OPINION: Pa. Democrats, Quit Blaming Stop-and-Go Stores and Fault Yourselves

Image: Google Maps.

Welcome to Prohibition Philadelphia, 2017: the town where Democrats apparently still believe — almost 90 years after American gangster and black-market-liquor entrepreneur Al Capone did a stint at Eastern State — that booze and speakeasies are to blame for our city’s ills.

Last week, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, along with a cadre of roughly 30 community members armed with folding chairs, decided to take a “stand” against stop-and-go stores — mini-convenience stores, delis, and gas stations that also sell alcohol — in a campaign she’s calling “Fit 30.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Alex Deering

Alex Deering

Alex Deering is a Democratic committee member in Philadelphia’s 16th Ward, Division 6. We spoke with the rising civic leader about his political aspirations and being out in the black professional scene. Read more »

OPINION: Philly’s Soda Tax Is Shaping Up to Be an Epic Flop

It’s been six months since the city’s soda tax (or, more accurately, the sugary beverage tax) was implemented — and it’s off to a rocky start.

The city is currently $20 million short of its projected $46 million goal to close out the 2017 fiscal year, and based on the most available month’s numbers, it doesn’t appear as though they will reach it.

But I’m not surprised by any of this. By the time last June when Mayor Kenney pulled a fast one on City Council to strike the deal, I had already warned about the consequences in lower-income communities.

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OPINION: Macron May Have Won the French Election, but Le Pen Was Victorious

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen poses for a selfie as she leaves her campaign headquarters Sunday, May 7, 2017 in Paris. | AP Photo/Francois Mori

When Marine Le Pen lost her bid to become the next president of France, many Americans saw former investment banker Emmanuel Macron’s victory as that country’s rejection of a Donald Trump–like candidate. If the comments on Facebook were any indication, Le Pen for these Americans was a “far right” candidate every bit as dangerous as the current administration in Washington.

Of course, the media’s labeling of Le Pen as a far-right candidate was an attempt to scare people into not voting for her. It was much like calling someone a racist so that people will no longer pay attention to the one who has been labeled. Read more »

OPINION: Why Rich Negrin Should Be Our Next DA

Rich Negrin

Richard Negrin | Photo courtesy of Mark Nevins

Next Tuesday our city will have the chance to vote for a new district attorney amid a federal investigation that’s put a dark cloud over the office. With eight candidates running (seven from the Democratic Party), voter turnout might increase in comparison to previous low-turnout cycles. I predict, however, that voter turnout will still not exceed 20 percent because this is not a national election cycle. Further, I predict that three regions will dominate the turnout: Center City, the suburban Northwest, and the working-class Northeast. Given those factors, a thorough process of elimination will leave you with only one candidate able to secure enough votes to come out on top: former city managing director Richard Negrin.

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UPDATED: Council Unanimously Passes Bill Prompted by Gayborhood Racism Complaints

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After passing out of City Council’s Health and Human Services committee in a unanimous vote last month, an anti-discrimination bill introduced by Councilman Derek Green that would strengthen penalties against Philadelphia businesses found to discriminate against their employees, tenants, or customers was passed, again unanimously, by Council on Thursday.

“I am thankful that Council has once again demonstrated its allegiance to a culture of inclusion and acceptance in the City of Philadelphia, and hope that businesses and residents alike are reminded that discrimination is unacceptable,” Green said in a statement. Since introducing this bill in November 2016, Green has consistently cited incidents of Gayborhood racism as the genesis of his interest in amending the Fair Practices Ordinance.

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Sims on Ethics Investigation: “My Appearances Are Consistent With State Law”

State Rep Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission has launched an investigation of state Rep. Brian Sims after a complaint was filed late last year alleging that he might have committed “potential Ethics Acts violations” by accepting honoraria for certain speaking engagements. The existence of the investigation was first reported by PGN. Read more »

OPINION: Brian Sims, Stop Chasing the National Spotlight and Focus on the Gayborhood

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

If you frequent the Gayborhood, by now you’re aware of the ongoing conversations surrounding racial discrimination in the community. You’re most likely also familiar with the recent turmoil at the community’s leading LGBTQ nonprofit, Mazzoni Center. Regardless of your personal thoughts on these issues, you can’t ignore the impact both have had on the Gayborhood.

But oddly enough, it doesn’t appear as though our only openly gay state legislator finds these issues worthy of urgent concern. State Rep. Brian Sims, whose legislative district encompasses the Gayborhood, has been curiously hands-off when it comes to engaging in these public disputes in his own backyard. Read more »

OPINION: Trump’s First 100 Days Weren’t a Damn Comedy

trump, syria

President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, April 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This Saturday, Donald Trump will be celebrating his 100th day as the 45th president of the United States.

So far, there’s been no action on impeachment, Congress continues to operate per usual, and the country hasn’t exactly turned itself upside down. And while we still haven’t seen Trump’s tax returns, got to the bottom of his suspicious ties with Russia, or figured out his health-care plan, it appears as though he would have been our top pick regardless. Read more »

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