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    • Students at Cecil B. Moore Rec Center during the announcement of a $100 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to improve civic spaces in Philadelphia, November 2016 (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Rebuild team reveals specifics on site selections and nonprofit roles; Council skeptical

In the months before Jim Kenney became the mayor, the project that would become Rebuild started up as data-driven research, taking stock of the city’s universe of parks, rec centers, libraries,…

    • City permit desks in the Municipal Service Building | Steve Ives, EOTS Flickr Group

Council supportive of higher city permit fees, funds to support L&I, Historical Commission

The Philadelphia City Council is considering increasing fees across the board for most licenses and permits. That might seem like a potentially contentious proposition, inspiring pushback from the business community. Instead,…

    • Zoning notification diagram, 2016 RCO Fact Sheet

Councilman Henon proposes changes to RCO requirements and zoning notice

On Thursday Councilman Bobby Henon introduced legislation to tweak the regulations governing the city’s Registered Community Organizations (RCOs). A product of the 2012 zoning code, RCOs are geographically-specific organizations that developers…

    • Christine Knapp, Office of Sustainability, testifies at a City Council hearing on the environment, March 2017 | Catalina Jaramillo / PlanPhilly

Environmental leaders urge City Council to put climate change on ‘front burner'

“Climate is already changing,” said Liz Robinson, executive director Energy Coordination Agency of Philadelphia (ECA), at a Philadelphia City Council hearing held this Wednesday. “As we can all see from the…

    • Eviction hearing in City Council, March 20, 2017

Council hearing examines evictions, substandard housing, and possible solutions

William Church didn’t look at ease in City Council’s high-ceilinged chambers. The 65-year-old former Marine experiences what he calls “extreme anxiety,” he informed the gathered politicians deliberately. Church also needs an…

    • Residents of the Grays Ferry neighborhood attended a Civic Engagement Academy hosted by the Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations at the Williams Temple CME Church. (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

Philly's Civic Engagement Academy expanding to meet booming demand

Since late November, the city's Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service has received at least one request per day from people interested in volunteer opportunities—a rate that far surpasses the…

    • City Hall | (c) Bob Bruhin, EOTS Flickr Group

Putting Philadelphia’s $149 million pension fund loss into context

It is not hyperbole to blame Philadelphia’s underfunded pensions for the city’s high taxes, dirty sidewalks, potholed-filled streets, and struggling schools. Every dollar the city has to…

    • New Year's Eve fireworks | NewsWorks (file)

City Council considering increased fees for permits and licenses

On Thursday Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a bill to retool the Department of Licenses & Inspections fee regimen. The bill would modestly increase many fees across the board, ranging from…

    • Boardwalk Construction on Schuylkill Banks

What does Trump’s infrastructure executive order mean? No one really knows.

Somewhat lost among the flurry of executive orders signed by President Donald Trump last week was one “expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects”.  Some infrastructure…

    • 9th Street Market: Tortilleria and Talluto's, and customers of every ethnicity | Domenic Vitiello
Eyes on the Street

What does unauthorized immigration and sanctuary mean for Philly’s revival?

Community Contributor Domenic Vitiello makes the case for why immigration of all sorts is important to Philadelphia’s revitalization and what believing in being a sanctuary city means. Vitiello studies immigration and…

    • Council President Clarke, Managing Director Mike DiBerardinis, Janet Haas of the William Penn Foundation, and Mayor Jim Kenney at Rebuild grant announcement in November 2016. | Emma Lee/WHYY

Council President Clarke airs concerns with Rebuild initiative's proposed structure

As the Kenney administration enters its second year, one big policy issue on the horizon will be the mayor’s $500 million commitment to reinvest in the city’s parks, libraries, and recreation…

    • Two Flags | Michael Klusek, Flickr

Investor green card program that has greenlit Philly’s building boom faces uncertain future

Not all immigrants arrive tired, poor, or huddled in masses. Some are quite wealthy and rely on a program that trades green cards for massive investments—foreign dollars that have helped spark…

    • Willis Hale row at 17th and Jefferson | David Swift, EOTS Flickr Group

Council considers permit fees to support Historical Commission

On Thursday morning, three City Council members introduced legislation to bolster funding for the city’s overburdened Historical Commission. The bill, backed by Blondell Reynolds Brown, Mark Squilla, and Al Taubenberger would…

    • N. 9th and W. Dauphin

Land Bank properties shouldn't accrue stormwater fees

When the legislation enabling the Philadelphia Land Bank was crafted a few years ago lawmakers apparently forgot an important detail: not charging stormwater fees on the properties held by the Lank…

    • The Commission has placed the current fire house at 101 W. Highland Ave. on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, ensuring protection against future alterations.

Ballot question on borrowing $184 million for city capital needs

Your attention is no doubt fastened on the electoral showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, or perhaps the Pennsylvania Senate race. But this Tuesday Philadelphians will also have the chance…

    • Photo illustration of advertising, as proposed for 1515 Arch | Interstate Outdoor Advertising, Tantala Associates

Art Commission rejects proposal to use city office buildings as billboards

A proposal to use the city’s Municipal Services Building and One Parkway as advertising backdrops met with bitter opposition at the Art Commission’s Wednesday meeting. The proposal comes three years after…

    • Benjamin Franklin Bridge - January 20, 2013. Paul Drzal.

Governor Wolf to veto DRPA reform bill over senate confirmation of appointees

Governor Tom Wolf will veto a bill passed Tuesday aimed at reforming the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) over a single provision that would give the Pennsylvania State Senate confirmation power…

    • Shells | Jukie Bot, EOTS Flickr Grou

Henon bill targets chronic problem property owners

On Thursday City Council will consider a bill introduced by 6th District Councilman Bobby Henon that would give the city’s property maintenance code some additional punch. The legislation would introduce a…

    • Drexel dorm | Michael Klusek, EOTS Flickr Group

Council eyes expansion of prevailing wage law for building service employees

Philadelphia is one of only a handful of municipalities in the country with a prevailing wage law for building services workers, which requires that janitors and security guards employed in large…

    • City Council should approve a new zoning code on Thursday.

Council passed Keystone Opportuntiy Zone expansion, splits in voting down Parking Authority audit

Thursday’s City Council session a slew of new legislation enacted, with the notable exception of a bill that called for an audit of the scandal-plagued Philadelphia Parking Authority. A majority of…

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