OPINION: The City Tolerates the FOP’s Lack of Respect for Black Lives

police

John McNesby of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” After the recent shakeups in the city’s political scene, our politicians have been unusually reserved about confronting what has now become one of the biggest obstacles to anything progressive in Philadelphia — the Fraternal Order of the Police.

For some odd reason, it’s hard for elected officials to criticize the city’s police union: Do so in any form and you might be mistaken for denigrating their service to the community. But there is a difference between condemning the job and holding it accountable — welcoming the latter should be required of any group that receives taxpayer’s dollars. Read more »

Martina White: The It Girl of Red Philadelphia

Martina White at Aldo’s Pizzarama in Somerton. Photograph by Neal Santos

Martina White knew this was coming.

Less than two weeks before the most shocking presidential election in modern history, the Republican lawmaker was sitting at a gym in Northeast Philadelphia, debating Matt Darragh, a Democrat trying to unseat her from the General Assembly.

Then, just as expected, Darragh said the words that have followed White since day one: Donald Trump. He accused her of exploiting the “same sentiments” as Trump and embracing his “direction for the United States.” An activist in the audience saw a connection, too: Standing between two basketball hoops, she waved a sign that read STOP TRUMPMARTINA. Read more »

LISTEN: Did Philly Democrats Commit Voter Fraud in the 197th District?

Cheri Honkala at a press conference in 2016. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

The latest episode of Pushback, the podcast co-produced by Philly Mag and WURD, is now available. Listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or check it out below.

U.S. Representative Bob Brady, who has been the head of Philadelphia’s Democratic Party for three decades, has been besieged this summer with allegations that he bribed a political opponent in 2012 to drop a would-be primary challenge against him.

But a swirl of corruption accusations around Brady is nothing new. In fact, an ongoing federal lawsuit pits Brady’s party apparatus against plaintiffs asserting that there was election fraud in a special election to fill a seat in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives. Read more »

The Democrats’ Battle Plan for the Philly ’Burbs

Photograph by Clint Blowers

Ryan Costello is being a good sport. He really is.

The Republican Congressman is holding his second town hall this year in his suburban district. And it’s only April. (Compare that to Pat Toomey: He’s done nada, nowhere, since 2015.) Two hundred constituents slide into uncomfortable wooden benches at the historic Chester County Courthouse to participate in the airing of grievances; some have donned The Resistance uniforms. “How about that t-shirt!” Costello says to a light-haired woman in a “Nevertheless She Persisted” tee. “And my sweatshirt says the ‘Women’s March’!” she shoots back. Read more »

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.

Read more »

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