philly make our young people healthier,” GSK VP Donna Altenpohl said at the event, “it will also help them to lead their peers, their families and their communities to make their neighborhoods a model of a happy, healthy and thriving environment.”

Sounds pretty good. Almost as good was this video posted to GSK’s Facebook page showing Michael Nutter dancing at the event. Read more »

Milton Street: “I’m Running, I’m Running!”

Photo Credit: Holly Otterbein

Photo Credit: Holly Otterbein

By Milton Street’s standards, it was a pretty boring affair.

Street, the city’s favorite gonzo candidate, kicked off his campaign for mayor Thursday in a perfectly normal-looking church in North Philadelphia. There was no singing. No coffin as a prop. No funeral parlor.

Perhaps Street was too busy with more serious matters to orchestrate one of the kooky publicity stunts he’s known for. The first words out of his lips were about the news the Inquirer recently broke about his campaign: Street has been registered as an Independent since 2012, according to city records, though he is running as a Democrat in the May 19th primary election. That’s, um, a big no-no. If a candidate or a voter files a legal challenge, they’ll almost certainly succeed in kicking him off the ballot.

“I’m running, I’m running!” he declared defiantly at the front of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church. “I don’t see that keeping me from being on the ballot.”

Read more »

City Council Won’t Debate Property Tax Hike Until After the Election

Philadelphia City Council  | Photo Credit: City Council's Flickr page

Philadelphia City Council | Photo Credit: City Council’s Flickr page

The Philadelphia City Council must decide in the next few months whether to support Mayor Michael Nutter’s plan to raise property taxes by more than 9 percent to fund the cash-strapped schools.

That’s not an easy choice for legislators to make during an election year.

Lucky for them, that debate won’t take place until after the May 19th primary, in which 15 of 16 Council members are up for reelection. That’s because Council has scheduled its hearing on education funding for May 26th.

Read more »

Mayoral Campaign’s First TV Ad Bought by Special Interests

[Editor’s Note: This is a continuing story that will be updated throughout the day.]

Today marks a turning point in Philadelphia’s mayoral race: The first TV ad is on the airwaves. The spot is a soft-focus introduction to former City Councilman Jim Kenney, “one of Philadelphia’s most progressive voices,” says the narrator.

But Kenney’s campaign isn’t behind the ad. Instead, a labor-affiliated super PAC known as “Building a Better PA” is responsible for it. That makes this a turning point in city politics, too: This appears to be the first time in a Philadelphia mayor’s race that the inaugural TV ad of the season was aired by an outside group, rather than a candidate. In other words, it’s a super PAC, not Kenney himself, introducing the candidate to many voters.

Read more »

Michael Nutter Wants 16 Times as Many Police Body Cameras Next Year

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke | AP

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke | AP

For the past few months, a police district in North Philadelphia has equipped about 30 cops with body cameras as part of a pilot program. If Mayor Michael Nutter gets his way, police around the city will be provided with an additional 450 body cameras in the coming year.

Nutter has set aside an extra $500,000 in his proposed 2015-16 budget to purchase, store and install the cameras.

Read more »

Third Annual United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Masked Ball


On Friday night, Philadelphia hosted its 3rd Annual United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The UNCF provides scholarships for 60,000 students attending 900 colleges and universities. It also provides financial assistance to 38 higher-education schools in its network, all of which are historically black colleges and universities. The Masked Award (Mankind Assisting Students Kindle Educational Dreams) honorees this year were Craig L. Adams of PECO, who was the co-chair of the inaugural gala, Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA General Manager, and former school superintendent Dr. Constance Clayton. There were several notables in the audience, including legendary singer Billy Paul, Tuskegee Airman Pierce Ramsey, Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller, First Lady of Philadelphia Lisa Nutter, Mayor Michael Nutter, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF, and Stephanie Humphrey, QVC host and mistress of ceremonies for the evening’s ceremony.
Photos after the jump »

44 Taxes We Pay as Residents of the Great City of Philadelphia

Governor Wolf introduced his budget on Tuesday. And in it he proposed an increase in spending, no pension reform, no long-term deficit reduction and no cuts in costs. And although he’s lowering business and real estate taxes, there are proposed increases in our state income and sales tax. Mayor Nutter introduced his budget yesterday. And he wants a 9 percent property tax increase (oh, and good luck with that). Now the mayoral candidates are talking about a plastic bag tax.

And why not? We Philadelphians are used to taxes. It’s no big deal.

In fact, depending on whether you live and/or work and/or run a business in the city, you might be paying as many as 44 different taxes, fees and tariffs every single year — maybe more! Don’t remember them all? Who could blame you! So here’s a list to refresh your memory. And please let me know if I’m leaving anything out. I’m definitely forgetting something, right? Read more »

The Brief: Michael Nutter’s “Historic” L&I Investment

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Watchdogs have said for years that Philadelphia’s Licenses & Inspections department is dangerously underfunded.

It was a victim of the recession, enduring cutbacks in staff under Mayor Michael Nutter. During his budget address Thursday, Nutter proposed an additional $5.5 million for the department next fiscal year, which would translate into 43 new employees. By 2018, he said L&I plans to boost its staff by 20 percent.

Read more »

5 Things Michael Nutter Wants You to Know About His Property Tax Hike

Matt Rourke | AP

Matt Rourke | AP

Mayor Michael Nutter proposed a budget Thursday that would total $3.95 billion, expand the use of police body cameras, most likely eliminate the need for a tuition hike next year at the Community College of Philadelphia, and increase spending on the city’s long-underfunded Licenses & Inspections department.

But all eyes went to only one part of his plan: a 9.3 percent increase in property taxes. Nutter wants to use that to give $105 million to the city’s cash-strapped schools.

Read more »

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