SEPTA to Ban Controversial Ads

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

SEPTA won’t be taking any more anti-Islam ads — but it won’t take any ads for guns or tobacco products on local buses, either.

The transit agency’s board is expected today to approve a new policy sharply restricting the types of ads riders will see while on local buses and trains. Among the types of content being banned: Anything involving politics, viewpoints about “economic, political, religious, historical or social issues,” content that is “disparaging, disreputable or disrespectful” to various individuals and groups, tobacco and gun advertising, and anything that “that threatens the
public image of SEPTA.” Read more »

Did Obama Help Produce Philly’s New Sick Leave Law?

President Barack Obama

Did President Obama help produce Philly’s new sick leave law?

That’s what USA Today suggests in a story that assertss the president has done an end-run around Congress to produce progress on progressive priorities. The paper notes that Mayor Nutter vetoed two versions of the bill from council — but that Philly is one of several cities to pass a paid sick leave law since the president called on municipalities to do so in his State of the Union address. Read more »

Gov. Wolf Wants to Decriminalize Marijuana

wolf - marijuana

Good news for N.A. Poe: Gov. Tom Wolf says he is in favor of decriminalizing pot.

“I believe, for a number of reasons, that we ought to decriminalize marijuana use,” Wolf told Pittsburgh TV station WPXI. “I think our prisons are over-crowded as a result of people going to jail for reasons that, you know, we break up families for reasons that we shouldn’t.”

He added: “We destroy lives and we make it hard to find employment. So often right now possession of a small amount is a felony and an employer looks at that and dismisses (the person) automatically.”

Read more »

Voters Seek Fresh Blood in At-Large Council Race

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The theme of Tuesday night’s At-Large City Council primary election? Voters are ready for fresh blood — but perhaps not full-fledged insurgents.

On the Democratic side, two incumbents — and one sort-of incumbent — lost. Two incumbents survived, though only in the middle-of the pack. But the two of the three leading vote-getters were Derek Green, a former aide to Councilwoman Marian Tasco, and condo king Allan Domb, who has been at home in the city’s establishment for years and was aided by half-million dollars of his own money. Hardly rebels, even if Domb wanted to portray the result as an upset.

The winners? Green and Domb; incumbent Council Members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee; with well-known education activist Helen Gym appearing — with just a few precincts left to count — to capture the fifth and final spot. Read more »

No More Iniquity Inequity!

woman stealing

Shutterstock.com

 

Last month’s “Equal Pay Day”—the day that’s set aside to demonstrate how much extra work women must do to earn what men earn—touched off a tsunami of back-and-forth over the causes of inequality in the workplace. Do women make less money than men do because they take time off to have kids? Choose careers with less stress and responsibility (and easier college majors)? Are battered down by the male patriarchy?

These questions are way too thorny for me to answer. And anyway, I’m much more outraged by a new report that highlights a differential just as disturbing when it comes to gender relations. It provides incontrovertible proof that women lag far, far behind men when it comes to employee theft. Read more »

City Council Votes to Make Permanent the Office of LGBT Affairs

helen fitzpatrick

Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs Helen FItzpatrick at this week’s IBA LGBT Business Leaders Luncheon. | Photo courtesy of JPG Photography

This afternoon, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill to make permanent the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, which is currently headed by Director Helen Fitzpatrick.

But the move isn’t completely official yet. In order to pass, the bill requires a change to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, which must be signed by the  Mayor and voted on by the public in the November general election. The ballot measure will read:

Read more »

House Resolution Seeks to Honor Homophobic Pro-Life Advocate John Patrick Stanton [UPDATED]

Swearing in

Via Shutterstock.

The late John Patrick Stanton was called “the father of Philadelphia’s pro-life movement” by LifeSiteNews.com and the “pro-life movement’s leading light” by Catholic Philly. He lead radical anti-abortion protests outside the Planned Parenthood location at 12th and Locust for years. His protests were often so disruptive that he was arrested. Now, the PA House is attempting to pass a resolution to honor Mr. Stanton as a “humanitarian, activist and founder of the pro life movement in this Commonwealth,” despite information distributed to members of a House committee alleging that he was violent and homophobic toward to patients, community members, and Representative Brian Sims. Read more »

Lawyers in AG’s Office May Unionize

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Here’s another headache for Attorney General Kathleen Kane: The lawyers in her office may unionize.

“The office’s 189 attorneys – minus executive-level staff – have been invited to a May 27 meeting with representatives of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania union in Harrisburg to discuss general ‘workplace rights’ issues,” PennLive reports. “A flyer announcing the meeting and obtained by PennLive promises ‘a frank discussion’ about the following topics: voice at work; job security; and protection against arbitrary treatment at work.” Read more »

Philadelphia Sick Leave Law Starts Wednesday

city hall sick leave

Believe it or not, Philadelphia’s sick leave law goes into effect Wednesday.

Why would that be so hard to believe? Consider: Mayor Nutter vetoed sick leave legislation twice in recent years before undergoing a conversion on the issue. And opposition to such worker-friendly requirements is so intense that Republicans tried to block Philly’s bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature. (They’ve only passed the Senate with their bill; even if they get the House, they’d have to do so in sufficient numbers to override a likely veto from Gov. Tom Wolf.)

Now, according to some estimates, 200,000 Philadelphia workers stand to benefit. Read more »

« Older Posts