The Brief: Another Water Main Broke in West Philly
1. It’s the summer of water main breaks.
The gist: A 12-inch water main broke in West Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, according to 6ABC. It led to interruptions in SEPTA’s trolley service, and traffic had to be shut down in some areas surrounding 33rd and Market streets. Not much information beyond that is currently available in media reports.
Why it matters: Water main breaks have been in the news a lot lately. Remember the 130-year-old main that burst in West Philly last month and swallowed up cars? Well, it turns out that the ruptures are as big of a problem as the headlines make them seem: As of June 15th, water main breaks were majorly on the rise in Philadelphia.
2. The leader of the state’s Democratic Party is calling it quits.
The gist: Pennsylvania Democratic Party chairman Jim Burn is resigning, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “Burn, in a YouTube video e-mailed to state Democratic Committee members, said his decision was driven by the controversy that flared last summer when he refused to step aside to let Tom Wolf, then the Democratic nominee for governor, install his own party leader,” writes the Inky’s Chris Brennan.
Why it matters: After months of squabbling, it looks like the state’s top Democrats have finally reached an accord. That should mean that Pennsylvania will have a stronger, more united Democratic Party. Wolf is pushing for Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery County Democrats, to be the Pennsylvania Dems’ next leader.
3. Philadelphia’s GOP mayoral nominee is taking a controversial — but possibly attention-grabbing — position on immigration issues.
The gist: Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey hasn’t gotten much attention in the press. (There are lots of reasons for that. One of them, probably, is that she was a Democrat as recently as January.) She has also raised very, very little money ($10,000 as of last month). That could potentially change, the Inquirer reports, now that she has taken a position on a national issue. Bailey said she would not allow Philadelphia to remain a “Sanctuary City” for immigrants if elected mayor. “Providing a safe harbor in Philadelphia for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes is the wrong choice,” she said.
Why it matters: Bailey’s strategy could cut both ways. She could potentially attract donors from outside of the Philadelphia region by making immigration an issue in the mayoral race. But she could also alienate lots of liberal and even moderate voters if she is seen as aligning herself with national Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz, who is trying to take away federal funding from sanctuary cities.
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