Welcome to The Philadelphia Citizen.
We want to partner with you in something audacious: reigniting citizenship in its very birthplace.
- 21 percent of registered voters showed up to vote in the 2021 primary
- 8.1 percent of Philadelphians describe themselves as active in their neighborhoods (31st of the top 50 cities)
- 23 percent of Philadelphians live in poverty, twice the national average
- 74 percent of Philadelphians with children said they heard gunshots in the last year
And yet the majority of Philadelphia say this city is a “great place to live” and that our best days are still ahead.
What do these statistics mean? That all the great stuff happening in Philadelphia — the restaurant scene, the influx of millennials and immigrants, the vibrant arts community, the life-changing research (the Covid vaccine!), the businesses flourishing while doing good for the community — has happened despite having one hand tied behind our back.
That local democracy is broken, in the city where it was born. That the principles first penned 239 years ago in a basement room at 7th and Market, identifying our most fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while self-evident, are not self-renewing.
The Philadelphia Citizen, a nonprofit, non-partisan media organization has a dual mission: to provide deeply reported journalism that emphasizes solutions that can move our region forward, and to actively reignite citizenship in and around Philadelphia.
We seek to identify our innovators, call out those who stand in the way of progress and shine a light on the next generation of Philly leadership — all while giving Philadelphians the interactive tools they need to become more involved, engaged citizens.
Philadelphia doesn’t just need another news organization. It needs journalism that focuses on solutions that, together, we can help bring to fruition. It needs a movement of citizens who refuse to outsource leadership to a political class long characterized by an insidious transactional culture.
Who are we?
Meet our team on The Citizen masthead.
See our Board of Directors.
Join our team! See current job and internship opportunities.
What sets The Citizen apart?
Media that only chronicles what’s wrong without considering how to fix things is only doing half a job. The Citizen provides context, not just facts, whether in a written article, a short documentary, or through data—the vast sea of available stats on everything from voting records to city contracts. We seek fixes to what ails the city, shine a light on our city’s change agents and demand a new way of thinking from the business-as-usual crowd.
ONE-STOP SHOP FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The Citizen provides practical ways for every Philadelphian to become a more active participant in the life of his or her city. Our Civic Engagement team turns articles into discreet actions; connects problem-solvers to those looking for ways to engage; and helps you find your own path to becoming a truly engaged citizen. Look for ways to make our democracy stronger, do your part to help local schools and teachers and perhaps most importantly, vote on ideas that can move the city forward and come together to brainstorm solutions in real-time.
Connect with the Citizen Social Action team.
A regular program of Citizen events provides Philadelphians the opportunity to participate in real-time, face-to-face (or Zoom’d!) conversations with the disruptors, policy experts and newsmakers who are having a direct effect on the region’s quality of life. The Citizen has hosted
- United States secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg
- Satirical news host John Oliver
- Jay Coen-Gilbert, the father of the international “B Corp” movement
- Authors Piper Kerman, Kiley Reid, Jennifer Weiner and Anand Giridharadas
- Mayors Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, and Randall Woodfin of Birmingham
- Businessman and philanthropist Richard Vague, and many others.
The Citizen’s annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival, originally launched in November 2018, features exciting thinkers and problem-solvers from all over the country for a full day of panels and talks about how to move Philly forward.
See upcoming events.
Sponsor an event.
The Philadelphia Citizen is the region’s only member-supported, nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization with an emphasis on covering civic solutions and stimulating action to move the city forward. As a member, your contributions go directly to supporting this mission.
Become a member.
Corporate sponsors subscribe to The Philadelphia Citizen’s belief that promoting greater civic engagement and informed discourse is a direct route to a better and more productive Philadelphia. They play no role in guiding the journalism produced by the Citizen.
Find out more about becoming a sponsor.
The Citizen Pledge
I am more than a resident of Philadelphia.
I am its citizen.
And I dedicate myself to the betterment of my home.
I will stand while others sit.
I will speak when there is silence.
I will read. I will act. I will vote.
I will challenge authority, and challenge myself.
I will grow and learn. I will seek out inspiration.
And I will become an inspiration to others.
I stand for Philadelphia.
It is my home.
And I am its citizen.
Header photo: Philadelphia on a Half-Tank. Paul Santoleri/City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.