Best of Philly

Best Activist

2022 Best Action Hero

Ya Fav Trashman

Electeds may talk about cleaning up the city, but Terrill “Ya Fav Trashman” Haigler is out there doing it. (See: the 325 tons of trash he’s taken off Philly streets.) In two years, he’s gone from rogue sanitation worker to full-blown activist, business owner, nonprofit founder, writer (he authored a children’s book on environmental justice) and, yes, Philly favorite. Wanna fix Filthadelphia? Put this man in charge already! Read More »

2022 Best Teen Spirit

Tom Quinn

For seven years running, Quinn, a teacher at Central High, has been funneling young folks’ passion and energy into the civic arena via Philly Youth Votes, the nonpartisan group of teachers, activists and students he organized to register 18-year-olds to cast ballots. The fruits of that labor? A stronger democracy, especially this year: Pennsylvania ranks first among states where young voters have the biggest impact on Senate and gubernatorial races. Who you campaigning to, Dr. Oz? Read More »

2022 Best No-B.S. Citizen

Jamal Johnson

Nobody can question Johnson’s steadfast commitment to demanding change when it comes to gun violence. The Marine-turned-activist has staged a hunger strike, marched to Washington, and put his life and body on the line to urge the city to reverse its lackluster response to an epidemic that’s continuing to devastate. If “no-B.S.” was in the dictionary, Johnson and his unapologetic advocacy would be pictured there. Read More »

2022 Best Coming-Out Party

PHL Pride Collective

Just when you thought change couldn’t come any faster in the city’s ever-evolving LGBTQIA community, PHL Pride Collective told everyone to hold their beer. After last year’s dismantling of the original (and arguably antiquated) Philly Pride Presents, this diverse group of community activists organized one of the most intersectional, inclusive and overall-badass Pride celebrations ever. Those trying to reimagine their problematic programming (looking at you, Mummers) should take notes from them ASAP. Read More »


2021 Best Anti-Gun-Violence Activist

Tyrique Glasgow of Young Chances Foundation

This survivor-turned-advocate has been on the ground, building support for fighting gun violence even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Some other activists rattle off lots of stats, but he’s doing the work, creating coalitions with a diverse group of organizations in a valiant effort to get to the systemic causes of a crisis too many write off as intractable. Read More »


2021 Best Voice For the Voiceless

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad

This community organizer worked tirelessly to free the cremains of slaves and, later, MOVE victims from the Penn Museum. After writing several bombshell op-eds for the Inquirer that exposed decades of trauma and misuse, Muhammad changed how the city talks about those who have left us. Read More »