Why Is Bob Brady Still in Charge?

Photo | Colin Lenton

Photo | Colin Lenton

Bob Brady, the U.S. Congressman and boss of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party, is six-foot-one and has a massive barrel chest. His head and neck are also strikingly thick; his voice is almost as gravelly as Tom Waits’s. In another life, he would have been a bodyguard. So when his black SUV whizzes past a couple police officers in Washington, D.C., they spot him easily. “Good morning, Congressman!” they shout, looking sincerely pleased to see him.

Brady grins. “The cops work for me,” he says. “The cops, the zoo, the garden, Smithsonian Institution, every employee, sergeant-at-arms, the courts, every one of them.” He is the ranking Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, which funds every office and panel in the chamber, manages many Capitol employees, and, apparently, oversees the National Zoo. The officers are smiling on this sunny morning in March, he says, because he got them a raise. “They’d all vote for me for Speaker!” Brady boasts. He’s used his committee to make many friends. In 2010, he says, back when the Democrats controlled Congress, a Republican named Kevin McCarthy asked Brady to pass legislation out of his committee. “I gave him a bill. I gave him two bills. I gave him three bills. And he never forgot that.” Today, McCarthy is the House Majority Leader. Read more »

Can Clinton and Trump Supporters Agree on Anything?

Left to right: Kecia Hillard, Democrat; Roger Cho, Democrat; Michelle Mattus, Republican | Photographs by Claudia Gavin

Left to right: Kecia Hillard, Democrat; Roger Chu, Democrat; Michelle Mattus, Republican | Photographs by Claudia Gavin

The most rancorous presidential election in modern history has left voters in the Democratic stronghold of Southeastern Pennsylvania stunned and the country bitterly divided. But just how divided? We wanted to know what would happen if we got people with different opinions together in the same room just to talk — and listen — to each other. Could there possibly be any common ground? We sought out a few more-or-less-average voters representing a wide swath of our readership, demographically and politically, and asked them to speak frankly about what was important to them as they went to the polls and how they felt in the aftermath. In early December, Kecia Hilliard, 51, manager of an LGBT-friendly senior apartment building in Mount Airy, Michelle Mattus, 41, a Ridley Park insurance broker, and Roger Chu, 27, a Collingswood researcher, agreed to sit down with Philadelphia magazine editor Tom McGrath to test the waters. Their conversation has been edited for space and clarity. — Edited by Brian Howard Read more »

The No-B.S. Guide to Trump’s Impact on Philadelphia

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with customers during a visit to Geno's Steaks, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Philadelphia | AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with customers during a visit to Geno’s Steaks, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Philadelphia | AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

The Proposal: Deny Federal Funding to Sanctuary Cities

In Philadelphia, as in other sanctuary cities, police won’t honor requests by the feds to detain undocumented immigrants who aren’t facing other charges. Trump has said he’ll withhold all federal money from such cities. That could mean the immediate loss of some $400 million a year in federal grants and operating revenue, and more if Trump tries to strip funding for SEPTA, the Housing Authority, and other semi-public agencies.

Is it realistic? Cutting funding to the nation’s biggest cities could have political consequences. The Kenney administration has said that Philly’s policy is a commitment to the Fourth Amendment, suggesting it might take legal action if Trump follows through.  Read more »

Trump: The View From York County

Pennsylvania's countryside | drnadig/iStock.com

Pennsylvania’s countryside | drnadig/iStock.com

Joe Sacco, a 74-year-old retired police officer, always knew Donald Trump would take Pennsylvania: “Talking to people, you could just feel that everybody was for him.” During the campaign, even churchgoers in Sacco’s hometown in rural southern York County got behind Trump. “That shocked me in the beginning,” he admits. “They told me, ‘We have a preacher. We need a president.’” Union guys in town — another group that was supposed to be anti-Trump — liked him, too: “They were all wearing Trump hats.”  Read more »

One of Us: Erin Elmore

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Erin Maryn Elmore. It’s pronounced like the county near San Francisco where Sausalito is. My parents were there when they were pregnant and said it was the most beautiful place they had ever been.  Read more »

Day in the Life: Palette Group Founder Nate Nichols

Nate Nichols | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

Nate Nichols | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to work out. I get to my studio by 8:30. The first thing I do there is boil water for pour-over coffee. I only drink single-origin varieties from Central or South America. ReAnimator Coffee is the office favorite.  Read more »

How Philly-Based Five Below Became a Billion-Dollar Company

Five Below CEO Joel Anderson, who oversees the company’s 523 stores | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Five Below CEO Joel Anderson, who oversees the company’s 523 stores | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Twenty minutes to go until a brand-new Five Below is scheduled to open its doors, and the line is already 30 people deep.

It’s a cold Friday morning at the beginning of November, and on the drive to the Roosevelt Boulevard shopping center where this grand opening is scheduled, I have a pretty clear picture of what the store is going to look like. I’ve been to a handful of these stores in the past few weeks, and I know the new one will be rectangular and fluorescent and packed with merchandise, like the chamber of one of those claw-machine games at the bowling alley.  Read more »

« Older Posts