News

Anuj Gupta Wants Your Immigrants. Now.

Amid a toxic political environment, the new CEO of Philadelphia’s Welcoming Center is urging leaders throughout the state to recognize the importance of wooing immigrants — before it’s too late

John Fry and the City

The appointment of Philadelphia’s preeminent change maker to lead Temple University has the potential to disrupt Philadelphia’s status quo — an outcome rooted in the eloquent example of his unlikely hero

DEI on the Schuylkill

This month’s U.S. Olympic rowing team looks how the sport has always looked: entirely White. Three accessible rowing camps in Philly are looking to change that

New Urban Order: Why We Need a National Urbanist Party

There is no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the trash piling up in cities — but maybe there should be.

How Do We Salvage the UArts Debacle?

A longtime university president proposes turning the university’s Center City buildings into an arts community that would make the city a destination for practicing artists

My Week of Eating Local

Cooking and consuming ingredients that are grown near where you live is good for the environment and your health. But is it worth the cost and effort in Philly?

The New Urban Order: Big Events Like the Olympics Matter — Just Not the Way You Think

How cities prep for major happenings — like the country’s 250th anniversary, here in Philly in 2026 — matters just as much (if not more) than how the events themselves go

10 Ways To Help Get Out the Vote

It’s all hands on deck this year to ensure Philadelphia voter turnout is the highest it can be. Here’s how you can help.

Choose Democracy

The assault on the U.S. Capitol was a low point of our 248-year history. It’s time to pick a side: Are you for or against democracy?

Are We in a Nonprofit Bubble?

UArts. Benefits Data Trust. The Free Library Author Series. Resources for Human Development … Is the nonprofit sector imploding? What the hell’s going on?

Business for Good: Winx Health

While women’s reproductive health is under attack across the country, a Philly company supported by actress Kerry Washington aims to destigmatize and demystify women’s sexual health products

Ideas We Should Steal: Incentivize Child Care in any Redevelopment of UArts Real Estate

Several states and New York City offer tax relief to landlords who create child-care facilities. Could a similar policy help bring workers back to Center City?

The Reparations Trap

City Council’s task force faces a daunting task: How do you close our opportunity and wealth gaps without alienating key parts of a fragile coalition? Devin Cotten's Cleveland pilot might have an answer

Watch / Listen: The Bobby Womack School of Good Governance

In part two of How To Really Run a City, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter hear more rhetorical gems from bestselling author and public intellectual Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, including Dyson’s soulful election theories

What’s Behind Philly’s Racial Wealth Gap?

Philadelphia is among a group of cities that received funding to answer that question — and to come up with ways to address it

Citizen of the Week: Jacqueline “Jax” Cusack of Roxborough Development Corp

The new-ish head of the neighborhood group grew up caring for and communing with the region’s parks and waterways. Now she’s bringing her lifelong passion for the environment to bring more green to the Northwest Philly neighborhood

Meet the 2024 Rad Award Nominees

These are the badass women — and allies — on the short list for the first post-pandemic Rad Awards. Join The Citizen and Rad Girls to celebrate the winners on July 17

Business for Good: M.M.LaFleur

The New York-based retailer’s new Center City shop brings stylish slow fashion to working women — just in time for city workers to return to the office. The company is also helping women run for office, get jobs and save the planet

An Open Letter to CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash

In advance of the Trump/Biden presidential debate, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter shares some thoughts on a way to get the answers we really need to hear from the candidates

The New Urban Order: Should City Workers Work in the Office?

Mayor Parker is mandating all city employees work in person starting next month. City Council is pushing back. Is government ever going to be ready to return to office?

A Time To Weep

Yes, let’s celebrate our liberation on Juneteenth. But also, let’s remember the history that came before

Ideas We Should Steal: Women Leading, Together

The 550 women executives in the 45-year-old Chicago Network are changing their city for the better — and creating opportunities for even more women leaders. There is no better moment for a similar effort in Philadelphia. (That’s also why we’re relaunching Rad Girls!)

The Quest to Raise Happier Kids

Why giving our city kids more freedom and independence is so vital … and how Philly, as a city, could help.

PA’s Fair Funding Champion

Deborah Gordon Klehr oversaw the Education Law Center’s successful case mandating better funding of public schools throughout the state. But it’s her work outside the courtroom that has been indispensable for Pennsylvania students

The Great School Vouchers Debate

Progressive Councilmembers Thomas, Gauthier, O'Rourke and Brooks protested them. Jay-Z begged to differ. And Mayor Parker tried to bring folks together. Who’s got students’ backs? A week on the frontlines of the school choice wars

Listen / Watch: How to Really … Run Against Donald Trump

In the latest episode of How To Really Run a City, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter talk with bestselling author and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson, who has some advice for President Biden

Making their Last Days their Best Days

For more than a decade, City of Elderly Love has given Philadelphia’s oldest and therefore least adoptable dogs and cats the life-changing possibility of living out their golden years in comfort

Big Rube’s Philly: Kurt Evans’ Black Dragon

Our legendary photographer, chef and style icon meets up with a man after his own heart — a West Philly guy who supports the community through cooking (among other things)

When Women Say It Hurts

The “gender pain gap” leaves women to needlessly suffer. Here’s what that means — and what hospitals can do about it

What We Lose When We Lose UArts

It’s not just downtown real estate and higher education at stake, a longtime Philly arts writer observes. The collapse of the 150-year old institution cuts at the heart of what makes our city beautiful

Caitlin Clark, Race and the WNBA

A public intellectual and former Penn professor on how Black women are once again getting the short end of the sports media narrative

Citizen of the Week: Nadia Bosket

The founder of Hoop Dreams, Inc. has figured out how to help Philly kids make friends, be confident and focus on opportunities, using basketball as bait

Art for Change: Championing Art with Words

For more than two decades, Roberta Fallon’s Artblog has amplified Philadelphia art and artists — work that is more important than ever. The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative

UArts’ Closing with One-Week Notice? This Just Isn’t Done

The 150-year-old institution has left students, faculty and the city reeling. A longtime university president joins in the call for an immediate independent investigation

Ideas We Should Steal: Streetery Regulations That Actually Work

Unlike Philly — where only 13 restaurants have legal curbside dining — both New York City and Pittsburgh have made it easier to erect streeteries. Here’s what Philadelphia officials are — and can be — doing to bring back the fun

How is This Guy Getting MAGA Support? 

A confluence of factors and unique political talents explains Governor Josh Shapiro’s astounding popularity in the polls — even among those with whom he disagrees

Is Mayor Parker’s Favorite Housing Program Ready for a Glow-up?

The City’s Turn The Key workforce housing program has gained admirers for building homes affordable to middle income families. But can it really be the centerpiece of the city’s housing plan?

Ideas We Should Steal: Free Childcare for Women’s Health

Caring for children often forces women to skip doctor’s appointments, take lower-paying jobs and carry extra stress that is bad for their health. A statewide New Mexico initiative may provide the answer

The New Urban Order: The Antidote to Helplessness

Want to make a real, tangible, immediate impact? Look no further than your own block

LISTEN: “I Was Too Stupid To Be Scared”

One of the 120,000 living members of the Greatest Generation turns 99 this year. For Memorial Day, he talks to the Citizen’s co-founder about his secret to longevity (hint: martinis) and about saving America … then and now

Let’s Save Democracy … Again!

It’s not enough to just cast your own ballot in 2024. We must also work to get all eligible Philadelphians to vote — or risk losing our democracy as we know it. Here’s how you can join The Citizen in that effort

Guest Commentary: The Watermelon and the Flag in Our Upside-Down World

On waving symbols, extreme national distress and the regressive swing of the pendulum

Building a City of Writerly Love

As she was writing Housemates, her new novel about creating art, Emma Copley Eisenberg helped start and foster an organization that makes it a little easier to create art in Philadelphia

The New Urban Order: The Future of Post-Pandemic Transit is Post-Commuter

Nationwide, transit ridership remains down from pre-pandemic levels. Is London’s Superloop an idea we should steal?

The Citizen Recommends: The Return of Rad Girls!

The Citizen is partnering with the original rad girl, Leah Kauffman, to bring back her annual celebration of kickass Philadelphia women who are making this rad city even more rad for all

Book Excerpt: Grace and Grit In a West Philly Boxing Gym

A local photographer’s new book features the “rich beauty” of the athletes, trainers and family of West Philly’s James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym.

The Fix: Can Kenyatta Johnson Be … Richard Nixon?

The twice tried and ultimately acquitted Council president has the unique opportunity to reform the scourge of councilmanic prerogative … and finally make us One City

Listen/Watch: Leadership In A Time of Protest

On the latest episode of How To Really Run A City, former mayors Michael Nutter and Kasim Reed catch up with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. NEW this episode: Watch the conversation

Why Kendrick Vs. Drake is a Proxy War

The rap battle everyone is talking about is really about race, identity, Black/Jewish relations, and this American moment. A Citizen exclusive from a bestselling author and public intellectual.

Art for Change: When a Civics Lesson is also an Artwork

Phoebe Bachman builds opportunities for collaboration and civic engagement, including a pop-up space that artistically re-imagines the City’s budget office, open now at LOVE Park. The latest in a series with Forman Arts Initiative.

Bridging the Salud Mental Gap

A new cohort of Spanish-speaking peer mental health specialists is ready to provide real-time support for the Philadelphia population who most needs it

Ideas We Should Steal: Homesharing

Across the state and country, programs are connecting those in need of companionship and income with those who need affordable housing. Why is Philly’s version struggling?

The Fix: City Workers Who Work For You

Announcing The Citizen’s 2024 Integrity Icons, city employees who serve us all with the highest trust, care, equality and ethics. Come celebrate these heroes with us on May 23

Citizen of the Week: John Solomon of Endangered Kind

Lifelong North Philadelphian John Solomon uses his own experiences to help young people in his community escape the cycle of gun violence

Art for Change: Visual Art as a Bullhorn

Chela Ixcopal became an artist by following his heart. That’s how he came to represent immigrants’ rights groups and kids pursuing art for the first time

“People Can Be Right About Different Things”

Checking in with a writer and photographer at Penn’s Daily Pennsylvanian, on covering protests, a presidential resignation and the pro-Gaza encampment on campus this year

Celebrate Teachers

This Teacher Appreciation Week, a longtime university president urges Philadelphians to celebrate educators — but to also support the teaching profession

The Philly-est Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

Follow our guide to outdoor dining in Philly to discover spots around town for delicious food and drink in gardens, on tucked-away patios and other Insta-worthy surrounds

Where’s Parker’s 100-Day Cleaning Plan?

The Parker administration has touted a “new approach” to clean and green Philly. More than 100 days in, Philly’s former litter czar sees the same old-same old — and offers concrete ideas for positive change

Free Speech … or Pro-Terrorist?

Professors and local pols like progressive Councilmembers Gauthier, Brooks and O’Rourke say they want to support Penn students’ rights to peaceful protest. But does their support of Gaza encampments turn a moral blind eye?

Ideas We Should Steal: Climate Resilience Hubs

When government was slow to help Wilmington, DE residents hit by Hurricane Ida, one woman stepped up with a grassroots disaster response team that is now a permanent fixture. Could a similar program help underserved Philly communities at climate risk?

Business for Good: HeyKiddo

A Philly-based app is helping parents and teachers provide kids with the tools they need to build resilience and manage their emotional health

How Does Mayor Parker Want to Spend Your Money?

In partnership with Committee of Seventy, we’ve created a visual representation of the per-resident cost in Mayor Parker’s proposed budget — and how it has changed from last year

Big Rube’s Philly: Marc Jackson

The chef and photographer catches up with the former NBA player and current Sixers TV analyst, world traveler, fitness devotee and fashion plate

Four Ways to Improve Recycling in Philly

Recycling in Philly is broken. Here’s how Mayor Parker’s administration could fix it.

The Ultimate 2024 PA Primary Election Guide

The April 23 race includes important Attorney General, State Auditor and Senate races. Oh yeah, and that Presidential thing

Your City Defined: The City Budget

Mayor Parker kicked off budget season with her $6 billion budget proposal to City Council. Here’s what that means, and what happens now

A Progressive Arena Deal?

In Milwaukee, a sports arena deal has led to a pro-growth, pro-union, working class, cross-racial revival. Could it be a model for all development in Philly?

Her Body, Her (Beautiful) Self

The three-year-old Body Empowerment Project has helped students in 17 Philadelphia schools accept — and embrace — their physical selves this year. Support their work at their year-end party on April 25

“Unacceptable” Work

George Matysik has led Philly’s Share Food Program to become the largest hunger relief organization in the region. So why does he think he shouldn’t have the job at all?

Is My Recycling Being … Recycled?

Philadelphians' skepticism about the City’s waste policies has led to an abysmal recycling rate. Here’s what really happens after you put out your blue bin — and how the City could do more

The New Urban Order: The Dynamically Priced City

Charging real-time, demand-based surge and discount pricing works for Uber and Amtrak. Could it work for other Philly services?

Listen: What Philly Can Learn from America’s Fastest Growing City

Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker talks to our podcast hosts, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, about how she’s guiding her Texas city through a population boom that benefits everyone. Hint: It’s just common sense

Art for Change: Art Is a Verb That Means Change

The Forman Arts Initiative hired its first executive director, Adjoa Jones de Almeida, to shape their vision for an exhibit and engagement space centering their vast art collection and local community. Just don’t call it a museum

Ideas We Should Steal: Letting Citizens Shape Philly’s Budget

South Bend, Indiana proactively boosted resident feedback in its budget season through its 311 line and by meeting citizens where they are. Could the same efforts in Philly create a budget that reflects residents’ priorities?

Citizen of the Week: Yvonne Hughes

A West Philly native turned a life-changing disability into a lifetime of advocacy, speaking up for Philadelphians in need — and encouraging others to speak up for themselves

Mystery Shopper: Clawing Out of Philly Taxpayer Hell

The most-taxed big city in America claimed our Mystery Shopper owed more than $30,000 in unpaid business taxes that were already paid. Cue long wait times. Ineptitude. Mounting accountant’s bills. Confusion. Collections … and more

Where To Catch the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Philly

How and where to safely — and for free — experience the rare celestial event in Philadelphia

Is Jeff Yass the Last, Best Hope for Free Speech?

The much-vilified Bala Cynwyd-based billionaire, political donor, part TikTok owner may be the only person left who doesn’t want to shut everybody else up

Ideas We Should Steal: Manufacturers Paying for Recyclable Waste

In California, Colorado and other states, Extended Producer Responsibility laws help fund recycling efforts in underserved communities. Could a similar rule improve Philadelphia's trash problem?

The Citizen Recommends: The Sicilian Inheritance

In her new Philly novel, bestselling author and podcaster Jo Piazza explores a century-old murder, women’s strengths — and her own unresolved family mystery. Then, she turned it into a true crime podcast

Guest Commentary: Immigrants Are the Solution, Not the Problem

Michael Smerconish published a report last week on swing state voters’ fear about immigrants. But, the Welcoming Center’s President/CEO points out, the facts tell a different story

The New Urban Order: Vote Like Your City Depends On It …

because it does. And this year’s election may prove that

Listen: Show Me The Money!

The newest episode of our How to Really Run a City podcast finds the mayors exploring the power of investing in Black and Brown entrepreneurs with evangelist for inclusive growth Della Clark and Michele Lawrence of JP Morgan Chase

Art for Change: The Comic

Pap Souleye Fall plays with serious themes in multifarious spaces — comic cons, a waste recycling facility — the next in our series with Forman Arts Initiative

Gaming for Good

Philly is at the forefront of a rapidly growing, remarkably diverse community of gaming enthusiasts. It’s welcoming to all — and deeply, wonderfully weird.

A Healing Embrace

Homelessness can cut life expectancy by 20 years, in part because of health issues that particularly affect women. A new Project HOME safe haven offers women a place to heal

Is the Tide Turning on Larry Krasner?

The progressive prosecutor movement is losing momentum. Its poster boy may have to adjust to a new political zeitgeist

Mark Squilla Loves The Process

The fate of the 76ers arena rests on one person’s shoulders (hint: it’s not our new mayor). Is this any way to run a city?

Art for Change: Expanding the Vocabulary of Crochet

Fiber artist Cait McCormack’s sculptures defy expectations of what can be done within the centuries-old tradition of crochet. The latest in a collaboration with Forman Arts Initiative.

Why SEPTA Halted Its New Gun-Detection System

SEPTA didn’t expand its pilot with Conshohocken's ZeroEyes, which manages AI gun-detection technology. How will the City keep riders safe after a surge of gunfire this March?

Citizen of the Week: Tonnetta Graham

The president of the Strawberry Mansion CDC champions the neighborhood’s history — while looking toward a future inclusive of smart development

Big Rube’s Philly: Deborah Mayfield of Admirations Hair It Iz

The chef and photographer pays a visit to a longtime friend, a salon owner reestablishing South Street as a Black mecca — one woman at a time

“What Does AG Stand For? Aspiring Governor”

Checking in with former Governor Tom Corbett, who spent 10 years as attorney general, on the one question he would ask this year’s AG candidates at our March 25 forum

Can Philadelphia Correct … our Corrections?

The City’s new approach to the drug trade in Kensington could send increasing numbers of people to city jails. How will that square with the prison department’s ongoing staffing crisis?

The Citizen Recommends: Embracing the Light

Mural Arts Philadelphia and First Person Arts have partnered on a community project that explores the pain of suicide through theater and art. See the performance on March 16

Listen: Reverse Racial Migration, Misogyny and the Math of Democracy

The newest episode of our How to Really Run a City podcast welcomes New York Times journalist and documentarian Charles Blow

Your City Defined: Sunshine Act

The 1957 state law requires elected bodies to hold all meetings in public, so the public knows what their government is doing. That is … a nice idea, isn’t it?

Sentences for the Sentenced

West Philly non-profit Books Through Bars has provided the incarcerated with books for more than 30 years. Now, with growing inaccessibility, its work is needed more than ever

You Know There’s an AG’s Race, Right?

The office of Attorney General might be the last line of defense for the Commonwealth against oncoming autocracy. So shouldn’t we pay attention to the candidates who want the job?

Hope Springs Forward on Education

Signs of progress abound in public education, a longtime university president muses — but there is still work to be done

Recap: Development … for Good — Build Baby Build

Can Philadelphia develop our way out of an affordable housing crisis? This week, The Citizen gathered experts on the matter to work out the answer to that very big question

Della Clark’s “Show Me The Money” Crusade

The city’s apostle of Black and Brown entrepreneurship was joined by Mayor Parker and Patti LaBelle to kick off a 22-city tour highlighting her message of equitable economic empowerment. The Citizen will report the lessons learned from every stop.

Citizen of the Week: Jill Goldstone and Rydal Refugee Resettlement Committee

An Abington community “connector” has drawn her neighbors into “the greatest opportunity in the world:” the effort to support refugee families emigrating to the United States

The New Urban Order: Reinventing Arts and Culture

The pandemic decimated in-person attendance for traditional cultural institutions nationwide. Can Philly’s arts establishment slow its downfall?

Freedom Fighter

Does Governor Shapiro have a winning argument for Biden and the Dems in the fall? Judging by how many are borrowing it from him, yes

Erasure and the Fiction of America

What Zora Neale Hurston, Oscar-nominated American Fiction, and the sacrifice of Black women tell us about America on the cusp of Black History and Women’s History months

Ideas We Should Steal: AI in Government (No, Really!)

Earlier this month, Sheriff Rochelle Bilal showcased how public officials should not deploy Artificial Intelligence. But like other cities, we can harness the new technology for good

The Night Mayor Will Take Your Call Now

Eighteen months after Philly’s first Nighttime Economy Director took up his post, the industry that generates $2.5 billion in wages is still waiting for help. Will Cherelle Parker hear their pleas?

“Someone To Connect With”

Half of older Philadelphians live alone, putting women at especially higher risk of emotional and physical illnesses. Manayunk-based Connectedly combats that social isolation in our city and region

The Fix: Judges Who Meet the Moment

Judge Jeffrey Schmehl’s lax sentencing this week of John Dougherty’s co-conspirators is a reminder that corruption flourishes when punishment meets the Philly Shrug

The New Urban Order: Towards a Quieter City

Noise pollution adversely affects marginalized communities in Philly and other cities. Is there a way to find peace and quiet here?

Art for Change: Steward of Black Creativity

In going from art student to sculptor to ceramicist to curator to podcaster, Gerald Brown has been an advocate for and supporter of Black and Brown artistry — and a keen observer of the artistic process

Guest Commentary: Getting the Big Stuff Done

As building has begun on the long-awaited park over I-95 along the Delaware River, the director of the William Penn Foundation lays out how we got here and why the process is a model for major development in the city

Investment? What Investment?

Philly is blowing its chance to use its federal rescue funds to directly address intractable problems. Will Mayor Parker’s new budget follow Governor Shapiro’s blueprint and propose an “invest and grow” plan?

Ideas We Should Steal: The School Day When No One Eats Alone

Lots of kids feel socially isolated — especially at lunchtime. A national movement is working to change that, today

Art for Change: “Like Being In Therapy With God.”

At 25, Philadelphia artist Nazeer Sabree has gained a national reputation for his complicated portraits of young Black men and women. The next in a collaboration with Forman Arts Initiative

Beyond Starbucks

Will the push to unionize small local coffee shops in Philly signal the death knell of the neighborhood cafe?

The New Urban Order: Do We Really Need More Moveable Chairs?

The design for the Municipal Services Building plaza is like too many of our public spaces: bland and uncomfortable. Here, some ways we could do better

Learning on the Job

Neither Mayor Parker, Council President Johnson nor Council Majority Leader Gilmore Richardson have CEO experience. How are they going to make the switch from legislating to leading?

Listen: The State — and Future — of Policing in Cities

The latest episode of our How to Really Run a City podcast presents the final installment of an in-depth conversation between legendary Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and co-hosts Kasim Reed, Michael Nutter, and Larry Platt

Big Rube’s Philly: Big Nick’s and Lil’ Nicks

The iconic brand-maker, photographer, chef and Philadelphian talks to an Italian American father and son with side-by-side market and hoagie shops

Guest Commentary: Is Philly Undercounting our Homeless Population?

Last month’s annual count of unhoused people helps determine federal funding for some of our most vulnerable citizens. So why isn’t it more accurate?

Temple Makes a Promise to Philadelphia Students

A long-time university president applauds the city-based public research university’s new plan for free tuition and fees — the Temple Promise — for Philly families who earn below an income threshold

Books: “Black History in the Philadelphia Landscape: Deep Roots, Continuing Legacy”

A veteran Philadelphia social studies teacher wrote a new book about Black Philadelphia history. Here, an excerpt from a chapter featuring Washington, aka Congo, Square

Is Philly About to Decide Democracy’s Future … Again?

Voter turnout in the biggest city of our key swing state is trending dangerously downward. Is Philly about to end democracy after saving it four years ago? Governor Shapiro has a warning for us

INTEGRITY ICON 2024: LOOKING FOR HEROES

Know an amazing city worker? Nominate them for our 4th annual Integrity Icon Awards. The deadline is February 21

Saving Women’s Hearts

Heart disease, which kills one in three women every year, is the number one cause of death in the United States. Temple cardiologist Deborah Crabbe is on a mission to change that.

“So Much More Than Food”

A pair of Penn alums are partnering with a Grays Ferry community group to open a fresh food market that will provide healthy cooked meals to SNAP recipients. Might this revolutionize nutrition access?

Sanity and Hope for Higher Ed

Governor Shapiro’s vision for the state college system offers a path for more residents to get the education they need. A long-time university president lays out why it matters

American Hairitage

DeJeonge Reese’s art grapples with culture, history and the ways Black women have long faced discrimination.

The War in University City

While student protestors and bullying Trustees at Penn continue shedding far more heat than light, there’s a different story at neighbor Drexel. Why?

Citizen of the Year Awards: Dr. David C. Fajgenbaum

The Penn Medicine physician turned his five near-death experiences into a mission to save the lives of people suffering from humanity’s 12,000 known diseases. Is it any wonder, then, that Fajgenbaum is our Citizen of the Year?

Guest Commentary: What Should We Do with Welcome Park?

A government strategist has a radical idea for the historic park at the heart of a recent controversy over its William Penn statue

Guest Commentary: The 3 Numbers Everyone Must Know

An educator and community organizer urges state legislators to pass a bill to raise awareness of, funding for and police integration with mental health service hotline 988

The New Urban Order: What if Parenting in Philly Were Easier?

Forget kid-friendly cities. A city that answers to the needs of parents helps all residents, young and old

Guest Commentary: We Must Talk About Abortion

On the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a local Democratic Congresswoman warns of what’s at stake in 2024: Pennsylvanians’ rights

The Citizen Recommends: Pardon Me

Shuja Moore’s short film about the benefits — to all of us — of pardons for returning citizens screens Monday in West Philly

Citizen of the Year Awards: Disruptors Ryan Boyer and Michael Forman

The finance CEO and labor leader are determined to make Philadelphia the most equitable, fastest growing big city in America together.

Big Rube’s Philly: Brielle Kimmins, AKA AprilFoolChild

The chef / photographer reconnects with an old muse, and finds a kindred spirit — a fellow artist and polymath with deep Philly roots and an eye for what’s next

Art for Change: The Paper Cutter

Whether he’s allowing local architecture to inspire his intricate cut paper artworks or designing street art to fit into unexpected spaces, artist Joe Boruchow keeps a close eye on Philadelphia.

The New Urban Order: The Best Way To Build Affordable Housing …

… is to buy it. Here’s how Philadelphia could do that

Is Philly Ready for Disaster?

Climate change, mass attacks and environmental catastrophes have caused death and destruction nationwide. Here’s how our city is preparing for the unthinkable

Guest Commentary: Need Workers? Hire a Migrant

Asylum seekers can solve our country’s — and city’s — labor shortage. But only, the head of a Philadelphia refugee support group says, if Congress lets them

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Robert Saleem Holbrook

The A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Social Justice Champion spent 27 years in prison before a Supreme Court ruling set him free. Now, he teaches about criminal justice at Penn and heads the Abolitionist Law Center

King’s Chester Years

In an excerpt from the bestselling King: A Life, the iconic moral leader attends Chester’s Crozer Theological Seminary, takes part in his first civil rights confrontation (in a Maple Shade, New Jersey bar!) and loses his heart … to a White woman

Citizen Horwitz

When the $38 million state-of-the-art Philly Youth Basketball facility opens next week, it will be thanks to an 80-year-old, prank-pulling, courtside-sitting cult figure. And then there’s the time he was tossed from an NBA game…

Eagles Fans, Let’s Turn our Crazy into a W

One diehard Birds fan believes Philly can — and should — channel all our anxiety and adrenaline into a win on Monday night. (It’s worked before.)

Listen: Gang Wars and Good Data

In the newest installment of How to Really Run a City, The Citizen’s acclaimed podcast, legendary Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey returns for a powerful conversation about public safety.

King Day of Service in Philly — Where to Go, What to Do

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. Volunteer. Visit a museum. Build peace

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon

Join us on January 30 to honor the Project HOME pioneers with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Can City Government Change Itself?

Ten years ago, Mayor Nutter launched an out-of-the-box, internally viral program to help city workers solve problems through cutting-edge collaboration and creativity. How’s all that going?

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Indrayudh “Indy” Shome

The Citizen’s Educator of the Year is a four language-speaking, music-playing, digital media expert who also loves to share his passion for gardens. He’s inspiring students across the city to make their voices heard

The Dawn of the Kenyatta Era

Is the new president of Philadelphia City Council a new boss, or same as the old boss?

Three Quick Wins for Cherelle Parker

Here’s how our new mayor can make friends with her constituents right quick

New Year’s Resolutions For Higher Ed

Could 2024 be the year our colleges and universities do more for Philadelphia students and for democracy? A long-time university president thinks it has to be

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Paul Levy

For his decades-long commitment to making Center City safe, clean and welcoming to all of us, the outgoing Center City District president is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Who’s on Philadelphia City Council?

Meet all 17 members of the city's legislative body, representing Philly at-large and by district

Who is Cherelle Parker?

Parker is the 100th — and first woman — mayor of Philadelphia. Here's what we know about her

Philly Was First

Philadelphians invented Girl Scout Cookies, bubblegum, the American schoolhouse, the computer — and the research that led to Covid-19 vaccines. Here are ways to celebrate the many firsts from our city on the first of this new year

Guest Commentary: Tales of a Two Street Stomper

A dozen years ago, a South Jersey resident decided to cross the Delaware before dawn every New Year’s Day to join suited-up pals in a Mummers comics club. And she has never looked back

The Last of the Fancies

The Mummers Parade started with Fancy Divisions. Only one such club remains. Their plan to survive: inclusiveness.

LISTEN: How Leaders Really Get Sh*t Done

If you missed an episode of our acclaimed podcast How to Really Run a City, take heart: Citizen Co-founder Larry Platt is here with a 2023 highlight reel.

The Year In — Good Citizen — Sports

Win or lose on the field, Philadelphia athletes and teams continued to make us proud in 2023 with their extracurricular commitment to community.

Jim Kenney’s Last Spin

A conventional wisdom is taking hold on the legacy of the outgoing mayor. But was it really the pandemic and second term factors beyond his control that did him in?

Citizen of the Year 2023 Awards: Michelle Belser

The Citizen’s 2023 Block Captain of the Year gets her neighbors to vote in record numbers, and makes sure the block isn’t just clean — it’s beautiful.

Art for Change: The Wandering Weaver

Galen Gibson-Cornell tears posters off of city streets, shreds them into thin strips and weaves them back together to create trippy mash-ups that mix brands, colors and patterns from across the world into something entirely his own

Business for Good: American Trench

The Main Line company stocks rugged, classic apparel made in the U.S.A. that’s made to grow jobs — and made to last

Why Is Tyree Wallace Still in Prison?

Despite high-profile efforts of advocates like sports reporter Michael Barkann, the Point Breeze native has spent 26 years imprisoned for a murder witnesses say he didn’t commit. That hasn’t stopped the citizen activist from serving others

Citizen of the Year Awards: Sarahi Franco-Morales

The South Philly native has helped feed hundreds of families, translated at City Council meetings, advocated for fair housing and employment, and tutored kids to read. And she’s only 18

Saving Pennsylvania Moms

The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world – especially among Black women. State Representative Morgan Cephas is on a mission to change that

MEET THE 2023 CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

Join us in honoring the most impactful Philadelphians of 2023 at a dinner featuring MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and actor and activist George Takei

A Criminal Justice Success Story? Right here in Philly?

Since 2016, Philadelphia’s volunteer-based Safety and Justice Challenge Community Advisory Council has helped the City reduce its jail population and recidivism rates — while increasing equity. Here’s how they’ve done it

Ideas We Should Steal: Counting Votes Faster

Will PA join 42 other states that start processing mail-in ballots before Election Day in time to avoid uncertainty over the 2024 Presidential election?

An Answer to Our Transit Crisis

Kansas City, Austin and California are using a new kind of federal-city partnership to radically reform transit in their regions. Drexel’s Metro Finance lays out what Philly can learn from them

1933 Comes to Sansom Street

The protest in front of Michael Solomonov’s restaurant revealed more than know-nothingism

Listen: Tuxes, Blackberries and the Key to Effective Policing

In the first of this two-part episode of the How to Really Run a City podcast, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey shares how he helped oversee a record low crime rate — and how more leaders can do the same

Art for Change: The Deliberate Photographer

Kenyssa Evans is not a stereotypical Gen Z. She eschews social media, works slowly and intentionally, and prefers working in the shadows on her sensory images of Blackness in America.

Improv to the Rescue

Philly’s robust improv community is using the comedy staple as an avenue for spreading life skills, connections and conversation for those who most need it (i.e., all of us)

The [Insert Name Here] High School in Your Neighborhood

What would happen if middle class families in Philly embraced their local high schools the way they have their elementary schools?

Memo to Madam Mayor: First, Kill All the Pilots

Philadelphia government is in love with pilot programs. With a $6.2 billion budget, how about making the tough decisions to deploy what works citywide?

Choosing College In Fraught Times

As high school seniors approach college decision time, a longtime university president offers guidelines for picking schools that value respect, freedom and choice

Working While Menopause-ing

One in four women leave the workforce because of symptoms related to menopause, a life milestone that has been woefully under-researched. Help may, finally, be on the way

Partnering For Better Criminal Justice

“Court doulas” from Partners for Justice have saved more than a million hours of incarceration — and millions of taxpayer dollars — nationwide. Now, they’re bringing their work to Philadelphia

Development for Good: Crowdfunding Community Development

A new program from Shift Capital allows average citizens to invest as little as $100 in their own communities — and double their money in nine years

The Citizen’s Most Philly Gift Guide Ever

30+ perfect presents from small local merchants for every tried-and-true Philadelphian on your 2023 list

The Best Holiday Things to Do in Philly This Year

Tree lightings, makers markets, pop-up Christmas bars, live concerts, destination light displays, family festivities and several Nutcrackers: Everything you want and need to know about holidays in Philadelphia

Big Rube’s Philly: Thanksgiving with Nan

The legendary photographer and chef recalls how his families gatherings went down — and offers a couple of tips for making your turkey tastier

Giving Thanks, Despite Everything

Why gratitude and gratefulness — beyond the “hegemonic holiday colonialism” — matters more than ever

Recap: What We Learned at the 2023 Ideas We Should Steal Festival

The Philadelphia Citizen’s sixth annual celebration of solutions was its biggest yet — with some of the biggest revelations to inspire you to make our city better in approximately a bajillion ways

Teach Your Students, Penn

Campus protests over the Israel/Hamas war point to an opportunity for elite universities. Can Penn seize the moment?

Ideas We Should Steal: Stop Hitting People With Cars

Stories this week of the Sixers’ Kelly Oubre Jr. and a beloved former school teacher being hit by cars brought up a perennial Philly problem: Our roads are unsafe. Here, recommendations to fix that

Business For Good: Immortal Vision Studio

CJ Wolfe’s Kensington studio has become a creative hub for anyone who wants to learn photography — thanks to a photographer who taught himself the trade

Art for Change: The Composer’s Composer

Composer Bree Lowdermilk is bucking the norms of musical theater by writing shows with gender-expansive casts, taking feedback from 4-year-olds, and maybe even mounting a children’s musical on an abandoned pier.

Big Rube’s Philly: Hug the Block

The legendary photographer and chef sees old friends and appreciates a new paradigm for keeping Philly safe

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2023: The Ultimate Citizen Reading List

Catch up on the books written by this year’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival speakers — along with some of our all-time favorite tomes for anyone who lives in, or simply loves, cities

Cherelle Parker’s Philly Shine

The mayor-elect’s election night speech heralds new energy. Plus: Shapiro wasn’t on the ballot, but was a winner nonetheless

Listen: What Mayors Can Learn From … Toyota?

Brian Elms, CEO and Founder of Change Agents Training, joins the latest episode of the How to Really Run a City Podcast to share the secret to better customer service in cities

Guest Commentary: Serve Your City

Tune out the naysayers, says a former city worker, and take a job in City government. Philly and you will benefit

The Ultimate Guide to the 2023 General Election in Philadelphia

Tuesday, November 7 — today! — we vote. Here's everything you need to know about candidates for Mayor, City Council, judges — the future of Philadelphia

The Citizen Recommends: The 7th Ward Tribute

A sweeping public exhibition brings to life a remarkable (and remarkably under-appreciated) piece of Black history in Philadelphia

Jeff Yass — The Devil … Or Engaged Citizen?

The school choice mega-billionaire is at it again, spending lavishly on judicial elections and City Council races. Cue the wringing of hands.

Resistance is a Garden

A Painted Bride project combines urban farming, art and education to empower Black and Brown Philadelphians to grow their own futures

Art for Change: The Man With No Backup Plan

Working across painting, sculpture and product design, Jeremyville sketches out ideas in Fishtown cafes that spread good vibes globally. The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative

A Village of Moms, for Moms

Cocolife.Black provides Black and Brown women with lifesaving maternal care they have long needed, from pre-conception through baby’s early years

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2023: Troy Carter

The ahead-of-his-time West Philadelphia native, music mogul, early tech investor and school voucher advocate will talk about what’s next for Philly kids on November 17

The Fix: Same Old City Council?

Hours of debate on an Israel/Hamas resolution? Doubling down on councilmanic prerogative? Here, some ideas for remaking Council into an actual governing body

Development for Good: Philly Workforce Homes

Two Center City brothers expand their luxury real estate portfolio with low-profit, high-satisfaction housing for Philadelphia’s working class

Citizen of the Week: Nicole Bixler of Operation In My Backyard

The Port Richmond social worker offers sustenance, support and care to those struggling with addiction

Philly Coffee Shops that Do Good

Your morning Joe tastes so much better when you know where it comes from — a place that treats its workers well and gives back to the community and the world

Stop Feeding the Polarization Beast

A Shippensburg politics professor has an important message for anyone who cares about American democracy

The War Comes to the Penn Boardroom

Wealthy Jewish donors in revolt. Pro-Palestinian students shouting vile things. A university President embattled. Isn’t this just what the terrorists want?

Eff that Jawn?

How an ornery Philadelphian came to re-embrace a four-letter word that is seriously overused — with due credit to this season’s Phillies fans

Listen: Business as Unusual

In the latest installment of The Citizen’s acclaimed podcast, Kathryn Wylde, CEO of Partnership for New York, shares the secrets to — and power of — harnessing cities’ business communities.

Treating Addiction Behind Bars

More than 60 percent of people incarcerated in the U.S. suffer from addiction. Philadelphia jails could offer a model for helping them get — and stay — sober

Big Rube’s Philly: Mal’s Barber Shop

Mal Robinson, whose one-man shop in Southwest Philly is an enclave of respect, conversation and relaxation for Black men and boys, talks about choices with the iconic Philly photographer, chef and style icon

Really? Republicans Are Philly’s Biggest Problem?

Amid the handwringing over the Council campaigns of Working Families Party candidates Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke, few have asked them: What’s the political rationale for their insurgency?

2023 Election: Should Philly Have an Office for People with Disabilities?

Voters this fall are being asked to approve an amendment to our City’s Home Rule Charter to create a permanent City office to monitor accessibility compliance and create programs for people with disabilities

The Return of Judith Rodin

The former Penn President just joined the Hilco advisory board. Here’s why she’s excited about the Bellwether District in Southwest Philly

Honoring Penn’s Once-Overlooked Nobel Prize Winner

Katalin Karikó and her research partner did the science that led to the Covid-19 vaccine. A ​​longtime university president suggests lessons we should take from her story

The 2023 Candidates for Judge in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania

This slate of state-level justices could decide the fate of abortion, redistricting, gun laws, and more in Pennsylvania; while municipal judges you elect will handle criminal and civil cases.

“No Moral Equivalence”

Despite what the pro-Palestinian Rittenhouse Square protestors claim, the terror attack on Israel ought to prompt in us the moral clarity of 9/11 and Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine

Memo To Madam Mayor: Clean and Green. For Real.

In the next in a series of policy recommendations for presumptive Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker, a local environmental activist makes a plea for the planet — and Philadelphians who live on it

What’s the Problem with David Oh?

The Republican mayoral candidate is a nice guy with progressive values, governing experience and Philly pride. And yet …

Why Are We Not Standing Up For Books?

A Montco state senator has proposed a ban on all book bans in Pennsylvania. This should be something everyone agrees on

“Why Would They Do This?”

An Afghan teacher, a U.S. author and the Philly-fueled rescue from Taliban oppression

Dave McCormick, Filibuster … Buster?

A pair of Harvard Law students believe the recently announced Republican candidate for U.S. Senate could win on an unlikely — and arguably unsexy — issue: legislative reform.

Guest Commentary: A Better Budget for the School District

The court has promised more and equitable funding for Philadelphia schools. But, a longtime educator notes, all that money won’t matter if the District doesn’t fix how it budgets

Josh Kruger, Big-Hearted Philadelphian

The Citizen journalist who was tragically killed Monday morning was a passionate advocate for those who most needed it

Listen: It’s the Implementation, Stupid!

In the latest episode of our acclaimed podcast, tech expert/author Jennifer Pahlka and Little Rock, AR, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., caution those in power that leadership is about more than having great ideas

Fall in Philadelphia

The biggest and best fall festivals, art openings, concerts and more happening this fall in Philly

It’s Time to Declare War on Disorder

Looting. Unprosecuted shoplifting. ATVs running amok. A judge dismissing charges against a killer cop. Drag racing in the dead of night. Can we reverse the message that rules no longer apply?

Big Rube’s Philly: Philly Fashion Week

One of the bigger shows at last week’s stylish event had to relocate on the fly to an unexpected runway. It was beautiful.

Guest Commentary: Probation Reform Is Within Reach

A Philly-based criminal justice reform advocate on why state legislators should pass this week’s bipartisan bill to upend PA’s “nonsensical” probation system

Guest Commentary: What if Nikki Haley is Right?

The former Temple Law School Dean and longtime political advisor on what the Republican presidential candidate’s critique of Kamala Harris really means, and what Democrats can do about it

Healthcare Women Can Trust

A collaboration in West Philly brings cancer screenings directly to the neighborhood. Can it model the way to better health?

City of Wellness

Six Philadelphia heart and mind health startups compete this week for $50,000 in the Economy League’s Well City Challenge.

The Election Whisperer

The Main Line’s Rich Thau is the nation’s sole conductor of monthly swing voter focus groups in presidential battleground states. And he’s got some advice for both Biden and Trump

Remembering JoAnne Epps

A Temple Trustee and friend of the university’s acting president who died this week reflects on the example the civic stalwart set for all of us

“A Place Where Everyone Comes Together”

The architect of Central Park’s Edenic resurgence has retired to our own Rittenhouse Square, where he is the most well-versed park volunteer. Here’s what he thinks we can learn from NYC

Houses for the Poorest? Or for Middle Class Philadelphians?

We can have both, Philly 3.0’s engagement director argues — if the City can get out of its own way

Guest Commentary: Black Male Mental Health Must Matter

Around the country, Black teen suicide rates are growing at a scary pace. A Philly social worker, who is also a Black man, calls for help

Why PA Must Fund our Public Universities

Disparities in higher ed lead to societal inequities and damage our democracy. That’s why, a longtime university president urges, our state must do better

Who is Your Favorite City Worker?

The deadline is approaching to vote for the people’s choice 2023 Integrity Icon. Need motivation? Check out how our previous winners are changing our city.

What We Didn’t Talk About When We Talked About Danilo Cavalcante

All but lost in the breathless account of the escaped murderer was the reason he was in jail in the first place: abusing and killing his girlfriend

Speed Cameras Save Lives. Why Are We Still Only Testing Out The Idea?

The first in a series on pilot programs looks at one that has deterred speeders and saved lives on Roosevelt Boulevard may not become permanent. How can Philly sustain — and keep track of — our City’s many such feasibility studies?

The Last Chance for Safe Injection Sites?

City Council is set to vote this week on banning safe injection sites from all but one district in Philadelphia. Toronto has modeled another way

Big Rube’s Philly: The DreamSleeve

The Philly photographer, chef, and style forerunner reconnects with MaryAnn Morris, a longtime friend who’s pursuing her passion for fashion by hand-making a must-have accessory. Fabolous is a fan.

Who Should Replace Danielle Outlaw?

Philly’s police commissioner announced her resignation this week. Here, some candidates the next mayor should consider, and why

The Most Radical Reform Philly Could Make?

Changing the way we elect our City Council president could be a way to return your city government to you.

Listen: Is L.A. Modeling the Way Forward for Cities?

In the latest episode of How to Really Run a City, The Citizen’s acclaimed podcast, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass shares how she tackles the hurdles her city faces — and the only line she won’t cross.

Who Are Philly’s 2023 Integrity Icons?

The five phenomenal city workers go above and beyond to move our city forward. Vote today for the people’s choice winner

Why Does Everyone Want to Shut Everyone Else Up?

The canceling of books by local authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Buzz Bissinger are just the latest examples of a new American mantra, regardless of political ideology: Free speech for me, but not for thee

“An Amazing Commitment to Children”

A poverty-fighting nonprofit presented its stellar outcomes at The Citizen’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival. Now it’s launching in Philly

Guest Commentary: Urban Doom Loop … Really?

A story in the Wall Street Journal last week singled Philly out for having an empty office district. The head of the Center City District wonders: Do facts even matter anymore?

Ideas We Should Steal: Grassroots Housing Reparations

A rapper-turned-community activist is preserving Black wealth in Portland, the Whitest big city in America, by helping homeowners repair — and therefore stay — in their homes

Growing Money Smarts

GROW Academy, started by a local financial planner, is helping entrepreneurial teens manage their money and launch the careers they dream about

Does Anyone Care that the Cops Lied?

Police killed a young man in his car within five seconds of a traffic stop — and then tried to cover it up

The Secret Sauce Behind Kelce

With their newest film about the Eagles captain dropping on September 12, it’s safe to say Don Argott and Sheena Joyce will be delivering Philly its most heartfelt love letter yet. Pro tip: Stay for the credits

Something All Pennsylvanians Can Agree On

What could get state senators to cross party lines? How about a crisis among children and adult Pennsylvanians who can’t read

Big Rube’s Philly: Thrift Shops Are Hidden Gems

A fashion forerunner and through-and-through Philadelphian reveals the best spot for thrifting locally. Hint: It’s outside city limits.

“Don’t Take Away My Home”

In an excerpt from a new book about surviving poverty in Kensington, a teenager pleads for his alternative high school to stay open — and wonders why he must.

Seeing the Unseen

Through visual art and public gatherings, fashion designer Zarinah Lomax’s Apologues is telling the stories of our city’s trauma — and its survivors

Memo to Madam Mayor: Forgive Medical Debt, Grow the Economy

Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh are doing it. You want to create a pathway to the middle class? Forget student loans. Medical debt is where it’s at

The Stages of Springsteen

A local theater director and hospital chaplain on the darkness and light of The Boss, who, despite postponing his Philly concerts, will definitely be back in town

Art for Change: The Reluctant Queer Futurist

Kah Yangni, muralist and illustrator, imagines a world where queer people are free to thrive

Ideas We Should Steal: More Parklets

Mini on-street parks in cities like Chicago build community and help businesses thrive. So why doesn’t Philly have more of them?

The Citizen Recommends: Alex G Concert to Benefit Make the World Better

Former Eagle Connor Barwin’s annual fundraiser to rebuild city parks features the Philly-born singer songwriter, a tailgate party with special guests and a chance to rock out for good

Quantum Hip Hop

Hip Hop culture officially turns 50 today. Here, a longtime fan and scholar commemorates the occasion with some...physics

Citizen of the Week: Pastor Buddy of the Rock Ministries

The Kensington preacher offers local kids a safe haven and a path to hope through boxing and prayer. His 14th annual “Rock the Block” party is on Saturday

Ideas We Should Steal: Help Everyone Be Like Shaq

A longtime university administrator helped the NBA superstar finish his college degree. Now, she urges Philly colleges to make it easy for less famous almost-grads to get their diplomas, too

Memo to Madam Mayor: Radically Rethink Transit

The next in a series of political and policy advice to presumptive Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker offers a new way to think about getting around from a former city transportation official

Time For a Taxpayer Seal of Approval

A financial analyst calls on local and state governments to report how much they pay their employees — without delay

The Progressive Allergy to Solutions

Spurred by the Meek Mill case, a bipartisan bill in Harrisburg would once again take on state probation reform. So why do progressive organizations like the ACLU prefer maintaining the status quo … to actually fixing the problem?

LISTEN: The Secret to Being a Good Mayor? Swagger

Former Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and Kasim Reed of Atlanta reveal the keys to leadership with Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

The Unbearable Cost of Togetherness

Low wages and growing inequality have put football games, the Shore, and so much more out of reach for regular Philadelphians. Can we get back what we have lost?

Memo to Madam Mayor: Hire a Kick-Ass Trash Czar

The next in a series of political and policy advice to presumptive Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker looks to New York City for an idea she should steal: Appoint a sanitation commissioner

Ideas We Should Steal: Sustainability Education for All Students

New Jersey is the first U.S. state to mandate climate change education in every grade and nearly every subject. Can a similar solutions-based curriculum help prepare Philly kids for a green future?

K & A Makes a Presidential Race Appearance

This week, Republican Vivek Ramaswamy penned a New York Post op-ed on the dystopia in Kensington. It was full of laughable political pablum. But he was also kinda right

Guest Commentary: I-95 as a Model for Fixing Schools?

The powerful head of Philadelphia’s Building Trades on having the same sense of urgency when it comes to education as a collapsed road

Our Bulletproof History

The monument President Biden established for Emmett Till and his mother is a loud rejoinder to those who would erase Black history — and Black humanity

Big Rube’s Philly: A Manayunk Mainstay

In the first of a new series, the legendary photographer and chef stops in at Sorrentino’s, a 40-year-old institution that is the "heartbeat of the neighborhood."

Will Philly’s Murder Rate Keep Going Down?

Like cities around the country, Philly has seen a drop in homicides this year — but more work is needed from the state and the city to keep reducing violent crime

Ideas We Should Steal: Boosting Neighborhood Commercial Corridors

A $185 million effort in Detroit is jumpstarting equitable development and increasing population in the city’s neighborhoods. Drexel’s Metro Finance head on what Philly can learn from the program

Do The House Dems Want to Lose Power?

In the budget fight over school vouchers, the Dems have overplayed their hand politically … and invited mega-donor Jeff Yass to flip their already tenuous majority

The PA Plan to Curb Porch Pirates

A new bill in the state legislature proposes tougher penalties for package theft — something any Philly resident with a stoop knows about all too well

Mystery Shopper: Parking Permit Hell

Our Mystery Shopper just wanted to pay for their residential parking permit. Why, oh why, was it so hard?

A Local Experiment in Scandinavian Justice

An ongoing research study at the state prison in Chester is looking at how Scandinavian-style changes could make prison safer, more productive and more effective — for inmates, workers and the community.

Philly Has the Best Food. This is Not an Op-ed

Philadelphia restaurants dominated the James Beard Awards. But, let’s be clear: Our elite food scene stands on the shoulders of Philly’s unequaled papi stores and other family-run, internationally-rooted food operations

When Affirmative Action Was a Philly Thing

Revisiting The Philadelphia Plan — the nation’s first federal affirmative action program and the brainchild of Republicans who argued that it was good for business

Guest Commentary: The Letter that Sank School Vouchers in PA

A former Tom Wolfe staffer on one critical misstep of school choice advocates in the state

Pennsylvania, Resolve the Budget Impasse

A long-time university president recalls the dire consequences to public higher education of an Illinois budget stalemate — and urges legislators to ensure that doesn't happen here

Ideas We Should Steal: No More Traffic Deaths

Six years ago, the City pledged to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist deaths. Instead, they’ve gone up. Can we take a lesson from … Hoboken?

Will Philly’s Growth Machine Coalition Influence City Hall in 2024?

The building trades and developers largely backed Cherelle Parker for mayor. Philly 3.0's engagement director asks: Will our presumptive mayor elect work with them on their version of economic growth?

The Citizen Recommends: Biking 158 miles from Philly to Harrisburg

The nonprofit We Love Philly is leading a bike ride from August 17 to August 20 to raise awareness for Act 158. Join them for all or part of the journey in support of high school students throughout the Commonwealth.

Meet Philadelphia’s Cosmic Writers

This nonprofit brings out the creative writer in school-age students in Philly and beyond. In a city with an abysmal literacy rate, these efforts are paying off.

Guns Don’t Kill People … Bullets Do?

In the wake of this week’s mass shooting in Southwest Philly, is it time to start regulating the sale of bullets rather than just repeating gun control rhetoric?

The Unfairness of Students for ‘Fair’ Admissions

The Students for Fair Admissions’ Supreme Court case that struck down affirmative action was not about fairness in college admissions. It was about race.

Ideas We Should Steal: 7 Ways to Solve Gun Violence

This week's shooting in Kingsessing is another sign that Philadelphia is failing to staunch its rampant gun violence — despite evidence about what works. Here are some ideas.

Guest Commentary: The Next Mayor Must Prioritize Sustainable Businesses

The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia on how our elected leaders can support values-driven small businesses in Philly

The Fourth of July Voices We Need to Read Now

July 4th means different things to different Americans. Here, a host of Independence Day perspectives — from Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Ronald Reagan and more — that remind us what it means to be free

This Moment is Why Elections Matter

A former mayor on how last week’s Supreme Court rulings targeting Affirmative Action, the LGBTQ+ community, and student loan debt should remind us of the power of the ballot box

Josh Shapiro’s Master Class

Sure, the Governor’s handling of the I-95 mess has the nation talking. But in countless other ways — including his support of school vouchers — he’s demonstrating a political inside game, too

The Supreme Court Struck Down Affirmative Action. Now What?

A long-time university president urges Philadelphia-area colleges and universities to maintain commitment to diversity within the constraints of the new ruling

Why Should We Care about Moore v. Harper — and Independent State Legislature Doctrine?

Former federal judge and current Dickinson College President John E. Jones III explains what the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling means — and what that means for democratic elections

Listen: How to Really Build Black Business Density

Part 2 of our live podcast taping reveals the secrets to combating the negative aspects of gentrification, and the most important document any city leader would be wise to read

Bring Back Queer Radicalism

Rainbow capitalism and crosswalks are nice, but let’s not forget we need to demand our right to exist

Citizen Of The Week: Chris Ulmer of Special Books by Special Kids

A Northeast Philly native is transforming how the world treats people with disabilities, one goofy YouTube interview at a time.

Memo To Madam Mayor: Get Your Public Safety Team In Place Now

The first of a series offering political and policy advice to presumptive Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker that she can adopt before taking office

Your City Defined: I-95 (a Troubled History)

The overpass collapse last week was not the first catastrophe associated with Philly’s stretch of interstate. That dates back to … the beginning

Ideas We Should Steal: Ban the Ban, Not the Book

Attention, Governor Shapiro and Pennsylvania state legislators: Illinois has banned book bans. NJ is thinking about it and PA should too.

“Win With Grace, Lose With Dignity”

Kicking up some dust with the coach, kids and families of the South Philly Sharks

Guest Commentary: A Bold Proposal for I-95

The interstate has splintered neighborhoods and magnified inequities since its construction in 1957. A former mayoral campaign staffer proposes a solution: transportation reparations

The I-95 Wake-Up Call

The message is clear, an environmental justice advocate says: We must Stop. Using. Fossil Fuels.

Business for Good: Wharton WORKS

Penn business school’s new program teaches incarcerated men and women valuable skills — and future MBAs about the value of employing people who have been released from prison.

Banking on Moms

When it launches in 2024, Philly Joy Bank will be a guaranteed income pilot designed to support Philadelphians who too often fall through the cracks: pregnant women of color and their babies

The Fix: What If Everyone Had to Vote?

Is mandatory voting — the law in Australia, Belgium, Brazil and other countries — an idea we should steal to boost election turnout? (Also: Democracy sausage!)

Seriously? Now Drag Racing is a … Hobby?

Hey, Inquirer: Philly’s latest tragic example of antisocial disorder ought to be called out for what it is

LGBTQ-Owned Shops, Restaurants, More in Philadelphia

Brick-and-mortar LGBTQ-owned businesses span all of Philly. Here, some that strive not just to sell, but also to do good in and beyond our city

LISTEN: How to Build Black Business Density, Part I

In the latest installment of our How to Really Run a City Podcast, former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter and former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed host an all-star lineup of mayors and experts to address one of the most pressing issues of our time

Ideas We Should Steal: Wage Boosts for Local Workers

A first-of-its kind program in Scranton is using federal rescue money to help small businesses give their employees a pay raise. Could a similar plan help residents and businesses thrive in Philly?

Citizen of the Week: Atiyah Harmon of Black Girls Love Math

School by school, student by student, a Philly educator is changing how Black girls learn — and embrace — math.

Yo Biden, Campaign Like Jagger

Is ageism the last acceptable prejudice? What progressives who fixate on his age miss about Joe Biden’s political chops

Do Philadelphia’s Mayoral Candidates Care About the Environment?

Here’s why the managing editor of EcoWURD is doubtful about Cherelle Parker and David Oh

Your Guide to Philadelphia Pride 2023

Philly celebrates LGBTQIA+ Pride this year with events for families, partiers, sports fans, arts aficionados — all June long.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Sustainability

Newish SBN Executive Director Devi Ramkissoon spent most of her career helping businesses in developing countries become engines of poverty relief. Here’s how she plans to do the same in Philadelphia

A New Way To Police Philly?

Like cities around the world, Philly’s Police Assisted Diversion pilot has referred thousands of low-level offenders to social services instead of jail. The program is spreading to every district in the city this summer

Veteran-Owned Businesses in Philadelphia

Support these dozen-plus local businesses opened by local veterans after their military service

Is Year-Round Schooling the Answer We Need?

What the most talked-about idea in the new schools plan would mean for Philadelphia

Guest Commentary: Cleaner Streets are Key to Philly’s Success

Local business leaders on what the City must do to bring more visitors — and their economic impact — to Philadelphia

The Primary Election Outcome No One Paid Attention To

Lost in the hubbub over candidates, a single, confusing ballot question may have led voters to vote against their own beliefs and interests

Character Lab: Keep Thinking

This month, Character Lab, co-founded by Angela Duckworth, is sharing wisdom on creativity. Today, a tip from an author and marketing professor on the value of persistence

Ideas We Should Steal: Vote Like Minneapolitans

Only 27 percent of voters cast a ballot in Philly’s mayoral primary last week. Here’s what we can learn from the midwest city — known for high levels of civic engagement — that recently set a turnout record

Is Social Media Behind Philly’s Rise in Violent Crime?

Instagram feuds, Twitter taunts and online videos are taking the blame for several shootings over the last couple of years. The answer is old-fashioned communication

Guest Commentary: The Team Philly Needs Now

A shooting survivor and anti-violence advocate has a plan — inspired by our pro sports teams — to get the whole city behind stopping violence

Election Winners and Losers

Ryan Boyer, Bob Brady and the anti-Gym forces exulted. Progressives, David Oh and democracy? Not a great night. Here, a report card

Getting To Graduation, Together

Could College Together hold the answer to our nation’s higher education woes?

Dawn Staley for Sixers Coach

The North Philly native is a total badass on and off the court — which could be just what our almost-ran basketball team needs

The 2023 Primary: Why Philadelphians Voted

Tuesday’s primary lacked the splash, buzz and — more than likely — turnout of recent Presidential elections. But those who did vote did it with intention, optimism — and Philly swagger

Guest Commentary: Who Couldn’t Vote in the Primary

One in two veterans — among about 1 million voters — will stay away from the polls on primary day because of Pennsylvania’s unfair election system. A fair elections advocate on how that can change

The Stakes of the Election: The Leadership Question

This long campaign season ends tomorrow. Who is the leader we need for a better Philadelphia future?

Inside the Last Days of the Election

Some final thoughts on the mayor’s race as it comes to a close. Are we about to meet a new boss who is the same as the old boss?

City Council Election 2023: Rue Landau for Communicator-at-Large?

The attorney who helmed the City’s Human Relations and Fair Housing commissions believes Philadelphia’s problems can be solved with clear communication and dogged implementation

City Council Election 2023: Jalon Alexander Thinks Tech Can Save Philly

The City Council at-large candidate’s vision includes better school funding, growing tech jobs … and Drone Force Philly

Development … for Good: Black Squirrel Collective

Founded by three Black entrepreneurs, the Philly company empowers underserved real estate developers and small businesses with capital, coaching, land and mentorship

Business for Good: Mea Culpa

The Philly fashion brand coveted by celebs James Harden, Kim Kardashian and La La Anthony is breaking barriers and helping those in need — with an extra boost from La La

From There, Still Here

Frankford-born-and-raised Joseph Earl Thomas has been getting raves for his new memoir, Sink, as a story of his journey out that, really, is about how he’s stayed in

How to Help Schools, Students and Teachers

Donate food or money for uniforms, share your expertise, provide reading help and more ways you can support schools in Philadelphia

It’s the Pragmatism, Stupid!

We asked 15 historians to rank Philly's leaders throughout time. As Election Day approaches, our mayoral candidates — and voters — could learn a lot from the results

Sit On It, Neighbor

Stoop (step?) sitting is fundamental to Philly rowhome living. Let’s bring it back, for all of our sakes

City Council Election 2023: Donavan West for “Critical Case Manager”

The City Council At-large candidate is … a lot, including a warrior against poverty.

Art for Change: The Prankster

Rose Luardo, performer, dancer, visual artist and comedian shuns stereotypes in pursuit of art that’s both thoroughly provoking and totally fun

City Council Election 2023: Eryn Santamoor, Technocrat-at-Large?

The practical policy nerd who has worked with Michael Nutter and Allan Domb is running for City Council-at-large with big ideas for solving problems and because it seems … really fun

Citizen of the Week: Cheryl Ann Wadlington

The founder of Evoluer House has empowered 3,000 young girls of color in Philadelphia to attend college and succeed in life.

Exclusive: Who Won The First Independent Poll of the Philly Mayor’s Race?

Find out who would become the next mayor if Election Day were today — and who would come out on top in a ranked choice vote — in our new poll with Committee of Seventy, Chamber of Commerce, Urban Affairs Coalition and FairVote

Ideas We Should Steal: Mayor’s Youth Climate Action Council

In L.A. and other cities, young people influence local climate policy and enact climate fixes — while learning what it means to be an engaged citizen. It’s time Philly joins the movement

City Council Election 2023: Nina Ahmad Thinks Philly Needs Compassion and Science

Ahmad is the only City Council At-Large candidate who would bring two disparate experiences to the role: as a war survivor and a scientist

Guest Commentary: Why Ed Rendell is For Rhynhart

The former mayor and governor's endorsement includes advice and a challenge on how to govern Philadelphia

City Council Election 2023: Job Itzkowitz Wants to Clean Up The City

The executive director of Old City District is running for City Council At-Large with a plan that bring quality-of-life issues — cleaning streets, serving people with addiction — to every neighborhood in the city

Stop Idolizing Politicians like They’re Celebrities

For democracy to work, citizens need to hold electeds to account for their actions — even if they’re leaders we really, really like.

Business for Good: KIDAS

A local software company alerts parents to potential cyberbullying while their children are playing video games like Roblox and Fortnite

What Wasn’t Said about Chester and Philly’s Trash

In last week's debate, Jeff Brown took heat for what he said about our Delco neighbor. But other candidates also seemed unaware of the real issue behind where our trash goes

Ideas We Should Steal: Chief Heat Officer

At least seven cities worldwide have officials solely focused on mitigating rising heat. An event at Penn this week will lay out why that could help Philadelphia’s most vulnerable

Guest Commentary: How Can Center City Achieve Total Recovery?

Despite what you’ve heard, downtown Philly is doing pretty well. Center City District’s President/CEO on how the city is rebounding from the last three years — and what new leaders must do

“Our Children’s Killers Are Still Out There”

The police, DA and Sheriff’s Office have kicked off a new partnership to track down known homicide suspects. Will it help assuage the frustration of victims’ families?

Is Helen Gym a Hypocrite?

Or is she just wrong?

The Citizen Recommends: City Bright Philadelphia Saturday Cleanup

A local nonprofit combines picking up litter with help for people who are homeless. You’re invited to their next event

Your City Defined: Primary Elections

Why we have them, why they are the way they are — and how they might change to allow more people to vote in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia City Council Money Race

Philly 3.0’s engagement director with who’s up, who’s down in the fundraising contest for the City Council primary

Guest Commentary: We’re Already Defunding the Philly Police

Bloating pension payments contribute to our staff shortage. Here, ways to solve the issue

The Fix: Why Ethics Matter in the Mayor’s Race

Jeff Brown may be under investigation by the Ethics Board. Others have their issues. Which candidate represents the cleanest, least purely transactional style of governing?

Business for Good: PatientWing

Almost 86 percent of clinical trials for new drugs are delayed because researchers can’t find enough patients to take part. A local entrepreneur is filling that gap all over the world

The Stakes of the Election: The Making of a Mayor

Predictions on election math, messaging that matters, and who will emerge the winner in May’s primary from a former Mayor candidate-turned-award winning documentarian

Temple, The People’s University?

In light of Pres. Jason Wingard’s abrupt resignation, a former college president calls for a reboot that turns Temple into a model of 21st century reform

“Writing to the Dying is Difficult”

A former Philadelphian remembers the lessons learned from his most important friend, a popular Germantown radio personality, a year after his untimely death

Get Involved

Your one-stop-shop for civic engagement in your Philly community so you can be a better Philadelphia Citizen

Your Guide to the Philadelphia Primary Election on May 16, 2023

Who's running? City Council? Commissioners? Controller? Judges? We've got you covered, Philadelphia voters

What’s (almost) as Bad as Brain Cancer?

When a Citizen editor’s sister gets glioblastoma, her doctors recommend a cutting-edge treatment. Then she rams into the great American healthcare wall: Insurance.

Business for Good: JVS Philadelphia Fund for Women

A new partnership offers grants and investments for local, women-owned and led businesses — courtesy of Judee von Seldneck, a woman who’s been there

Why Academic Freedom Matters

Gov. Ron DeSantis is not alone in attacking free expression on campus, where censorship is coming from the right and left. Here, a former university president on the dangers of such Orwellian assaults on democracy itself

Critical Race Theatre

Former Roots Crew member Dice Raw first made his name chronicling his Philadelphia history through music. Now, as head of Philly’s legendary New Freedom Theatre, he’s telling the stories of Black Americans throughout all our history

Ideas We Should Steal: A Better Way to Select Judges

Pennsylvania is one of eight states that elects judges through partisan elections, inviting political cronyism and incompetence into our courts. Does Missouri offer a better way?

The Mayoral Ad Wars

Nutter and Street for Rhynhart? Domb goes after Brown? Parker and Gym, crimefighters? Plus, a Tik-Tok jokester weighs in. Get ready for an airwaves assault, Philly

Not Your Country Club’s Squash Team

City kids playing squash? The nonprofit SquashSmarts has combined the sport with academic and social support as a college and career launchpad for hundreds of Philly kids

Ideas We Should Steal: Clean Up Trash With Pro Sports Teams

The Memphis Grizzlies loaned its NBA star power to get citizens competing to pick up litter. Could a Philly “Litter League” help clean up our streets, too?

Bye, Bye Fiefdoms?

Philly 3.0’s engagement director on the promise a new mayor and City Council offer: Reversing the balkanized, piecemeal approach to land development Darrell Clarke has championed.

10 Small, Under-the-Radar, Black-Owned Businesses You Need to Know in Philly

Supporting small businesses supports Black families, communities, other small businesses, and dreams

Arena? What Arena?

Former mayors Rendell and Street say the fate of a new Sixers arena should be left to the next Mayor and Council. But do the mayoral candidates want any part of it?

Can Temple Recover its Public Image?

The just-ended graduate union strike was the latest blow to the university, which has seen violence and disarray the last several months

LISTEN: How to Really Run a City — and Be Nonpartisan

On this episode of The Citizen’s podcast, former Mayors Michael Nutter and Kasim Reed talk pragmatism with Republican OKC Mayor David Holt

Ideas We Should Steal: Training Workers for Well-Paying Jobs

New Jersey’s public-private Pay It Forward program provides free or low-cost access to training in fields that need skilled workers. It’s a model Philly should emulate

Guest Commentary: Jane Golden’s Arts Agenda

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s executive director delivered a message from the arts to candidates at a forum last month. Here’s what she told them

Lessons from Chicago

Paul Vallas’ primary defeat of Lori Lightfoot — Paul Vallas! — holds many object lessons for mayoral candidates in Philadelphia

The Local Company That Doesn’t Care About Your Search

Is it porn? Is it sports? Why is DuckDuckGo, the upstart challenger to Google, targeting bros?

Guest Commentary: Do. Learn. Change.

The executive director of an impact evaluation group distills five lessons learned in five years of helping mission-oriented organizations make real change in Philly

Philly’s Fiercest Advocates

YEAH Philly provides 400 youth a year with a safe space and opportunities to change the course of their lives and their community. Is it a blueprint for moving our city forward?

Can Place-Based Learning Work in Philly Schools Too?

A West Philly charter high school has added an option to learn outside the classroom. So far, it seems to be working, just like it does in some of Philly’s most affluent suburbs.

Mystery Shopper: Registering to Vote in Pennsylvania

How hard is it for a first-time voter to register in PA? In the latest installment of our Mystery Shopper column, a Philly student finds out

The Real Legacy of Darrell Clarke

Is the retiring City Council President a statesman … or has he been a guardian of the status quo?

Ideas We Should Steal: Verify the News

A long-time university president believes the general public could use a crash course in fact-checking — and that news itself can be the teacher

Guest Commentary: The Unchecked Threat of Natural Gas (LNG) at Our Port

PhilaPort Communities are being ignored in the state’s push to build a local terminal for explosive gas. A Clean Air Council exec calls for accountability — to residents and the climate

Reality Check: Will a New Police Chief Above Our Old Police Chief Change Anything?

City Councilmembers are celebrating the idea of a “Public Safety Director” to oversee violence reduction in Philly. But, WURD’s midday host wonders, what will that really solve?

Ideas We Should Steal: Youth Restorative Justice For All Students

The School District’s diversion program for low-level offenders is a national model that has kept kids in school and out of jail. Could a version of San Francisco’s Make it Right program reach even more youth?

Mystery Shopper: Recovering a Stolen Kia (Screw You, Kia Boyz)

An East Kensington resident was a victim of the “Kia Boyz” car theft trend. Here’s what happened when they tried to get their car back

Business for Good Update: Honeycomb Credit

A crowdfunding platform for small businesses returns to Philly — and promises help for minority-owned small businesses, thanks to a new partner

The 2023 Mayor’s Race: Tree Shaker or Jelly Maker?

Our Ultimate Job Interview series with the major mayoral candidates has featured plenty of drama … and helped shed light on the qualities needed in City Hall.

Integrity Icon 2023: Celebrate City Workers!

The Citizen is kicking off our third-annual search for Integrity Icon Award winners. Find out why — and how to nominate a city worker you admire

Guest Commentary: How To End Our Culture of Gun Violence

A North Philly native who was shot, spent time in prison and worked in schools has seen a lot of violence. Here, he lays out his prescription for stopping it

Business for Good: Trashmitter

A former Philadelphia firefighter has created an app that’s Uber for trash disposal to help landlords and small businesses keep the city clean. Now he’s ready to grow it big

How to End Philadelphia’s Staffing Crisis

One in seven city jobs are vacant, creating a backlog in services to residents. It may be time to rethink who, and how, we hire

Ideas We Should Steal: An Everything Transportation App

It is unnecessarily hard to figure out the best public transit route to get around the Philly area — one reason people default to driving. Can we take a lesson from Berlin?

Ideas Mayoral Candidates Should Steal

Many of those running for mayor call themselves change agents. But 13 weeks from Election Day, where are the innovative plans that could alter the direction of the city?

Guest Commentary: First Time Caller, Long Time Listener

Deadspin’s former editor recalls his late father’s passion for his beloved Eagles — and for WIP talk radio. How would “Big Al from Ambler” have reacted to the Super Bowl loss?

Ideas We Should Steal: A History in Two Monuments

Now that South Philly’s Columbus Statue has been unboxed, can we find a healthier way to grapple with our monument issues, as they’ve done in Franklin, Tennessee?

Philly Can Still Win

Feeling terrible today? Us too. Here, a few things you can do as a Philadelphian to make everything better

Eagles Win the (Civic) Super Bowl!

No matter what happens on Sunday (cue: GREASE THE POLES!), our team will always be winners for their contributions off the field. Here, a look at how our beloved Birds are really making a difference

2023 Philadelphia City Council Candidates’ Race for Money

As the pool of candidates for City Council balloons, Philly 3.0’s engagement director looks at how much candidates — both incumbent and prospective members — have raised

Art For Change: The Comic Artist

The latest in our partnership with Forman Arts Initiative considers Kelechi Azu, whose newest piece, Music Library, combines her passions for music and comics — a lifelong pursuit that is her connection to those around her

Ideas We Should Steal: Information Literacy Education

New Jersey became the first state to require schools teach K-12 students how to tell fact from fiction — a critical skill in preserving democracy

Guest Commentary: Why It’s Time for a Woman Mayor

The last 99 mayors of Philadelphia (i.e. all of them) have been men. Isn’t it time, one of the city’s top female executives says, for that to change?

Watch: The Ultimate Job Interview with Jeff Brown and Maria Quiñones Sánchez

Missed the latest in our 2023 mayoral candidate interviews? Find out what it was all about here, and join us for the next one on February 7

The Black Masculinity Pill

Tyre Nichols’s murder was not just about race. The real story is the toxic proclivities of men

Poverty Is Not Fashion

Why new fashion trends are insulting to poor people and how to actually help them

Citizen of the Week: Hillary Do of Philly BOLT

The founder of Philly BOLT believes the key to transforming communities lies in trusting the people who live there to lead the way

Can We Just Rename Taney Street, Already?

A dedicated group of citizens has spent three years trying to change the name of the tiny Philadelphia street that honors a big non-Philadelphian racist. Why won’t their Councilmembers let it happen?

Now, We’ve Got a Mayor’s Race, Philly

Jeff Brown takes some hits. Cherelle Parker talks in the third person. Helen Gym moderates her decibel level. And no one will address Commissioner Outlaw's fate … The Mayor’s race is underway. How can we make this about you?

Level Up to Healing

Week after week, Pastor Aaron Campbell’s five-year-old after-school program offers more than 300 young people the security, skills and confidence to live — and thrive — through the city’s violence

Business for Good: ZeroEyes

Navy SEALs founded a software company that detects firearms on security cameras. Schools, corporate campuses, the Department of Defense — and SEPTA — are signing up.

Jalen Hurts, Unburdened

What does a Black QB have to do to get love? Ours may be showing the way

Guest Commentary: Six Ways Schools Can Better Serve Students

The heads of two local youth organizations asked students what they needed to feel safe and well-served in schools. Here, some solutions to fix what ails the system

What Has Happened to Activism?

What do the proposed Sixers arena, UC Townhomes, the selling off of county water and sewer systems, and protests of the Bellwether District have in common? Opposition that is shrill and uncivil. Is the art of persuasion dead?

Generation Change Philly: The People’s Planner

Gregory Heller has spent his career trying to make Philadelphia more hospitable — and equitable — for the people who call it home.

Business for Good: Grant Blvd + Blk Ivy

The B Corps fashion brand loved by Beyoncé is launching a men’s clothing line and a vintage clothing store, Blk Ivy, dedicated to Civil Rights era fashion, music, books— and activism

A New Gun Violence Narrative

A study by a Temple trauma surgeon looks at the damaging effects of daily crime reporting on victims of gun violence. A bigger question remains: Would changing the news decrease shootings?

Citizens of the Week: Mazzie Casher and Steven Pickens

The former high school friends launched Philly Truce, an app, event series and neighborhood watch to interrupt gun violence — because everyone has to work for peace in the city

So You Wanna Be Mayor?

Well, we’ve got a crowdsourced job description from the citizens of Philadelphia…and some serious questions for y’all

Philadelphia’s Opioid Addiction Failure

A New York Times article about a crippling new drug has drawn national attention (once again) to Kensington. A former city official who worked on the crisis under Jim Kenney takes the Mayor to task for his failure to solve the problem

LISTEN: How to Really Run a City — Combatting Climate Change

Former Mayors Michael Nutter and Kasim Reed speak with Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix — one of the hottest cities on earth

How Elections in Philadelphia Work

With the mayoral primary in full swing, Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein explains why voters should feel confident their ballots are safe and counted every Election Day.

Citizens of the Week: Brent Johnstone and Akeiff Staples

We’ve all heard the research: Early literacy is critical to success. Two fathers do their part to help Philadelphia’s early learners develop a lifelong love of reading — and of themselves

What Should Josh Shapiro Do?

Mandate? Voters elected him to be not crazy. Here's a game plan beyond that low but necessary bar for the new governor

Art for Change: The Grounded Optimist

The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative profiles interdisciplinary artist Suldano Abdiruhman, whose art explores the mystical overlaps between science and spirituality.

Guest Commentary: We Need Fact Over Fiction in Education

Yes, teachers are underpaid, a longtime schools advocate says in response to a Citizen column about education funding. But that’s not the fault of charters

Citizen Updates: Hopeworks Comes to Kensington

The Camden-based tech training program opened in Kensington this month with plans to replicate its poverty-fighting work where it’s most needed

Guest Commentary: We Can Prioritize Increasing the Teacher Pipeline and Educating our Students

It’s possible to give middle schoolers extracurricular access to educational opportunities and train BIPOC college students to become teachers, explains an executive director of a nonprofit that works to do both

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Giving Locally

Philadelphia is among the least charitable regions in the country. Could a local version of Giving Tuesday, like they have in Austin, be the answer?

Brian Fitzpatrick For Speaker of the House?

What do the Bucks County Republican, Bono and ex-Congressman Charlie Dent all have in common? Maybe a way to calm Washington’s raging culture wars

Stop the Public Education Blame Game

A longtime university president responds to a recent Citizen column by urging us to work for constructive solutions that support public education for all students

The Weird, Hopeful, Dismal, Exciting Year That Was (2022)

Happy to see 2022 in your rear view? Here’s what it means for 2023

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: How to Embrace (Another Virusy) Winter

Eight years ago, Edmonton, Canada, started a citywide effort to celebrate its intense cold, rather than hide from it. Would doing the same here lessen social isolation, help spur local democracy and make this third Covid winter more bearable?

2023 Is the Year of the Local

With the federal government in disarray, Drexel’s Metro Finance head predicts cities — and those who live, work and manage them — will be the key to economic growth next year.

Generation Change Philly: The Philadelphians Changing Philadelphia

We spent the year profiling the incredible people helping the city move forward. See who they are here

Thank You, Amen Brown

The latest mayoral candidate has reminded us that there ought to be standards for becoming mayor. But can his gaffe, and other tales from the campaign, lead to an entirely new way to think about what it takes to occupy City Hall?

Future-Ready: The Next Mayor’s Jobs Vision

Philadelphia needs a grassroots, “grow your own” economic development and jobs strategy. A future of work expert, and 10K Independents Project leader, lays out how to size up candidates and engage with the process

George Santos Needed a Better Job Interview

A longtime university president laments that lying has become normative in American politics — and thinks The Philadelphia Citizen has an idea to change it

Will Ever-Improving AI Put Humans Out of Business?

Expanding technology can make life easier. But at what cost to our livelihoods — and our culture?

Guest Commentary: PA Adults with Autism Deserve More

Pennsylvania has among the fewest housing options for people with intellectual disabilities. That, a mother, scholar and advocate notes, causes them harm — and wastes all of our money

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2022 Recap: “Tell the Truth About Who We Are”

At the opening night of last week’s festival, renowned journalists from Ali Velshi to Jill Abramson offered solutions to what plagues distrust of the media

Citizen of the Week: Christine Rouse

Sixteen percent of Philadelphians have a disability. The founder and leader of Acting Without Boundaries puts those who love to act on stage

Kensington’s Trauma Porn Problem

YouTubers roaming Kensington to record human suffering there have built a cottage industry of crass global gawkers. What can Philly do about it?

Development for Good: Omar Blaik and U3 Advisors

The West Philadelphia guy who tackled Penntrification now works to preserve and enhance neighborhoods around college and corporate campuses nationwide

Generation Change Philly: The Millennial Door Opener

Like father like son: Kellan White, the son of former City Councilman John F. White Jr., is all-in for Philadelphia. On the cusp of his toughest political campaign to date, this third-generation civic leader and political insider aims to lift up others

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2022: Saving Democracy with Andrew Yang

The former presidential candidate talks with WashPo’s Jennifer Rubin, former RNC Chair Michael Steele and MSNBC’s Ali Velshi at our Ideas We Should Steal Festival Thursday

20 Sustainable Shops and Services in Philadelphia

Locally-owned shops and services that put a dent in climate change — and make you feel a little bit better about everything

Vote for School Boards That Protect Democracy

A long-time college president sees a cautionary tale in the recent Pennridge (Bucks County) school board vote to scale back social studies

Guest Commentary: The FDR Park Plan is the Game Changer We Need

Three local coaches weigh in on the controversy over the plan to replace South Philly’s Meadows with playing fields

The Gun Violence Plan Philly Finally Needs?

The new Civic Coalition to Save Lives plan to combat gun violence is a type of problem-solving collaboration we’ve not seen before. Can it work? And can it model a new way to enact solutions?

The Stakes of the Election: Why Failure Is Not An Option

A former mayoral candidate-turned-award-winning documentarian kicks off a series covering the candidates in the most crucial mayor’s election in Philadelphia history

The Citizen Recommends: WURD’s Empowerment Experience

The event on Saturday launches Pennsylvania’s only Black-owned radio station’s 20th anniversary year with shopping, cooking, hope — and dancing

Hey, Philly! Let’s Hire a Mayor!

In less than one year, Philadelphians will elect our city’s 100th mayor. How about this time we citizens play the role of employer?

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2022: How to Solve A Murder Epidemic

Chester has reduced gun violence by 60 percent in the last two years. We’ll learn how they did it at our 5th annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival on December 15

Art for Change: The Cultural Curator

Quon Brinkley, founder of the Thinker Makers Society, makes space for Philadelphia artists of color and Philadelphia LGBTQIA artists in Old City

Does Philly Crime Deter Prospective College Students?

A young Philadelphian chose a suburban college over a Philly one in order to feel and be safe for the next four years. Other students will follow suit if our city doesn’t get a handle on crime.

Listen: How to Really Run a City

The Citizen’s new podcast starring former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter and former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed dives deep into the mystery and mastery of urban leadership. Here’s why it’s needed now more than ever

Building a (Good) Teacher Pipeline

Can a four-year residency model ensure new teachers stay in the district? A Baltimore-based program that launched in Philly this year is betting on it.

Citizen of the Week: Ken Johnston

The Philadelphia “walking artist” has trekked hundreds of miles to honor people marching for freedom — including Harriett Tubman, whose statue he’s advocating for at home

Now is the Time to Protect DREAMers

A rare lame duck session of Congress provides opportunity to protect Americans who arrived to the U.S. as children

Winter in Philadelphia

Everything you need to know about celebrating the winter holidays in Philadelphia.

Philly’s Ultimate 2022 Do Good, Feel Good, Give Good Gift Guide

This Philadelphia holiday gift guide checks all of the boxes.

Philadelphians We Are Thankful For

All year long, The Philadelphia Citizen celebrates Philadelphians who make our city and world a better place. Here are some of our all-time favorites.

Who’s New on Philadelphia City Council?

Meet Quetcy Lozada, Sharon Vaughn, Anthony Phillips and Jimmy Harrity

Guest Commentary: Three Kids, One Post-Pandemic Philadelphia

A Philadelphia educator reflects on the power of young people to accept the world as it is, brutal and beautiful — and urges us all to revel in what they can teach us

Safe at Home

Philadelphia’s Eviction Diversion Program has become a model for cities around the country — and a lifesaver for Philadelphia families

Seeing Black Excellence

Being surrounded by Black leaders I admire during two Philadelphia events reminded me why young Black men need other Black men as mentors

Six Lessons from the Republicans’ Disastrous Midterm Elections

The promised red wave never happened. What should Philadelphia — and all — Republicans learn from the midterms?

Your City Defined: 311

City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas recently introduced a bill to pay Philadelphians for filing complaints. Which led us to wonder: Just what is 311 all about?

Art for Change: The Collaborator

Nia Benjamin makes experimental theater that’s not just experimenting on stage — it’s also experimenting with the process itself, allowing for collaboration and room to breathe

Development for Good: Girlbuild

Serial entrepreneur Monica Miraglilo brings women into what was once a man’s world: demolition, residential rehab, and serious construction. (And helps them look good, too.)

The Jewish Obama! Niceness Makes a Comeback! The Best PA Reporter Commutes From London!

And other notes from a crazy, conventional wisdom-defying election

Ideas We Should Steal, Revisited: Make. Voting. Easier.

Every Election Day, we learn somethings new about Pennsylvania elections. The consistent takeaway: We should have a better way to vote

What City Council Got Right on Housing

A new report shows the city’s housing density bonus has helped hundreds of low-income homeowners pay for repairs. Philly 3.0’s engagement director lays out why that matters

The Citizen Recommends: Jason Kelce’s Do-Good Line of Merch

With Underdog Apparel, the Philadelphia Eagles’ star center is selling tees, totes, fanny packs, hats and more to benefit Philly kids everywhere.

Generation Change Philly: The Better Business Builder

Philadelphia tech entrepreneur Chris Cera builds and runs software companies. But he also advocates for tax policies that allow small businesses to thrive, creates model work environments — and promises not to bail for the suburbs.

Ideas We Should Steal: A Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Care

An Oklahoma program helps save police resources and provide better care for residents in distress. Could Philly do the same to combat our mental health care crisis?

Only Vigilance — and Voting — Can Protect Education

Education is a fundamental building block of democracy — which is why it’s become a prime target of attack. In Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and everywhere, we all must do our part to protect it

Business for Good: Lluna

A Philadelphia-born, Comcast-boosted app helps improve employees’ quality of life — and employers’ quality of work

Will Walt Whitman Be In The Phillies Lineup Tonight?

According to the team’s unlikeliest fan, Penn Professor Sarah Gronningsater, he already is — spiritually. Because of all the sports, only baseball reveals America to itself.

The Color of Law: “Greathearted, Restless, Full of Purpose”

An oral history of the life and legacy of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, being honored by The Citizen next week

What to Know About Philly’s 2022 Ballot Questions

Every Philadelphia citizen ought to understand what they are or aren’t voting for.

We All Lost The Fetterman-Oz Debate

It was a mess from start to finish — not just because of John Fetterman’s post-stroke symptoms or Mehmet Oz’s smarminess. But because neither could be bothered to tell us anything we needed to know

What to Do With the Philadelphia Roundhouse

The City plans to sell the old police headquarters. Can — and will — it be redeveloped in a way that respects the building’s history?

What the Controller’s Police Audit Didn’t Say

Rebecca Rhynhart’s detailed analysis of the department’s budget included several dozen recommendations. The most important one never got a mention

Are We Still A Union League Town?

The elite social club plans to award Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis its highest award. What does that say about who they — and we — are?

Does Dr. Oz Have a Genocide Problem?

The Republican U.S. Senate nominee won’t acknowledge that Turkey annihilated 1.5 million Armenians in the 20th century. Is denial of genocide the new smart campaign strategy?

Ideas We Should Steal: Get the DOJ to Investigate Illegal Dumping

An ongoing federal investigation into illegal dumping in poor, majority Black neighborhoods in Houston is already cleaning things up. Could it happen in Philadelphia?

Your City Defined: Philly’s Weirdest Sports Superstitions

Wanna win another World Series or Super Bowl, Philadelphia? Don’t plan a parade, build a William Penn-less skyscraper, or turn the economy around

The Problem with Blaming Parents for Kids’ Unlawful Behavior

When parents themselves are disadvantaged — single, impoverished, young — a community of adults must step up to help children

Development for Good: Kensington Corridor Trust

An innovative model for community-business development provides opportunity for current and new residents to thrive in a Philadelphia neighborhood experiencing both investment and crisis

The Fix: Philly Leaders — Be more like the Eagles … and the Phillies

Philadelphia's pro teams' success comes from honest teamwork ... How about some of that from City Hall? (Looking at you, Johnson and Parker.)

Ideas We Should Steal: Public Toilets

Sometimes, you really, really need to go. That’s why Philly is looking to Portland to adopt a successful model of free public bathrooms.

What The Inquirer Got Wrong About FDR Park

A recent editorial declared support for remaking the South Philly park as an outdoor turf sports complex. That is not what we really need

Guest Commentary: Older Philadelphians Need You to Support Vision Zero

AARP Pennsylvania calls for more support for the City’s ambitious plan to eliminate fatalities and injuries from traffic crashes

Generation Change Philly: The Healthcare Revolutionary

Penn Medicine’s Shreya Kangovi has created a community health model that has worked with 16,000 Philadelphians and has been replicated in 18 states. The key? Listening

SEPTA’s Success Story

The transit agency’s experiment with free Anywhere Passes for employees at three institutions has been a rousing success. Now, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, it’s ready to go big

Generation Change Philly: The Activist Chef

South Philly Barbacoa’s Cristina Martínez has earned the highest honors for chefs in America. But that’s just the start of her most important work

Guest Commentary: Of Voting and Atonement

A Philadelphia rabbi’s Yom Kippur message: Your ballot could be the one that preserves the fundamental ideals of America

The Color of Law: The Rise of the Philadelphia Black Lawyer

A longtime legal legend created a detailed timeline of Black lawyers in America. Here, a look at how A. Leon Higginbotham intersected with that timeline — and made history himself

Sizing Up Philly’s Special Elections

Philly 3.0’s engagement director on the political chess match playing out in order to fill empty At-Large seats on Philadelphia City Council

Citizens of the Week: Kerri Conner Matchett and Anita Conner

A mother and daughter who are living through breast cancer help other Black women access the care they need and deserve

Mastriano versus The Free Press

Okay. You hate journalists. But the war Doug Mastriano is waging against the news media is not normal, and is a harbinger of autocracy

Generation Change Philly: The Doc Saving Us From Ourselves

Penn physician-scientist Kit Delgado applies what he learns from treating injured patients in the ER to changing the behavior that gets us there in the first place.

Ideas We Should Steal: Gun Violence Solutions

Yesterday’s shooting outside a Roxborough football game is another sign that Philadelphia is failing to staunch its rampant gun violence — despite evidence about what works. Here are some ideas.

The Citizen Recommends: Learning to Become a Writer Who Makes a Difference

A long-time college president and researcher in the teaching of writing recommends that readers take a free online course from Miami University (Ohio)

Listen: Ali Velshi on Why U.S. Democracy Could End in PA

MSNBC's Al Velshi and Josh Shapiro speak about how many Pennsylvania voters plan to back democracy on November 8

Business for Good: App + Amex = Millions for Good

Keith Leaphart's Philanthropi has partnered with American Express to let 25,000 members round up their purchases to give to charity

The West Philly Housing Crisis That Was Utterly Avoidable

The UC Townhomes fiasco features a wealthy, easy-to-blame institution; fact-challenged protestors; an elected official who may be in over her head, and a compromise solution everybody seems hell bent on ignoring

Enough of the Monkeypox B.S.

No, the virus doesn’t affect everyone equally. This platitude is outdated and hurts public health efforts

Future Ready: It’s up to us to shape the automated future

A future of work expert responds to a recent Inquirer editorial calling on Washington to plan for the effects of robots taking over jobs. Really, she says: It’s up to us to create lasting jobs

The Price of City Council’s National Politics

Councilmembers’ attempts to legislate national politics distract them from the local issues only they can solve. They should do better.

The (Vote) Play’s The (Vote) Thing

PA Youth Vote and activist theater company Just Act are using drama to activate the newest generation of voters. What can we learn from them on Voter Registration Day?

Ideas We Should Steal: Decarbonize All The Buildings

Ithaca, New York is on track to become the first city in the nation to transition all of its buildings from fossil fuels to renewable electricity, reducing their carbon emissions by 400,000 tons per year. Can we do it in Philly too?

God $!%# The Queen!

By all accounts she was a lovely woman. But why is mourning her passing the only thing Americans agree on? Didn’t we kinda fight a war to escape the trappings of royalty?

Save Soccer. Save Suffolk Park.

Philly’s most talented African soccer players play in Suffolk Park. City Hall touts their successes in the Unity Cup. So why can’t Philly give this park a little help?

Guest Commentary: Attention High School Students — Get Your Free Art Here

The executive director of Art-Reach touts STAMP, the under-used citywide program that gives all 62,000 Philadelphia high school students free admission to 20 of the city’s top museums and attractions

Future-Ready: What Really Matters in Education?

It might not be what you think, according to a future of work expert. Here, her lessons learned in 20 years of navigating the schools landscape in and around Philly

Constructing a Community of Fathers

Eric Marsh parlayed his own fathering experience into forming Fathering Circle, an arts-focused support group that helps men in Philadelphia be their best parenting selves

What Happens in City Hall When Council Resigns?

Four City Councilmembers have already resigned to run for Mayor — with the possibility of two more leaving before the new session begins. A former Council staffer explains what that means

John Fetterman and the Politics of Hypocrisy

Progressives who dismiss the lingering speech issues from the candidate’s stroke run the risk of embodying what they decry

Setting Returning Women Up for Success

A one-year-old Mural Arts’ program works to reduce recidivism for Philly women by looking inward to succeed on the outside

Vote For Higher Ed

Higher education as a public good is on the ballot this November. A longtime college president highlights the stark choices

How Not To Treat Young Professionals

A precocious young professional and scholar has a message for Philly employers: Equitable treatment for your youngest colleagues means giving them the respect — and pay — they deserve

10 Ways to Help Shelter Dogs and Cats in Philly

Volunteer, foster, donate goods, take a dog for a walk: simple, meaningful ways to help Philadelphia’s unhomed animal population

Announcing Kenney 2.0

Jim Kenney can still reverse his legacy as a mayor who quit on his city. Here, the “Quality of Life” speech to Philadelphians he needs to make now.

The Color of Law: “Who Will Carry the Baton?”

A conversation with Judge A. Leon Higginbotham opens his nephew’s mind to the urgency for a new civil rights movement in America

Talking To People You Disagree With

Root Quarterly looks at a California-based organization, now working with Penn, that asks: Does a successful American experiment depend on empathy?

Citizen of the Week: Rosalind Pichardo

The founder of Operation Save Our City also works in Temple's ER as a trauma victims' advocate, and has administered Narcan to 900 people in Kensington ...

Ideas We Should Steal: Mental Health Days for Philly Students

Twelve U.S. states allow school kids to take excused days off for emotional well-being. PA should too

President Biden’s Higher Ed Transformation

A long-time college president says student debt forgiveness is a return to the idea of college as a public good — and recommends more ways to stop debt before it starts

Why The New School Year Offers Reasons for Hope

Educators on how the school year that starts today in Philly could be one that makes the new normal better than normal

The Enlightenment Is On The Ballot

Media needs to cover the values underpinning the gubernatorial campaign of Doug Mastriano, because business as usual “objectivity” won’t capture the looming threat to pluralism

How to Recruit More (Good) Cops

An Inquirer story this week unpacked the ever-worsening Philly police officer shortage. Here, what Philly could learn from other cities on recruiting more qualified people to the job.

The Next Mayor’s Most Important Goal

One way to address many of the city’s most pressing needs, Philly 3.0’s engagement director argues, is by going all in towards one milestone: 2 million residents

Guest Commentary: Praising the Non-Endorsers of Doug Mastriano

A Republican supporter of Democrat Josh Shapiro on what passes for a bit of courage among his fellow state party members this election season

Generation Change Philly: The Impact Investor Evangelist

Engineer-turned-angel investor John Moore helped launch ImpactPHL with the goal of making Philly the social impact investment capital of the country. Five years later, he may be succeeding

Ideas We Should Steal: Affordable Workforce Housing as Economic Development

People are no longer moving for work; they’re moving for workforce housing, says Drexel’s Metro Finance Director. Let’s take advantage as cities have in Oklahoma and California

“Democracy Or Not Democracy”

What the highest-stakes Pennsylvania election since the last high stakes election (i.e. that one two years ago) is really about

WATCH: Project Save Democracy with Ali Velshi

At a Citizen event this week, the MSNBC anchor talked about Ukraine, democracy, empathy — and what we all need to do to save our democracy

How a Community Fridge Built … a Community

Jane Ellis opened one of the city’s first community fridges at the start of Covid. Two years later, Germantown’s two free-to-all pantries testify to the power and promise of mutual aid

Business for Good: YING

Karla Ballard has raised over $1 million for her app, which seeks to replicate the community of helpful neighbors she grew up with in Philadelphia, one task at a time

The “Drexel Promise” Is Just The Start

A longtime college president applauds Drexel’s new tuition discount for community college transfers — and urges universities to do more to help underserved students attain their degrees

Citizen of the Week: Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez

The director of progressive, accessible childcare centers is on a mission to provide opportunities for children and adults — including through a new teacher apprenticeship program starting this week

Photo Essay: Fab Youth Philly’s Play Captains

42 teens ran neighborhood play spaces around Philly this summer, engaging younger children while learning to be leaders themselves. Here, a look at some of the joy they shared.

Joe Biden’s Master Class in … Politics?

Does the Biden administration’s recent winning streak, including the Inflation Reduction and CHIPS and Science Acts, contain an object lesson for Philly?

Guest Commentary: How to Make Illegal Guns Kryptonite

Philly’s former district attorney has a three-step plan to get guns off the street — and reduce the record shootings — in Philly

Art for Change: The Institutional Critic

The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative profiles Maia Chao, whose anthropology-informed art practice challenges institutions of museums, schools, and more

Michael E. Mann is Coming For Your Climate Doomism

One of the most famous — and famously attacked — climatologists in America is now the founding director of Penn’s new climate change institute. He has a few things to say to those who doubt we can still save the earth

Glitter’s Glow Up

Morgan Berman’s street cleaning startup company is working better than ever. The City, which once declined to fund the “unproven pilot,” now faces proof: It works.

Is Democracy in Peril … Or Not?

There’s been a lot of handwringing over Democrats like Josh Shapiro trying to choose their MAGA general election opponents. But maybe we need a nationwide referendum on Trumpism, once and for all?

Generation Change Philly: The Home Maker

Developer Mo Rushdy made his reputation on high-end luxury homes. Now, he’s turned his considerable talents to creating generational wealth for low- to middle-income Philadelphians

Who Will Clean Up Philly?

The City’s disorganization around Philly’s illegal dumping crisis is as messy as the dumping itself. A reporter who has spent months delving into the disaster calls for a leader we can count on

Guest Commentary: Without More Jobs, Our Future is Limited

In a groundbreaking new report, the head of Center City District starkly lays out the problem — and calls for Philadelphia’s next mayor to fully invest in growth

The High Cost of a Disengaged Mayor

Jim Kenney’s lackadaisical approach to his job is doing real damage to the City. Philly 3.0’s engagement editor games out what could happen if Kenney resigns now

Senator Troll?

Senate candidate John Fetterman’s heckling of Mehmet Oz may entertain the already converted, but it might work against actually persuading independent voters

Art for Change: The R&B Eclectic

The next in a series with the Forman Arts Initiative profiles Suzanne Sheer, the singer, songwriter and Khemist collaborator who is taking over the city with her new album, The Blue Hour

Ideas We Should Steal: The 20-Minute Neighborhood

Paris, Portland, Houston and even Detroit are planning neighborhoods where residents can walk or bike to everything they need for a healthy and vibrant life. Is now the time to do the same in Philly?

How to End the Endless Fuss Over FDR Park

The plan for Philadelphia’s largest neighborhood park has prompted a contentious fight, South Philly style. Could the answer be as simple as a walk in the park?

The Sixers For The Win?

The prospect of a $1.3 billion Center City arena can spur equitable growth — if done right. Here, a playbook for an intentional and inclusive deal

Business for Good: Re Vision Architecture

A pioneer B Corp in Philadelphia’s sustainable design scene doesn’t just reduce, reuse and recycle: They listen to clients to create buildings that last because they’re loved

Generation Change Philly: The Teachers’ Teacher

Laura Boyce doesn’t just advocate for educators in Philadelphia public schools. She teaches them to advocate for themselves, for their students, and for the Philadelphia School District

How to Fight Food Insecurity in Philly

Donate peanut butter! Organize a food drive! Sort cans! Here are 15 simple things you can do now to help food insecure citizens of Philadelphia.

Guest Commentary: “I want to go home. I want my brother”

A bystander of the Fourth of July shooting points out a fact of gun violence in America: Most are not mass shootings, but the everyday violence that plagues communities.

Listen: Comparing U.S. Abortion Rights to the World

Citizen Board Member and MSNBC host Ali Velshi says the Supreme Court's erasure of abortion rights puts the U.S. in limited company and imperils Americans' personal rights

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Security Deposit Alternatives

Philly rents rose 6 percent during the pandemic, making security deposits even harder for new tenants. A Cincinnati law is applying private market disruption to the problem. Should we do that here too?

The Return of Stop and Frisk?

The debate, floated by Council President Darrell Clarke and engaged by Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, is proof that, when it comes to combatting gun violence in Philadelphia, our leaders live in a fact-free zone

Progressives vs. Safety

Philly’s former district attorney on how Larry Krasner’s progressive policies fail to prevent crime — and what we should do differently

Art for Change: The Teaching Artist

The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative, actor, writer and educator Camille Young uses her voice to celebrate others — especially Black femme artists — and her classroom to help young people celebrate themselves.

“Health Starts at Home”

Asthma is the number one illness that sends Philly kids to the ER and the main reason they miss school. A CHOP program is working to change that—starting with where they live

Ronnie Listens: Why “Housing First” Works

The “Housing First” model is helping homeless people get — and stay — off the streets. So why is it still considered “radical?”

Stop The Presses — Jim Kenney Doesn’t Want to be Mayor!

The mayor’s white flag-waving comments this week created a buzz storm of controversy. But did he say anything we didn't already know? And, what of it?

What Went Wrong on Washington Avenue

A two-mile paving debacle in Philly symbolizes how government isn’t working for American cities

Business for Good: Cayaba Care

A West Philly-born holistic maternal health care group has improved pregnancy outcomes for more than 1,000 Philadelphians — and are readying to help more women nationally

Generation Change Philly: The Urban Farmer

An irrepressible leader of today’s urban farming movement in Philadelphia, Christa Barfield builds individual and community health from the ground up

How Philly Invented Ice Cream (As We Know It)

It was African American chefs who created the summertime treat we consume by the gallons, right here in the city where America was born

Women’s Choice, Men’s Responsibility

Until the leaked draft decision that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, I had never told anyone — except my wife.

Sussing Out — and Stopping — Illegal Dumping

Philly has more illegal dumping surveillance cameras than other major cities, but far fewer arrests and convictions. Here’s what we know about illegal dumpers — and a system that rarely stops them.

The Spectacular Philly Hip-Hop Artist You Never Heard of

Logan-born poet / musician Khemist is one of the most gifted artists Philly has produced this century. We just don’t know it yet.

Will the Supreme Court Bombshells Change How PA Votes?

Why are Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano neck and neck? Is Dr. Oz underwater? Is PA going red? Catching up with legendary political consultant Neil Oxman to understand the polling.

Can Education Save Us From Tyranny?

In advance of a surprise January 6 hearing today, a long-time college president reflects on ways to preserve our embattled democracy

Roe Reneged: What Now, Philly?

For those who believe in abortion rights, now is the time to speak up, support the cause, and vote like women’s lives depend on it. Because they do.

“We Deserve for You to Protect Us”

In the midst of another grim year of gun violence, The Trace asked Philadelphians what they want leaders to do. Here’s what they said.

What to know — and do — about the abortion ruling

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade brings the fight over abortion to the states. Here’s what that means in Pennsylvania.

Governing Makes a Comeback

Council’s passage last week of modest business tax cuts was more than a rebuke of progressives. It also might suggest that reasonableness is trending again

Abortion — Then, Now and Tomorrow

A Penn lecturer co-created a documentary about illegal abortion in 1970. With Roe overturned, Mary Summers looks back in order to see a way forward

Philly’s Climate Change Report Card

It’s been five years since Mayor Kenney announced ambitious plans for combating climate change locally. Here, a look at how that's going.

Business for Good: Brightly

The immigrant-owned cleaning service co-operative, opening in Philly next spring, offers workers a pathway to the American middle class

15+ Indie Bookstores in Philadelphia We ❤️

Summer novels, banned books, literary classics, moving memoirs: Whatever you’re into reading, you’ll find it at one of Philadelphia’s independent bookstores

Framing Black Joy

Andrea “Philly” Walls’ photos of Black joy can be seen as a visual act of ongoing resistance. They are, also, the exact antidote to the time we live in

Can Philly Solve Its ATV Problem?

ATVs, buggies and dirt bikes are wreaking havoc on Philly streets and fueling a sense of disorder. What cities are smartly confronting the problem?

Mr. Schmidt Goes to Washington

Former City Commissioner Al Schmidt’s testimony this week before the Jan. 6 committee was a reminder that maybe integrity isn’t dead yet

Art for Change: The Arts and Culture Archivist

The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative profiles artist, curator and writer Logan Cryer, who shines light on a new generation of Philly creators

10+ Ways to Volunteer in Philly This Summer

Looking for opportunities for volunteering? Philadelphia has plenty. Read on for local groups where people of all ages — especially kids and teens — can make a difference over (and beyond) summer break

Guest Commentary: Excellent Education Isn’t For the Select Few

Philly’s selective schools are not enough to ensure every child receives the education they deserve. A longtime Philly educator on what more we must do

Guest Commentary: A Love Letter to Education Heroes

A 7th grade Philly math and science teacher reflects on the hardest of school years — and thanks all those who made it possible. Namely: those doing the work

The Little-Known Leader Pushing For Urgency on Gun Violence

While Mayor Kenney, DA Krasner and police commissioner Outlaw point fingers and demonstrate the Philly Shrug, State Sen. Art Haywood rejects the politics of helplessness

How Philly Fights Illegal Dumping

Why the dumpers are winning, and how the City can beat them

Guest Commentary: It’s Time to Connect the Unconnected

The director of a local tech ed nonprofit calls for awareness around access to high-speed internet and its role as a driver of inequity

Generation Change Philly: The Do-Good Music Impresario

Greg Seltzer, attorney and founder of Philly Music Fest, uses his business savvy and personal passion to help current and future generations of local musicians thrive.

Yasmine Mustafa to the Rescue (Again)

The Philly wearable device innovator is now answering the call to keep healthcare workers safer, too

Business for Good: Modest Transitions

Melanie Hasan creates a model of sustainability, inclusivity and community in a Fishtown shop that makes and sells naturally dyed wares

Listen: Philly Under Fire Podcast

The Citizen spent a year trying to understand Philly’s gun violence epidemic — and identify ways to solve it. Listen to Philly Under Fire here

Dear Teachers

This school year was hard. You know who made it easier for the rest of us? Teachers

George Carlin and Me

A riveting HBO documentary on the philosopher comic prompts some warm memories — and reminds us of what’s missing from today’s public conversation

The Other Music Lessons

Project 440, founded by a Philadelphia Orchestra bassist, transforms high school musicians into community-minded entrepreneurs

Art for Change: The Trans Culture Documenter

The next in a series with Forman Arts Initiative profiles performer/photographer Sa’Mantha SayTen, who uplifts queer trans artists through her studio and her own story

Follow Gabe Kapler’s Example

A long-time college president and Philly native urges everyone to do like the former Phillies manager: Exercise their rights to protest inaction on gun violence

Citizen of the Week: Rev. Dr. Michelle Simmons

Rev. Simmons’ Germantown nonprofit Why Not Prosper helps recently incarcerated women get their lives back — and stay out of prison for good

What To Do About School Shootings

The murder of 19 young children in Texas this week is a reminder of the violence children experience in America everyday — in and out of schools. Here, some ways to help

You Can Still Help Enact Racial Justice

More than 400 Black Americans have died at the hands of police since George Floyd's murder on this day in 2020. What can we do? Plenty.

Why We Must Fight Classroom Censorship

A long-time college president recommends ways to affirm democracy — through libraries and schools — in these troubled times

Ideas We Should Steal: Fight City Gun Violence with Better Street Design

One Portland neighborhood reduced gun violence 60 percent by changing traffic patterns and reviving a park. Philly could do that, right?

The Contrarian

In the first of a partnership series, Root Quarterly's publisher profiles Philly-raised iconoclastic cultural critic John McWhorter, who braves the Twitter mob every day

Notes From Crazy Town

An insurrectionist, a stroke patient, a TV doctor, a newspaper that’s anti-vote, and warring progressive and establishment factions walk into an election. Is the joke on us?

Generation Change Philly: The Literary Activist

Few Philadelphians have had so seismic an impact in so short a time as Jeannine Cook, social justice activist and owner of Harriett’s Bookshop. And she’s just getting started

Ronnie Listens: How To Really Turn Out Voters

Philly’s “deep-canvassers” are using a startling — and potent — blend of vulnerable emotion to get people to the polls. Join us to become one of them before the November general election.

“Healed Men Heal Men”

Founded by women, Philly-based Black Men Heal is helping to address the emotional pain of African American men around the country

The Virus and the City: Keeping Parasitic Capital Away from Our Homes

Corporate investment disproportionately affected Black families’ ability to buy a house, the single most important component of wealth in the US. Drexel’s Metro Finance head lays out what we must do to fix this

LISTEN: The Ultimate Insider on the PA Primary

Legendary media consultant Neil Oxman takes us inside politics — and throws some righteous shade

How to Turn “Almost-Alums” into College Graduates

Small fees and outsized loans keep many students from graduating. A long-time university president urges colleges to find and support those almost-alums — and those who are still at school

Is Elon Musk a Free Speech Savior?

On the cusp on his Twitter takeover, a Constitution Center event this week reframed the plutocrat for your consideration — and reminded us of the First Amendment's magic

How To End Our Garbage Deluge

Philly already has two simple, inexpensive solutions to our city’s trash crisis. Will Philly’s leaders finally step up?

Bailing Out Moms

More than 80 percent of women in Philly jails are awaiting trial. Help the People’s Paper Co-op pay their bail in time for Mother’s Day — then, welcome them home

Art for Change: The Community Builder

Muralist Cesar Viveros, whose paintings are all over the city, has shifted his focus to activism and communion in the city’s Latino community

Business for Good: BirdWatch/birdSEED

Real estate entrepreneur Lisa Wise turns first-time Washington, D.C. homebuyers into homeowners with no-strings-attached microgrants — and plans to do the same in Philly

20 Black-Owned Businesses That Do Good

Shops, cafés, pizza and water ice joints, beauty boutiques, bookstores, and even an auto mechanic whose Black owners are committed to making our city better

Ideas We Should Steal: More Public Defense Spending

Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn’t provide money for public defenders. What would it look like if they — like progressive prosecutors — had the resources to be reformers?

Guest Commentary: Yes, We Are Taxadelphia

A column last week argued that Philly’s reputation as one of the highest taxed big cities in the nation was unwarranted. Center City District’s president responds.

Generation Change Philly: The College Funding Crusader

Laura Keane has dedicated her career to closing the gap between being accepted to college, and being a college graduate

SEPTA for the Win

The transit agency’s new pilot will give 15,000 workers free Anywhere Passes. Philly 3.0's engagement director on why Key Advantage could save public transportation

The Citizen Recommends: “Black Talk, a Language Deferred”

Philadelphia photographer Danielle Morris, who will speak in University City Thursday, on her self-driven pursuit of fine art photography and the cultural reframing of Black speech

Building a Better Budget

Mayor Kenney has been an inveterate spender. So why doesn’t his newest budget proposal invest more in working class growth, like mayors are doing in cities from Newark to Dayton?

Guest Commentary: We Can Have a Litter-Free Philly

In honor of Earth Day this week, clean Philly advocate Ya Fav Trashman shares his cures for our city’s litter epidemic

Guest Commentary: Pre-K Polling Needs Improvement

A Greater Philadelphia last week released poll data about the City’s sweetened beverage tax that showed residents divided. Here, the City’s first Pre-K director refutes the premise and results of the survey

The Citizen Recommends: Opportunity Summit

Harvard economist Raj Chetty will delve into what Philly needs to alleviate poverty at a United Way event this week. Here, he talks with the nonprofit’s CEO Bill Golderer about the key to financial opportunity

Generation Change Philly: The Restaurant Mentor

Undaunted by losing her restaurant to the pandemic, Ange Branca is reimagining what the Philadelphia food scene can be

Welcome to Fearadelphia

Philly’s new mask mandate made national news this week. Yay, us?

Future-Ready: The Key To Economic Growth

A Future of Work expert testified before City Council this week. This is her prescription for how public dollars can spur private growth in Philly

Ideas We Should Steal: Raising School Funds through Solar Power

In Batesville, Arkansas, a high school’s solar panels saved the district enough money to raise teacher salaries. A similar program in Philly could save as much as $20,000 per school

Ideas We Should Steal: Make College More Affordable

A longtime college president urges Pennsylvania to learn from states like Illinois and Louisiana, which are increasing college attendance by requiring high schoolers to submit a free student aid application

Citizens of the Week: Cobbs Creek Park Cleanups

How a retired Philly high school science teacher started an all-volunteer anti-litter operation in Cobbs Creek Park

The C Word

Yes, we’re hosting a series exploring how capitalism can lessen inequality and create opportunity. Fire away, Twitterverse!

The Citizen Recommends: 35 Doors Project

Indivisible Philadelphia is looking for volunteers to get out the vote in the most old-fashioned way possible: By knocking on doors (35 of them to be exact)

Generation Change Philly: The Senior Savior

Geoff Gross’s wildly successful mission-driven company, Medical Guardian, is built on simple, affordable at-home tech that gives seniors security, connectedness—and self respect.

The Economic Gift That Keeps On Giving

In a speech last week, Drexel’s Metro Finance head laid out ways that cities across the globe can use the post-pandemic “New Disorder” to make innovative, sustainable and much-needed progress

How Philly Sees Philly

A new poll by civic nonprofit A Greater Philadelphia shows that despite the noise, it’s public safety and good government that matter most to Philadelphians

Do We Need a Wealth Tax?

Councilmembers Kendra Brooks, Helen Gym and Jamie Gauthier, with an assist from Senator Elizabeth Warren, have proposed a drastic taxing of the rich in Philly. But are they unwittingly harming the middle class?

Slapstick Masculinity

Unpacking Will Smith’s Oscars slap

The Grittiest Athletes in Town

Villanova’s basketball team is—again!—in the Final Four this year. So why do so few seem to care about yet another championship run by the most Philly of teams?

Is the Inquirer Too Woke?

The paper’s recent well-meaning story about its own history on race relations raises overdue questions about class, too

What We Know About 2022’s Ward Elections

The bad news, according to Philly 3.0’s engagement director? Too many vacancies remain. The good news? You can easily write yourself in to victory.

The Citizen Updates: Teaching Black Teachers

Sharif El-Mekki’s Center for Black Educator Development now has 99 apprentices in 14 states, and is working to create pipelines for Philly students to become the teachers they need

The Fix: Is City Council Anti-Democratic?

The public corruption trial of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and a lawsuit against Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier puts the practice of councilmanic prerogative on trial

Guest Commentary: Up With Black Businesswomen

Reducing the wage gap for Black women could add more than $300 billion to the U.S. economy. That’s why, a local business owner notes, we should do all we can to help Black women entrepreneurs succeed

Philly Heroes Here!

Announcing our 2022 Integrity Icons, principled public service heroes we all need. Vote for your favorite now.

Reality Check: Honor This, City Council

Our legislators spend a ridiculous amount of time issuing honorifics, rather than actually legislating to solve Philly’s problems. WURD’s midday host offers a better way

Ideas We Should Steal: Cool Streets to Cool the Air

America’s hottest city — Phoenix — lowered surface temperatures of a neighborhood by more than 10 degrees with a new water-based surface on its streets. Could Philly be next?

What Problem is the School Board Solving For?

The three finalists for Philly’s new schools superintendent might very well be solid educators. But has anyone asked if that’s really what we need?

Guest Commentary: Reject the Curse of Low Expectations

The Philadelphia School Board is on the verge of hiring a new superintendent. But, a former Temple education professor warns, it will take more than one person to transform our schools

“A Human Repository for Black History”

Catching up with Dr. Charles Blockson, who rubbed shoulders with the likes of Marian Anderson and Langston Hughes, and whose namesake collection at Temple speaks to the importance of giving space to Black memory

Generation Change Philly: Gadfly for Good

Through wicked smart tweets and on-the-ground organizing, Dena Driscoll is the persistent activist we need to make a more livable Philadelphia

Save the Moms!

How to care for the over-burdened, burned-out moms of Covid. And why now, at the pandemic’s two-year mark, we actually have to.

Zelensky for Mayor?

The world is getting an inspiring crash course in leadership during crisis from a former comic in Ukraine. Is anyone who aspires to lead Philadelphia paying attention?

A Win Win for Water

The Philadelphia Water Department's nationally-recognized Soak It Up Adoption program pays local community groups to help divert nearly 3 billion gallons of stormwater from our rivers every year

Ideas We Should Steal: Human Library

Could the answer to our disconnect be a program in 80 countries that allows you to borrow a person—a refugee, a sex worker, a police officer—and ask them anything you want?

Guest Commentary: Why I Am Proud to Be Ukrainian

The Delaware County DA, a child of a Ukrainian refugee, on being inspired by those “fearlessly carrying the torch of liberty” in his mother’s homeland

Pothole Whack-a-Hole, Anyone?

Find a pothole, get it fixed, win a prize! 

Philly’s War on Restaurants

The Kenney administration’s stealth regulations on streateries shows yet more disdain for restaurateurs and their employees. Why vilify frontline workers?

Lessons from Abbott Elementary

A longtime college president urges educators—and anyone who cares about public schools—to watch and learn from the popular Philly-based sitcom

Philadelphia Distilleries Doing Good

Want to get a drink that you can feel good about? Check out these awesome distilleries in Philadelphia serving up good spirits—from vodka to bourbon to inventively flavored bitters—and good causes for the community

Ideas We Should Steal: Pedestrian Scrambles

Protecting both pedestrians and traffic flow is at the crux of the debate over redesigning Washington Avenue, which gets a hearing Tuesday. The answer may lie in a compromise used by cities around the world

Generation Change Philly: The Carbon Slayer

With his Navy Yard-based company, Ecosave, Marcelo Rouco is providing the kind of win-win solution that’s good for businesses, the city and the planet.

Your Miserable ER Experience Isn’t Just Because of Covid

Will the pandemic be a wake-up call about the weaknesses in emergency care? Or will it be a death blow? The answer is in what we do next. 

Guest Commentary: Help the Kids Vote

On Thursday, the school board will vote on a measure to encourage voter registration in Philly schools. Here, a Philly teacher and local college students sound off on why doing so is critical.

Guest Commentary: Will We Save the Meadows That Saved Us?

The shuttered golf course at FDR Park went beautifully wild just when we needed it at the start of the pandemic. Now, the City wants to turn it into artificial ball fields. A South Philly local wonders why we can’t have both.

Want a Job? Get a Job.

Since The Citizen wrote about First Step Staffing in 2018, the nonprofit has placed thousands of vulnerable Philadelphians in entry level jobs around the region. Now, it’s launching Second Step to create even better opportunities for all.

Business for Good: Fishadelphia

The local fish subscription service started as a project at one South Philly high school. Now, it’s a burgeoning business with 300 customers citywide—and still run by the kids.

Guest Commentary: Turning on Krasner

A former assistant DA hired by Krasner on why he can no longer support his former boss

Not Just “Man’s Work”

Can a Philly program to prepare aspiring carpenters for the demands of a well-paying union job pave the way for women in the traditionally male industry?

The Folly of a Public Bank

Councilman Derek Green’s bill puts you, the taxpayer, in the banking business. What problem does it solve—and create?

Guess What’s to Blame for Keeping Washington Avenue Unsafe?

Despite 10 years of planning, the City’s failure to deliver on promises to make the South Philly arterial safer is the handiwork of a longtime good governance nemesis: councilmanic prerogative

Ideas We Should Steal: Working Farms Fund

The program has helped 25 small, organic farmers preserve and cultivate 355 acres of farmland around Atlanta, launching new generations of growers and a healthy locally produced food scene. Could Philly be next?

“It’s Just About Doing the Right Thing”

Philly’s Democratic Socialists tried to upend the appointment of democracy-saving Republican Seth Bluestein to city commissioner. But two local pols demonstrated the real progressive ideals we need from our leaders.

Food Waste? There’s An App For That.

Since 2014, Food Connect has tackled rampant food waste and hunger by solving the problem of logistics: connecting people in need of food with people who have excess

Citizens of the Week: Lynette Medley and Nya McGlone

The mother-daughter duo’s own experience with “period poverty” inspired their Germantown nonprofit No More Secrets, which has distributed over 4 million menstrual products to women experiencing “period poverty” in the last year. 

Philly Breweries Where Giving Back Is On Tap

A guide to breweries in Philadelphia that are raising funds for locals (and more) in need. Cheers!

The Ultimate Black History Month Playbook

What to know, what to do, what impact you can have

The Answer to Our Youth Mental Health Crisis?

A collaboration between CHOP, Girard College and The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is meeting children in mental distress where they are most comfortable: school. Could this be a model for these overwhelming times?

Citizen of the Week: Shelah Harper

How the Germantown resident turned the tragic loss of her daughter into a two-decade campaign to prevent teen dating violence in Philadelphia

Generation Change Philly: The Philly Booster

Through passion projects like Amplify Philly at SXSW, Witty Gritty’s Michelle Freeman is one of the region’s biggest cheerleaders—both to locals, and to those outside our city who’d be wise to come on in

Forgiving Student Loans… For Public Servants

Rather than canceling student debt for everyone, a longtime college president points to recently revised standards for college loan forgiveness that apply to teachers, police officers, firefighters and others in public service

Who Has the Guts to Say We Need Cops?

For progressives, it's the ultimate inconvenient truth: We need better, smarter policing and prosecution to combat gun violence. Eric Adams is saying that in NY. Anyone here care to agree?

Three Civic Heroes, RIP

A longtime political and civic leader reflects on the outsized legacies left by Lynn Yeakel, Sultan Ahmad and Steve Honeyman

Moving On From the Trauma

Catching up with Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at CHOP, who has been blanketing the airwaves arguing that it’s time to rethink our Covid risk management strategies

Ideas We Should Steal: Other-Caring Our Way Out of Covid Misery

In the Age of Self-Care, a Stanford psychologist suggests a better antidote to what ails us right now: focusing on other people

Business for Good: Pound Cake

Camille Bell’s search for the perfect shade to “rock a red lip” prompted her to launch her own Philly-based lipstick brand tailored to every lip color. The first batch sold out in just 48 hours.

Potholes, Litter and Customer Service

Amid a tsunami of crises, there’s still a way for Jim Kenney to turn things around and bring the city back: Become a quality-of-life mayor

Ideas We Should Steal: More Trees 🌳

The benefits of trees go beyond health, heat and economic equity—though those are reason enough to increase Philly's tree canopy. Here’s how other cities are doing just that.

What Are the Real Covid Hospital Numbers?

New York and New Jersey have released new info showing that half of hospitalized patients who tested positive for Covid are actually there for other reasons. Why isn’t Gov. Wolf doing the same in PA?

Generation Change Philly: The Juvenile Justice Champions

In the eight years since co-founding the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project Joanna Visser Adjoian and Lauren Fine have helped dozens of young people stay out of adult prisons—and get the support they need to lead productive lives

Between King and Guns

Today we honor the great American pacifist. But it turns out that King’s relationship to guns was more complicated than you might expect.

The Weirdest Senate Primary Race In The Nation

Carpetbaggers, 2020 election result deniers, candidates—including a celebrity TV doc—spending personal fortunes, and connections to Communist China and the Turkish army. Welcome to democracy, PA-style

Ideas We Should Steal: A City Designed for Women

Vienna has ranked as the most livable city in the world for 10 years, in part due to rethinking its urban design with women and children in mind. Could a similar approach in Philly make our city more livable for all?

Open the Doors to Higher Ed

A longtime university president calls on local colleges to steal an idea from Michigan: recruit and educate the nearly 17,000 foster kids in Pennsylvania.

Help Keep Philadelphians Warm

As temperatures stay low, many Philadelphians will urgently need to find warmth over the next several weeks. Here, some simple, impactful ways you can support them.

Guest Commentary: The Future of Violence Is Digital

Online beefs are behind an increasing amount of violence in Philly. A local resident and teacher wonders what police can do to stop it—and what responsibility social media giants should face

Is It Time For a Citywide Vaccine Mandate?

Boston and New York City both instituted more sweeping vaccine mandates to keep their residents healthy. In Philly, we let Mummers strut. What more could Mayor Kenney do to ensure everyone gets their shots?

Honey, Council Shrunk The Mayor

Mayor Kenney ended 2021 complaining that he’s responsible for things that are out of his control. Council President Darrell Clarke sees a power vacuum. Is that a good thing?

Letter from Fairmount

A neighbor of those lost in the tragic fire this week chronicles the horror, the sorrow and, fittingly, the community togetherness that has emerged

The End of 13th Street Streateries?

The Streets Department is making restaurants in Midtown Village dismantle their outside dining huts for non-emergency utility work set to start January 20. With Covid surging, and food businesses barely hanging on, is this really how to keep the city thriving?

Generation Change Philly: The Fearless Artist

Raheem “King” Saladeen has unlocked opportunities around the world with his artwork—including his ubiquitous “JP The Money Bear.” But his heart belongs to the city that raised him and the late friend who believed in him

Your Servers Still Need You

As Covid surges in the region, the 70,000+ Philadelphians who work in the city’s food industry continue to face closures and loss of income. Here's how you can help them.

The Good Citizen’s New Years Resolutions

A new year means new chances to take action, get engaged and help make a better city for all of us. Here, 22+ ways to pitch in for Philly.

Reasons To Be Hopeful

Democracy is crumbling, murder is on the rise, and Philly corruption still reigns supreme. So what’s there to feel good about?

What Mattered In 2021

2021 was another year of tragedy and hardship—and also hope and resilience. In other words: It was Philly.

2021 Citizens of the Year

Meet the folks who flipped off the Philly shrug this year

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Free Childcare at City Meetings

Ithaca, New York, eliminated the biggest barrier to civic engagement among parents. Could babysitting bring more voices into the conversation in Philly, too?

Krasner, Revealed

A well-reported Inquirer story about an exodus from the D.A.’s office and a PBS documentary series tell us who our district attorney really is—and why that’s hurting Philly

Turning the Tide on Gun Violence… Everywhere But Philly

Some big city mayors are saying enough is enough and are—finally—doubling down on smart policing and prosecution. Here in Philly? Not so much

Guest Commentary: We Must Heal the Trauma

As we end a year with almost 550 homicides, an expert on the future of work offers five ways Philadelphia can help survivors move forward and live healthy, prosperous lives

Generation Change Philly: The Cleaner-Upper

How Terrill Haigler (a.k.a. Ya Fav Trashman), a former Philly sanitation worker with a gift for organizing — and for social media — became one of Filthadelphia’s most beloved and recognizable change-makers 

Business for Good: AmorSui

A lab accident inspired Beau Wangtrakuldee’s line of women-friendly personal protective equipment used by hospitals around the country. Covid-19 inspired a sustainable model that is also protecting the planet.

Un-Gerrymandering PA?

New maps to determine who will represent us in Harrisburg are being drawn up by state legislators. Philly 3.0’s engagement director runs down what we know so far—and what we can do keep the process fair.

Guest Commentary: PGW’s Gas Leak Failure

An Earthworks advocate who lives in Queen Village happens to have the gear to spot methane leaks. What she’s learned in her own neighborhood is a scary sign of the air pollution our city misses everyday.

Why Democrats Lose

A transgender swimmer at Penn is setting NCAA records. Why haven’t we read about it in the Inquirer?

Ideas We Should Steal: Citywide Restorative Justice

The attack on Asian-American high school students on SEPTA last month was another symptom of our city's broken systems. Could implementing Philly-wide restorative justice practices, as they do in Oakland, help heal our collective pain?

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2021 Recap: We Can Solve Problems

Nine big takeaways from The Philadelphia Citizen's fourth annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival at Fitler Club

How To Put More Teachers Into Philly Schools

The School District has 1,900 open positions, including in several classrooms that have no teachers. A longtime university president offers a way out of this disaster.

Ideas We Should Steal: Cutting Light Pollution

Pittsburgh is fighting light pollution by mandating dimmer, warmer and more environmentally-friendly fixtures in public streets and buildings. Don’t we want to see some stars in Philly, too?

Will City Council Save Our Streateries?

A new bill would make it easier to build outdoor dining setups in Philadelphia. But, as Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, those rules mostly apply to the whitest, wealthiest neighborhoods.

America’s Delivery Crisis

The federal government has done its part, authorizing billions of dollars for infrastructure and other programs. Now, Drexel’s Metro Finance head says, it’s up to cities to use it well. Are you paying attention, Philly?

The Real Story Behind Philly’s Violence Epidemic

D.A. Larry Krasner is in denial, the mayor has thrown up his hands, and the police commissioner has gone MIA. But maybe the ultimate solution to our historic scourge of violence lies beyond them, anyway

Generation Change Philly: The Profit Sharer

Last year, Seer Interactive founder Wil Reynolds turned down a $50 million offer for his internet search firm. Instead, he’s investing his company’s wealth in his employees and his community

Guest Commentary: Why Taxpayers Should Fund News

The Citizen's co-founder argued that a government bailout of newspapers was a bad idea. Penn’s chief innovation officer and board member of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism disagrees

Guest Commentary: A Right to Diapers

A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Casey would help the one-third of American families who struggle to buy diapers for their babies. Passing it is good health, safety and economic sense, say the leaders of a local children’s charity

Who’s Ready to “Rewild” Philadelphia?

Okay, the moose is a joke, but here are five legit—and inexpensive—ways Philly can revive the splendor of our natural environs by rewilding

Ideas We Should Steal: Turning Data Into Solutions

Orange County and other communities are using a Social Progress Index to measure success beyond economics. Could it help Philly solve its most pressing problems?

Boycott College Rankings

The fraud conviction of Temple’s business school dean proves that U.S. News rankings are bogus. So why are we still beholden to them?

The Fix: You Can’t Change a Culture of Corruption…

… when just about everyone in it is complicit. State Rep. Jared Solomon and Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez have spoken out. But, in the aftermath of the Dougherty conviction, where are the others?

Guest Commentary: The Day We Fled Kabul

An Afghan refugee who worked for the U.S. government relates his family's harrowing experience fleeing the Taliban, making their way to the U.S.—and finding a welcoming home in Philadelphia

How to Help Afghan Refugees in Philadelphia Now

It’s been three months since the last US military plane left Kabul. After a traumatic evacuation and weeks living on military bases, hundreds of Afghan refugees are arriving in Philadelphia—they need our support now more than ever.

Yours, Dangerously

A cadre of visionary women are behind Guild House Hotel—a newly opened boutique hotel that celebrates the history residing in our buildings by giving props to the early feminists who initially occupied the property.

Generation Change Philly: The Fair Justice Funder

With his De-Carceration Fund, Chris Bentley plans to invest up to $20 million to radically change our unjust criminal justice system

Mystery Shopper: Getting flood prevention help from the City

A City program is supposed to give free plumbing upgrades to homeowners who experience flooding. But after city sewage pours into a basement, just how hard is it to get the Water Department to install a flood prevention device?

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Gifts That Give Back

Find something amazing for everyone on your gift list while supporting creators, communities and small businesses that give back

Generation Change Philly: The Modern Humanitarian

Everyone in the know says Michael O'Bryan is Philly's thought leader 'it' person of the moment. But no one can actually say what he does. Maybe that's because changing humanity is hard to sum up pithily.

Guest Commentary: “We Need To Do This”

A group of Philly high schoolers are playing football Tuesday to raise money for the mothers of shooting victims, and to connect with police officers. Their teacher asks the rest of us: What will you do to help?

The Fix: A Post-Dougherty Anti-Corruption Crusade?

In a special Citizen Zoom series, former mayoral candidate Sam Katz, State Rep. Jared Solomon and City Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez weigh in on how we got here and how we move forward

Are Newspapers Too Big to Fail Now?

Democrats’ gigantic Build Back Better bill contains a government bailout for local journalism. Why does no one see a problem with that?

How to Give Back on Thanksgiving

With food prices and hunger on the rise, giving what you can is especially important this holiday season. Here’s how you can help people and families for Thanksgiving in 2021.

Plant Trees!

As we experience ever-warming temperatures, Philadelphia is losing tree canopy. Join PHS’s tree planting bonanza to green, cool and heal our neighborhoods.

Reality Check: Why the Philadelphia Tire Fire Should Scare You

The plume of black smoke that erupted over Philly last week was another sign, WURD’s midday host and a Temple professor say, of the carelessness with which the City addresses real environmental concerns for mostly Black residents

Social Capital Is More Important Than College Majors

Universities and students should consider “mission before major,” advises a long-time college president

The Citizen Recommends: Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

Join us December 13th and 14th for ideas from across the country to foster “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity” here in Philly

The Problem With Aaron Rodgers

We champion athletes speaking out on social issues. What to do when they turn out to be not so bright?

Guest Commentary: “What Do You Think We Should Do?”

The co-founder of the B Corp movement has a challenge—and an invitation—for his fellow White men in these racially challenging times

The Citizen Recommends: War Words

This Veterans Day, Philly’s InterAct Theatre is among seven U.S. venues to stage a play culled from real vets’ stories about life in, and after, service to our country

Citizen of the Week: Zulma Guzman

The Salvadoran immigrant is a “social worker without a title” for new Philadelphians in her Elmwood Park neighborhood—a community often invisible to city government.

Surprise! Trash Pickup Is Terrible

Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down the City Controller’s new report on trash pickup during the pandemic. Spoiler: Even garbage collection varies by neighborhood

Generation Pandemic

Penn seniors Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger spent last semester road-tripping across the U.S. to capture young people’s pandemic experiences. The result is a staggering archive that captures this precarious moment in time

What Do The Election Results Really Say for Philly?

Progressives got shellacked. Will Philly Dems double-down on democratic socialism—or finally embrace being a governing party?

The Equity Conundrum

The District’s new magnet schools policy is putting the progressive push for equity under an uncomfortable lens. Does it even solve the problem we need to be solving?

Generation Change Philly: The Startup Cheerleader

With her nonprofit Mom Your Business, Tanya T. Morris coaches Black and Brown female entrepreneurs to be the city’s next business leaders

Listen Up!

In our divided times, Philadelphia Contemporary explores the healing power of empathetic listening with a 10-year art project that kicked off last month.

Business for Good: AnaOno

Queen Village resident Dana Donofree—one of Inc’s 2021 most inspiring female founders—has grown her line of “boob-inclusive” bras to 30,000 customers all over the world while helping raise awareness and support for breast cancer survivors

“The Jewish JFK”

While Democrats tear down statues of Thomas Jefferson and deride parents’ involvement in schools, can Josh Shapiro’s campaign for governor point the way forward for his often bumbling party?

Guest Commentary: 12 Candidates for 12 Judicial Vacancies—An Electoral Joke

A prominent public interest attorney walks us through the farce of electing judges in Philadelphia

Generation Change Philly: The Innovation Coach 

As the executive director of Penn’s Integrated Product Design program, Sarah Rottenberg inspires the next generation of inventors to solve problems at the intersection of humanity and design 

Guest Commentary: The Folly of Philly’s Driving Equality Bill

As cities around the country work to protect residents from traffic accidents, a local resident contends a new bill passed by City Council makes walkers—and drivers—less safe

How Childcare Is Key To College Success

Less than 30 percent of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree. One way to change that, a long-time college president says, is better access to high-quality childcare on campus

Citizens of The Week: Stephen Piner and Jamir Shaw

The Philly natives’ Dope Shows isn’t just changing the music and performance industry—it’s also building community and helping Philly youth

Sign Of The Times?

Does a rape in front of silent witnesses on the El signify that, amid rampant disorder, citizens have given up on that which keeps us all together: citizenship itself?

Generation Change Philly: The Pipeline Builder

A natural convener, Sulaiman Rahman is helping to place people of color on boards and in high-powered jobs to make meaningful change to our city’s institutions

Can Critical Race Theory Save Pro Sports?

Twenty-five years after publishing his seminal book on race and sports, a renowned Wharton emeritus professor looks back with some provocative rethinking

Guest Commentary: The Answer to Our Housing Crisis

A building industry official contends City Council’s proposal for “inclusionary housing” will make it harder to increase Philly's stock of affordable homes. But, he says, there is a solution: Building on public land

Who Are Philly’s Next Integrity Icons?

We're launching our second contest to name the city worker with the highest ethics and best customer service. Can we fame the little-known folks who do good for a change?

What the Fight Over the Columbus Statue Is Really About

The fight in South Philly is a proxy for the divide that threatens to engulf all of us. Why can’t two opposing sets of facts be true at the same time?

How Good Development Is Reshaping Philly

Along with Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, we’re kicking off a speakers series that features a host of bold-face names exploring the intersection of private real estate development and the public good.

Generation Change Philly: The Wellness Crusader

Sudan Green’s Spirits Up! brings community-based yoga, mindfulness and peace to Black Philadelphians, who are still underserved by the wellness community. It is a revolutionary act for our times

Business for Good: Journal My Health

Local tech guru Tracey Welson-Rossman had an idea for an app to help people with chronic illnesses track their symptoms back in 2009. The plight of Covid long-haulers prompted her to finally launch it this year

Ideas We Should Steal: Mobile Farmers’ Markets

Chicago’s Urban Growers Collective grows fresh produce on a teaching farm and then brings it directly to citizens living in food deserts, a full-service program that goes beyond anything in Philly

Why Can’t Philly Stop Pedestrian Deaths?

More Philly walkers were hit by cars in 2020 than any other recent year. Blame for the City’s Vision Zero failure lies with a familiar culprit: councilmanic prerogative, says Philly 3.0’s engagement director

Citizen of The Week: Brandon “B.McFly” Chastang

The West Philly native preaches sobriety, recovery and love to 93,000 Instagram followers and in a popular podcast. The key? Being “transparent” about his own lived experience

The Fix: What Good Can Come From the Dougherty/Henon Trial?

Another day, another trial of Philly’s once-powerful. This time, maybe there are some lessons to be learned for cleaning up our politics

Generation Change Philly: The Hunger Disruptor

Melanie Cataldi, the next in our series of Philadelphians working to change the status quo, turned her masters thesis into the hunger- and poverty-fighting culinary school at Philabundance. The goal: Ending hunger for good

Arts Can Transform Lives and Cities

In honor of Mural Arts Month, a longtime college president not only nominates Jane Golden for a MacArthur Genius Award, she urges educators from pre-school to grad school to respect and promote the arts—not cut them.

Reality Check: Could We Cut Philly Shootings by. . .Up to 93 Percent?

Multiple studies find that environmental fixes to low-income neighborhoods reduce gun violence dramatically. WURD’s midday host combines five of them into one bold plan

The Citizen Recommends: We Are Not Like Them

Jo Piazza and Christine Pride’s new Philly-based novel is about a cross-racial friendship tested by the police shooting of a young Black teen. But really, it’s a way to start the hard conversations we need to have

Vaccines 2.0

As we prepare for approval of the Covid vaccine for children, what have we learned so far about efforts to get shots in arms?

The Doctor Will See You in the Barbershop

Jefferson Health CEO Steve Klasko is rethinking the very delivery of medicine, taking on the racial health gap, trying to get our eds and meds to focus on equity...and still deejaying

Who Should Replace Bill Hite?

Superintendent Hite’s announcement this week that he’s leaving the post at the end of the school year is an opportunity for Philadelphia. Here, a wish list of possible school leaders.

Is Ranked-Choice Voting in Philly’s Future?

Councilmember Derek Green wants to bring the polling method here—which could, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, help elect the people’s choice in an especially competitive 2023 race.

Liberation through Fitness

Philly nonprofit UliftU provides training and jobs for recently incarcerated Philadelphians while tackling chronic diseases in under resourced communities

Where to Find Hope

It’s so hard to be optimistic these days. But look closely and you’ll find reasons for hope all around us.

Generation Change Philly: The Intergenerational Poverty Buster

The first in our new series spotlighting Philly change agents is Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, president/CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network, which prepares our city’s young people for lives beyond poverty

A Luxury Philly Can’t Afford

City Council’s housing policy power grab is crippling Philly’s big-picture goals on affordability and climate. Where, Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders, is Mayor Kenney in all this?

Business for Good: Baby Gear Group

Philly mom Bo Zhao's two-year-old business lets families lease baby gear, saving thousands of dollars and keeping used items out of the landfill

Business For Good: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Could a locally-made line of toys be an antidote to the world’s problems?

Kensington’s Recovery Plan

At the epicenter of the region’s opioid and homelessness crisis, the River Wards have been all but abandoned by city leaders. But does the City already have a solution to the problem?

The Mission is Preventing Violence

The state is giving about $40 million in grants to community groups this year to fight gun violence. Will it stop the shootings?

More Than Just A Check

Social Venture Partners is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in local nonprofits that fight poverty. But it’s their “engaged philanthropy” that really sets them apart.

How Not to Start a School Year

The rage-inducing opening of the new school year illustrates why good management matters—and how our leaders are failing us

Game Changer?

The Philadelphia Equity Alliance has an audacious goal: To make Philly the most equitable big city in America. Just as groundbreaking is the relationship forming between its co-chairs, businessman Michael Forman and labor leader Ryan Boyer

Guest Commentary: Remember Those Left Behind

A Philly school teacher and veteran who helped create literacy programs in Afghanistan reflects on the incredible people he encountered—and urges help for those who are arriving in our city

Guest Commentary: “More Than Just Blacktop”

Recess improves students’ mental health. But green schoolyards, says the state director of the Trust For Public Lands, can help even more.

Future-Ready: Get Your Career Future-Ready

We are at a pivotal moment of churn and reevaluation in careers. Here, Future Works Alliance PHL’s founder lays out how to know if you’re ready.

The Untold Story of the MOVE Remains

A new report commissioned by Penn puts the horrifying spectacle in full context—and offers ideas on how to fix what’s broken

A Dating App for Jobs

The new online tool PropelPHL doesn’t just connect employers to diverse job-seekers. It aims to be the crucial missing link between Philly talent, Philly jobs and Philly resources.

Residents vs. Taney Street

In the wake of last year’s racial awakening, a group of engaged Taney Street residents sought to shed the racist history of the name. Here’s how they’re doing it

18+ Ways To Help Students (and Teachers) Succeed This Year

Let’s commit to be all in on making this pandemic school year the best it can be

Higher Ed Should Learn From the Pandemic

A longtime college president on why a “return to normal” is the last thing our universities should do

Leadership Malpractice

The sniping and pettiness this week among Mayor Kenney, District Attorney Krasner and Council President Clarke advertises why they’re failing at curbing gun violence

Use. Repurpose. Repeat.

Circular Philadelphia is working to eliminate landfills by constantly repurposing our waste. Could it also be an avenue to economic growth in Philly?

Ideas We Should Steal: Finding Families for Foster Kids

State law requires that caseworkers place children who were removed from their parents with kin—but Philly lags behind Los Angeles and Lackawanna County in getting the job done.

“Lyft for Litter”

Philly is still the only big city without widespread street cleaning. A new app from MilkCrate and Ya Fav Trashman is stepping in to pay individuals a living wage to help clean up.

“Loving Every Part of Yourself”

Penn grads Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno launched Be Body Positive Philly to empower high schoolers to live peacefully and healthfully in their bodies

The Myth of Progressivism

Want to win elections? Voters around the country seem to be embracing common sense problem-solvers more than the Woke and MAGA crowds would have you believe. Are you listening, Helen Gym, et al?

Funding Food Justice

The City and Reinvestment Fund’s Food Justice Initiative supports equitable access to healthy food. This month, they’re offering another $380,000 for community-driven solutions to historic food injustice

Ready, Set…Redistrict!

The city and state saw population gains, according to the 2020 Census. Now, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, the fight over legislative districts begins.

Citizen of the Week: Khalil Steward

Steward's Farmacy is a game-changing food delivery service offering fresh produce grown by local Black and brown farmers to Philadelphians at affordable prices

Wanna Take On Systemic Racism? Infrastructure

There’s been a lot of talk in the last year about systemic racism. Congressman Dwight Evans has an idea to actually do something about it.

“Science is Easier Than Trust”

Those Nerdy Girls of Dear Pandemic have spent the last 15 months sharing science-backed info with their 100,000 followers. They have some advice for how to get us through this next wave

Guest Commentary: Walnut Street Is For the Dogs

A Philly educator and urbanist bemoans what’s happened to Center City—and urges a renewed sense of urgency to protect our shared spaces

Business for Good: Kári Skin

Tirzah Blair’s spa startup is built around a surprisingly rare notion in the beauty world: Taking the "mean girl" out of the business

Where’s Our Vaccine Mandate, Mayor Kenney?

Since New York required vaccines for city employees, shots surged 40 percent. Is it time, Philly 3.0’s engagement director asks, for the same here, too?

Guest Commentary: Tiny Houses Have a Big Problem

The favorite bourgeois solution to homelessness won’t solve the problem and reveals sneering class bias, a formerly homeless Philadelphian and City staffer says. Why aren’t we doing what actually works?

How To Reverse The Murder Epidemic

Unlike many other leaders, Delco DA Jack Stollsteimer and City Council members Isaiah Thomas and Allan Domb speak with a no-nonsense sense of urgency. That’s a start.

“A Massive Amount of Heartbreak”

A combination of the contagious Delta variant and high numbers of unvaccinated people is causing Covid cases to rise again. A critical care physician at Penn Medicine helps us understand how worried we should be—and what we can do

Healing Past the Trauma

An intergenerational therapy program for formerly incarcerated men with violent pasts strives to help everyone thrive post-incarceration. Could it be a path to less gun violence?

The Higher Ed Opportunity

Four local universities will be searching for new presidents in the next couple of years. Let’s be sure, a longtime college president says, they are principled leaders who can help transform the region.

Citizen of the Week: Kemar Jewel

The Philly native and Temple-trained choreographer has gone viral with dances that celebrate the Black queer experience—and offer hope for all of us

The Trash Election?

Philadelphians are fed up with the garbage piling up on our streets. That’s why, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, the next mayor may be the one with a vision for cleaning up the city

The Virus and the City: The Key To Inclusive Business Recovery

How cities and states use federal rescue funds to spark recovery can be the difference between success and failure, Drexel’s Metro Finance head says. Here, learnings Philly should heed.

The Phillies Strikeout

Half the team is unvaccinated. Here's why Phillies manager Joe Girardi has failed the test of leadership by saying it's a "personal choice."

Guest Commentary: Broadband Access is a Human Right 

A Philly pastor and activist urges legislators to ensure high speed internet is not just available everywhere, but affordable to every American 

Citizen of the Week: Finn Glew

The recent Harriton High School grad started a motor rally to spur conversation about toxic masculinity while raising money to help survivors of sexual abuse

Business for Good: Tribaja

Shannon Morales’ new business connects forward-thinking companies with diverse tech talent—while building community to sustain the work

Fighting Crime Through…Home Repairs?

According to new Penn research, home improvements can cut homicides by nearly 22 percent. Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down what that means for Philly

Emergency? What Emergency?

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Controller Rebecca Rhyhant and other elected leaders blasted Mayor Kenney yesterday for his inaction on gun violence. So what’s their plan?

More Art, Fewer Accidents?

A collaboration between Mural Arts Philadelphia and a South Philly neighborhood group aims to slow down speeding cars. Could it help reduce the nearly 500 serious traffic injuries in the city every year?

Mystery Shopper: How hard is it to get rid of illegal dumpsters?

Residents of one South Philly block tried for months to get the City to take action against businesses piling garbage on their street. Why is it so hard to get anyone to listen?

Guest Commentary: Can We Make Philly a “City That Works?”

A former schools leader warns that, in a city that can't even reliably pick up residents' trash, change begins with expecting more from our officials

Citizen of The Week: Joshua Santiago

Having given more than 8,000 free haircuts to people experiencing homelessness in Philly and beyond, one local father is serving up not just style, but dignity

Will The School District Squander Its $1.1 Billion Stimulus Windfall?

A history of management snafus under Superintendent Bill Hite can only make you wonder if we’re able to seize this potentially transformative moment

It’s Time to Re-Enroll Adults, including John Kruk, in Higher Education

36 million Americans have earned some college credits but no degree. A longtime college president says it’s time to honor what they have learned in life and help them attain degrees.

Ideas We Should Steal: Rewards for shopping local

In Akron and elsewhere, city governments are rewarding shoppers for spending money at mom-and-pop shops. Why shouldn’t Philly do the same?

Guest Commentary: Believe in Black Students

Here are some ways schools can take action and demonstrate a commitment to anti-racism that is essential for reducing pandemic learning loss

Preparing for Launch

The St. Louis-based nonprofit LaunchCode has recently come to Philly to fuel our tech talent pipeline, with training and job placement that support marginalized candidates

What’s So Wrong With David Cohen and Amy Gutmann Being Ambassadors?

An Inquirer news story raises questions about the sunken state of our public conversation

Using Your Voice Against You

In his new book, Penn professor Joseph Turow warns about a growing smart tech industry determined to use our voices in ways that should alarm us. It’s not too late to take back control.

“The Narrow Path That We’re Walking”

A historian’s look at the 1844 riots, policing and nativism in Philly reminds us that this democracy has always been fractured, fragile—and worth protecting

“Equity To End Inequity”

In the months since George Floyd’s murder, American businesses have fallen over themselves to declare that Black lives matter. Now, at least 10 new venture funds offering over $350 million in socially-good investment are actually doing something to make a fairer Philly

Why Richard Vague Still Thinks Business Can Save America

Philly’s modern-day Renaissance man has published the first-ever definitive history of U.S. business. And it’s a timely reminder that there really is something exceptional about the idea of America

Business for Good: Welcome to Nalaverse

Two Philly entrepreneurs are jumping into the $4 trillion wellness industry with a new platform that rethinks what wellness looks like, who it’s for, and how it can be accessed by everyone

Citizens of the Week: Tim Thornton and Sandeep Banga

The local tech execs are using Salesforce training to help bring a group of West Philadelphians out of poverty. Next up: Jobs

Medicine of and for the people

Is a vaccine collaboration between Penn and West Philly faith leaders a roadmap to more equitable healthcare?

20 Black Artists to Watch

Mural Arts Philadelphia's Fellowship for Black Artists is funding work by 20 local creators. Here's who they are

Should Mayor Kenney Resign?

A prominent pastor has called for Mayor Kenney to step down. Would that be a good thing?

Business for Good: Ctrl M Health

36 million Americans suffer from migraines, missing a total of 113 million work days a year—but only 4 percent receive specialist care. One local tech startup is on a mission to bring comprehensive relief to everyone

Business For Good: REC Philly Revisited

The local biz goes beyond your typical co-working space, to really help creatives thrive. Up next? A potential expansion to other cities.

Partners not Problems

When trash pickup was again delayed this week, it raised the question: Why doesn’t local government see its citizens as part of the solution? A former city official offers ideas for how the City can do better to meet our expectations

Bridging the Wealth Gap

A local program has taught wealth-building skills to 1,500 students and the adults in their lives. Now, it's growing—with the support of powerful local institutions—to take the poverty-fighting work nationwide

How The Sixers Can Save The City

Sports teams can make or break a city’s soul. Wednesday night’s loss was a historic collapse, but there’s one way the Sixers can save us from our angst tonight in Atlanta

Growing the Prison-to-Business Pipeline

A financial advisor-turned-social work professor has launched a Penn course that teams up students with formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs to help them launch their businesses—and stay out of prison

The TikTok Doc

Austin Chiang, self-professed “medical mythbuster,” is changing the way people get their (correct, research-based) health information … and absolutely killing it on social media.

How to Make the Parkway Grand Again

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway was a bold idea a century ago. As the city embarks on a redesign of our own Champs Elysees, a local urbanist has ideas for making it so again

The $100 Million Gamble

Council is pushing the mayor to spend $100 million on gun violence prevention programs. Is that bold policy-making or the appearance of it?

Business For Good: Bungee Oblečení

Darrell Alston has walked many paths — athlete, rapper, inmate. All of them have led to the role he’s filling now, as CEO and lead designer of a new Philly-based high-end sneaker line

Ideas We Should Steal: Arts Everywhere

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is embedding the arts in myriad city agencies with a bold, economy-boosting goal that Philly should emulate: supporting art in every neighborhood in the city

Philly’s Next Big Challenge

City leaders became experts at handling decline in the last half of the last century. Now, a former city official wonders, can they rise to the occasion and capitalize on growth?

How Else To Spend $1.4 Billion

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart offered an alternative spending plan for the city’s federal recovery funds with real, measurable goals. Philly 3.0’s engagement director lays out what that could mean for Philly

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

What’s the one thing few leaders are talking about as we secure a $2.7 billion windfall? Growing jobs. Is there a plan for that?

North Broad’s Next Chapter

The corridor stretching from City Hall to Germantown Avenue will never be “Avenue of the Arts”—or Northern Liberties or...any of the city’s “Hot ‘Hoods.” And that just might be a good thing.

Guest Commentary: Driving While Black (Again)

I’m a Black man who drives a BMW. Four times since George Floyd’s murder, I’ve been pulled over and asked whose car I was driving…and if I had a weapon.

Business for Good: Hand In Hand

The eco-friendly, socially-minded soap biz exploded during the pandemic—so did its impact in...Haiti?

Get (and give!) free reading help for kids this summer

Whether your child fell behind or could just use a bit of enrichment, there are plenty of Philly resources offering extra help between now and September. Plus: How to volunteer and donate, whether or not you have kids of your own

Guest Commentary: Our Beautiful City

Troubled by the problems tearing Philly apart, a former mayor unearths an old Broadway song to inspire us. Will we rise to his challenge and love our city as much as Ed Rendell?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reason to Run

An Oregon-based prison running program is helping incarcerated women with their mental and physical health, while giving them tools that discourage recidivism. Could it do the same in Philly?

Ideas We Should Steal: Vax to Win

Want to boost Covid vaccination rates in Philly? We should take a cue from any number of state and local governments around the country—Free cars! Savings bonds! A million bucks!!— and incentivize that shot

Business for Good: Home Appétit

Lee Wallach's Philly-based meal delivery service doubled its business in 2020, while continuing to create a workplace that is good for employees and the earth

Philly Under Fire Episode 7: Detective Mode

The final episode of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun epidemic meets the mothers who are solving their children’s murders when no one else can

20+ Great Ways to Keep Kids Busy This Summer

Whether you’ve got a budding artist, activist, or future tech wiz on your hands, these Philly summer activities will keep ’em entertained, engaged, and energized. Here, our 2021 guide to warm-weather things to do with kids in Philadelphia

Finding More Ways To Say Yes

We saw an unprecedented push to make living, working and participating in our civic life easier for Philly residents during the pandemic. A former city official urges our leaders to keep that momentum going.

A Better Way To Teach Reading

Two-thirds of Philly third graders are behind in reading. Will a new program the District is launching in September change that? The answer may lie in Bethlehem, PA.

Real Criminal Justice Reform

Catching up with Robert Rooks, CEO of Michael Rubin and Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance, on its new campaign to take on our broken parole and probation system

What Threatens Larry Krasner’s Progressive Vision?

District attorney Krasner is facing a climbing homicide rate, pushback from the police and skepticism from the community. A report from The Trace wonders: If he wins, can his platform survive?

Philly Under Fire Episode 6: The Golden Hour

The latest episode of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun epidemic looks at how supporting victims and their families can help stop the transmission of violence.

Ideas We Should Steal: Protection for Asian Americans

In Philly, as in the country as a whole, anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise. An all-volunteer chaperone service in Oakland, California, is doing its part to protect the community

Separating Fact From Fiction

At last week’s D.A. primary debate, candidates Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega both made—and disputed—various claims about their histories. In anticipation of another debate on WURD Wednesday, we fact-checked the back-and-forth

“Restaurants May No Longer Be Restaurants”

A national food writer looks at what a pandemic reset could mean for an industry long in need of reinvention. Join her, Fork’s Ellen Yin, Hip City Veg’s Nicole Marquis, Baltimore's Irena Stein and Brooklyn’s Sean Feeney for an event this month.

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence Through Better Policing

While murder and shootings have spiked in Philly and elsewhere, both Camden and Newark have made progress in reducing gun violence by adopting smart policing techniques. Why don’t we do what they’ve done?

In Search of the Spirit of Reinvention

Philly is the nation’s first startup. So, in this budget season, why not put old talking points behind us…and pivot?

The Optimist

Every day, Kevin Mahoney, CEO of University of Pennsylvania Health System, is rethinking the future of health care and partnering with anyone who buys into his vision. All this despite that 1.98 college GPA.

Row Office Revolt?

No, we’re not likely to get rid of the corruption-prone Sheriff's Office anytime soon. But a former city official has a solution for ensuring the office does right by residents.

“We’ve Just Got to Start Doing”

Art collectors/philanthropists Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice want to help Philly's cultural scene come back stronger—and more inclusive—than ever. With their $3 million Art Works initiative, they’re not waiting for anyone else’s permission.

A Brand, Not Just a Restaurant

Center City’s Tria Cafe brought back its beloved Fermentation School (virtually) to help it survive the pandemic. Who needs tables anyway?

Mystery Shopper: What the Hybrid?

Phase III of the School District’s back to campus plan launches next week—a colossal effort to give kids eight days of in-person learning. Our Mystery Shopper reviewed how it's going.

Breaking Barriers to Black Health

Get Fresh Daily founder and recent Well City Challenge winner Jiana Murdic is making healthy food accessible to her community—with a special focus on Black moms like her

Is Larry Krasner Really a Reformer?

Lost amid the safety versus reform back-and-forth of the DA’s race is a central question: Has DA Krasner reformed prosecution, or just not prosecuted?

It’s Time to Rethink Status in Higher Ed

Penn, Harvard, and other elite universities have rejected a record number of applicants this year. A longtime college president says it’s time to reconsider how we select—and fund—colleges

Philly Under Fire Episode 4: “A Fresh 24”

Episode four of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun violence epidemic looks at the power of meaningful jobs in curbing violence.

A House at the Heart of a Movement

Sojourner House, named after the human rights activist Sojourner Truth, has been a haven for women who have been abused for 33 years. The need—and what we know about it—has changed little since then.

“Yes, and…”

Two recent Penn grads are pioneering an improv program for teens in Philly’s public schools. Its impact is no laughing matter.

Business for Good: Simply Good Jars

With a star turn on Shark Tank and big expansion plans, Jared Cannon’s local salad purveyor is seeing all kinds of green

Pat Croce is Back and He’s Zen as F#@*!

After six years on an intense spiritual quest, the former Sixers owner and Philly cheerleader is back with a new mission: kickstarting a health and wellness movement for cancer patients

Guest Commentary: The D.A. Race Is Not a Choice Between Reform and Safety

District attorney candidate Carlos Vega responds to last week’s guest commentary

50+ ways to help fight climate change

Taking action to protect our planet is the work of our lifetime. Ready to dive in? Here are 50+ ways you can actually make an impact.

It’s All In The Name

Why I couldn't bring myself to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd

Vote to Win

The Philadelphia Citizen’s 2021 Municipal Primary Voter Lottery will give three Philly citizens $1,000 each just for voting. Could it be you?

Guest Commentary: A “Ray of Hope” For Fair School Funding

A May pre-trial hearing for a seven-year-old school funding lawsuit in Pennsylvania has a state politics watcher wondering: Could this finally mean more money for schools that need it?

Jo Piazza On the New Philly Under Fire Podcast Series

Author and podcaster Jo Piazza spent a year trying to understand Philly’s gun violence epidemic—and identify ways to solve it. Listen to the groundbreaking seven-episode series starting today

The Citizen Voter Guide: Primary Election 2021

Heading to the polls on May 18? Our voter guide lays out everything you need to know to vote like a champ.

Future-Ready: Rethinking Remote

As FutureWorks Alliance PHL’s founder testified at City Council Tuesday, remote work for City employees is not one-size-fits-all. Here’s how to plan for a technological future that’s smart and equitable.

Mystery Shopper: Where’s the Courtesy in “Courtesy Towing?”

The City "courtesy towed" a Philly driver's car. Here, we evaluate the process for getting it back.

Ideas We Should Steal: Wheelchair Ramps Made From LEGOs

Nearly 500 public buildings in Philly—not to mention rowhomes—have barriers to access for people in wheelchairs. Germany’s “LEGO Granny” has a brightly colored way to help

Citizen of the Week: Dr. Dan Taylor

The St. Christopher’s pediatrician is constantly finding new ways to uplift Philly youth. His latest endeavor: Need-a-Net Philly, a grassroots movement to repair basketball hoops—and restore dignity to neighborhoods.

The Buck Stops Elsewhere

With an election looming and body bags piling up at an alarming rate, can D.A. Larry Krasner skirt accountability?

Guest Commentary: How You Can Make Voting Fair in PA

Citizens are invited to apply this week to be the deciding vote on what new political districts look like in Pennsylvania. The Committee of 70's CEO lays out why that matters

Citizen of The Week: Gail Kotel

The local artist is drawing attention to the economic crisis in the restaurant industry and the environmental impact of our disposable culture through her new portrait series on takeout containers

Development for Good: Back to the Future With Ryan Spak

The West Philly resident is executing his vision of responsible development through the company he owns with his mom—while throwing in a side of Concrete Cowboy Hollywood dreams

One Year Of Covid: “I Miss My Neighborhood”

Emma Copley Eisenberg, author and co-founder of Blue Stoop, the nonprofit that nurtures writers of all walks, pays tribute to the thing she’s missed most during the pandemic: her community.

Helping Kensington Thrive

A collaboration between several local organizations has distributed more than $15 million in affordable loans to the Latinx community in North Philly — and it’s just getting started.

Revisiting Regionalism

Yo, Mayor Kenney! This time of crisis is actually an opportunity to revisit an idea from the ‘90s: the city and surrounding counties joining forces to form an economic behemoth

Vote Like the Kids

Thanks to a citywide volunteer effort to get 18-year-olds to the polls, they came out in record numbers last year. Now they’re taking the work statewide to keep the momentum going

Guest Commentary: Demand Responsible Cleanup at PES

It’s not enough for Hilco to promise it will create an environmentally safe commercial hub on the site of the 2019 South Philly explosion. All of us, a Penn PhD candidate insists, need to make sure it happens

“Black Future Matters”

With Concrete Cowboy premiering on Netflix this week, Neighborhood Film Company’s Ricky Staub and local actor/activist OG Law check in about telling an authentic Black story, saving Philly’s urban riders—and having Idris Elba on your side

How Not To Blow The Stimulus Windfall

The city stands to receive $1.4 billion. How confident are you that the Kenney administration will put it to good use?

Ideas We Should Steal: Universal Child Care

Massachusetts legislators are working to make their state the first to provide free, high-quality care for children. In Pennsylvania, doing so would bring more women to the workplace—and could add $6 billion to the economy

Business for Good: Nerd Street Gamers

The local company in the burgeoning field of esports is knocking down barriers and bringing more players into the—potentially lucrative—fray

Guest Commentary: Let Them Speak

There have been 161 reported rapes in Philly already this year. Here, a victim of rape shares how the system has continued to fail her and other survivors.

Citizen Mystery Shopper (Part 16)

What happened when we tried to pay taxes to the Philadelphia Department of Revenue

A Weekly Smile

An intergenerational program from Penn Memory Center and Temple University combats isolation in older adults and gives students valuable caregiving experience—and now, it’s gone virtual

One Year of Covid: Higher Ed Will Never Be the Same Again…

...and that should be a good thing. A longtime university president maps the way forward for universities—and the students they serve

“Putting Race At The Forefront”

At Penn Medicine, white workers were three times more likely to sign up for a vaccine than Black workers. Dr. Florencia Greer Polite and fellow Black physicians set out to change that with a program getting noticed across the country

17+ Ways to Support Asian Americans in Philly

A mass shooting in Georgia put Asian Americans on even higher alert after a year of increased racial incidents. Here’s how you can help.

Business for Good: Coffee With a (Updated) Mission

Saxbys has been training young, socially-conscious entrepreneurs and uplifting local communities for years. Now, it’s “walking the talk” with its new B Corp status

Fighting Poverty With Jobs

Camden-based Hopeworks is expanding its job training and placement mission with an eye to fighting regional poverty, hundreds of jobs at a time

The Unapologetically Black Genius of Reuben Harley

Catching up with the chef, photographer and fashion entrepreneur on the journey to launching his “Black folk cooking” empire this month

One Year of Covid: How Philadelphians Stepped Up

Checking in with the local heroes who manufactured PPE 24/7, raised millions (!) for small businesses, kept our neighbors fed and more. Philly, you rock.

Ideas, Please!

Two recent public policy press conferences raise the question: Do Philly leaders have any new ideas for old, intransigent problems? Maybe one gaping problem is an opportunity for new thinking

Guest Commentary: Time to Say Enough to Corruption

Union boss John Dougherty was indicted again this week, and 12 percent of City Council is facing corruption charges. One outraged elected official is calling for an end to the scourge of Philly politics

Business for Good: Truth & Consequences

In an industry known for high levels of burnout, one local ad agency has a different blueprint for success: taking care—great care—of its employees

The Answer To Our Vaccine Debacle

Locally and nationally, getting shots into arms has been a disaster. A longtime college president says the answer to preventing this in future is clear: education

Future-Ready: Can The Future Still Be Female?

Covid has wreaked havoc on women’s careers—but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Join Future Works Alliance and The Citizen for an event next week on where to go from here

Mindfulness for Minors

A local nonprofit has shown measurable progress in helping Philly public school students stay on track through training in an unexpected skill: meditation

Who Have They Left Behind?

The Philadelphia Obituary Project chronicles the devastating toll of our city’s murder epidemic, one victim at a time

Leaving Money on the Table

Rising house prices should mean rising tax revenue to help close Philly’s budget gap. Too bad, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, the City’s property office is still too dysfunctional to reassess values

“We Only Have One Mayor”

Former Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Dwight Evans voice their concerns for the state of Philadelphia

How Cities Can Fight Climate Change

Drexel’s Metro Finance director talks to Iina Oilinki, the head of Helsinki’s ambitious effort to curb its polluting emissions, about how business and government can work together to save the environment

Finding A Shot

A Wharton MBA for Executives candidate has launched a site to help Americans find open vaccine appointments. Because we need all the help we can get

A New News Narrative

A youth-led after-school media program helps young Philadelphians cover issues important to, and about, them. Are you listening, big media?

Guest Commentary: Make this Sheriff the Last Sheriff

Another scandal prompts a former city official—and one-time candidate for the job—to call for getting the Sheriff’s Office out of the City’s real estate business

Congress, Don’t Cut Local Covid-19 Aid

The Covid Relief Bill includes much-needed funding for city services—if, Philly 3.0’s engagement director cautions, Congress doesn’t take it away

Guest Commentary: A Fitting Replacement for Christopher Columbus

As Women's History Month kicks off, two local historians suggest honoring our own “Rosa Parks” with a statue in Marconi Plaza

What to Do About the Covid Slide

The city has finally started planning for ways to help students make up for pandemic-related learning loss. But do we really want to just get back to normal?

Tech for Trash

The city’s first program under its Smart City Roadmap has diverted more than 100,000 pounds of local electronics and clothing from landfills—and helped get computers into Philly homes that need them

The Best Way To Eliminate College Debt

Some debt forgiveness could help students and the economy. But a longtime college president makes the case for another strategy: Preventing the debt in the first place.

Will Pop-Ups Save Philly’s Food Scene?

It’s getting harder for independent restaurants to survive. Could the sharing economy of pop-ups help preserve diversity in our food businesses?

Ideas We Should Steal: Desegregating the Region

A Connecticut coalition is fighting housing discrimination, and its effects, by taking on a little-understood piece of bureaucracy: zoning laws. Could a similar approach make for a more equitable Philly region?

A Mayoral Wishlist, Disruptor Edition

If we really want a robust debate in 2023, how about some bold, unconventional candidates? Here, a list of unusual suspects.

Rats on the Parkway!

A Fairmount resident’s encounter with rodents — in broad daylight! — sent her on an odyssey to get city action. Here’s what happened … and what you can do about Philly pests, too.

The Citizen Recommends: Stitching Our Futures

Mural Arts’ participatory quilting project invites all of us to imagine—and create—a city budget that reflects who we want to be

Philly’s Potential to Change The World

Penn’s Orphan Disease Center turns 10 this year. Its promise for Philadelphia goes well beyond science

The Citizen Recommends: The COmmunity VIDeo Resiliency Project

Big Picture Alliance’s screening of youth-created films explores how the pandemic has affected young people—and the resilience they continue to show in the face of adversity

Your 401(k) Might Be Your Best Tool to Create Social Change

You may be donating, volunteering, voting and protesting to live your values. But, ImpactPHL’s executive director wonders, do you know where your money sleeps at night?

Foodizen: Forget Back to “Normal”

Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO is doing better than ever in its 10-year history by pivoting to not just survive, but thrive during the pandemic—a start to rethinking the restaurant industry as we have known it

Business for Good: Oat Foundry

The local product design company tackles awesomely out-there projects while weaving sustainability throughout every aspect of its work. A latte in outer-space, anyone?

Penn Did A Great Thing. Now It Could Do More.

Amy Gutmann’s $100 million pledge to the school district proved again how she is making Penn a leader among elite universities. A longtime college president offers ideas for what else Penn could do for Philly.

Can Free Cash Solve Philly’s Poverty Problem?

More than 30 cities, including ours, have signed on to give unrestricted cash payments to some residents this year. Is this a progressive fad or the way to really fix what ails us?

STEM Jobs For All

A small new Science Center program trains overlooked Philadelphians for careers in our city’s burgeoning life sciences industry. Its mission: carving out a path to high-paying, in-demand jobs

Business For Good: Aequo Fund

The new program aims to take on the failings of the finance world by providing capital (and more) to promising minority and women developers

Guest Commentary: Med Students To The Rescue!

The president and CEO of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on why we should mobilize medical students to jumpstart the vaccination rollout

Jim Kenney’s Very Bad Week

Between a devastating report by Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and his administration’s fumbling of the vaccination rollout, it’s no wonder the mayor has floated the idea of cutting bait and running for the Senate

The False Symmetry of American Racial Politics

America may have moved on from the deadly Capitol siege. But the show of political and ideological force will continue to define us—if we let it.

Philadelphia Takeout for Good

It’s no surprise that local restaurants have spent the Covid-19 crisis finding ways to give to their community. Here, 11 generous local spots you can support with your takeout order

Business for Good: Anti “Tech Bro” Startups

Guru Technologies and Fishtown Analytics are defying tech-world stereotypes by prioritizing diversity, community and philanthropy

“Those Nerdy Girls” Explain The Pandemic to America

A volunteer team of women scientists, many from Philly, launched Dear Pandemic last year to spread real and clear information about Covid-19. They now speak to 1 million people a month.

Guest Commentary: Reflections from a First-Time Voter

A Penn student looks back on a whiplash year that forced her to confront her own assumptions: How could she preach voting when she wasn’t sure she’d vote?

The Krasner Referendum

The race for DA is off to a too-familiar start. Here’s hoping it will include a debate over what smart reform might look like

Business for Good: Ray’s Reusables

A Brewerytown resident’s pandemic-era business aims to limit plastic waste and bring sustainability to people where they live

Who Didn’t Vote in 2020

Philly’s once-in-a-generation turnout helped give Joe Biden the presidency. But in North Philly’s Hunting Park, voters mostly stayed home. What will get them to the polls next time?

Guest Commentary: Is Philly Ready For a Third Wave of Political Activism?

Now is the time to capitalize on the greatest civic engagement in a generation. A former city official lays out a plan to do that.

The Citizen Recommends: BalletX Beyond

With its new online subscription service, local contemporary dance company BalletX continues its tradition of breaking the mold. Could its pivot model a way forward for the beleaguered arts community in Philly, and elsewhere?

The Power of Snapshots

While Covid-19 has forced the closure of many after-school programs, Photography Without Borders continues to empower North Philly youth with cameras, connections—and confidence. And now, the students’ work has gone national.

The Fix: How About an Open, Transparent Government Run By… You?

Feeling alienated from your government, at all levels? Maybe we should open it up and change our relationship to it

The Fix: How To Reform The City Charter

Our Drexel class on rewriting Philly’s constitution last year produced dozens of ideas. Here are some of the best for changing the relationship between government and the governed.

The Virus and the City: Get Ready for the Biden Stimulus

The Democrats' control of the Senate means trillions of recovery dollars are coming. Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director explains how cities should plan for the influx of cash.

The Citizen Updates: Catching Up With Hallee Adelman

With the hit documentary The Social Dilemma and her latest children's book, the author, filmmaker and philanthropist continues to empower young people

The True Meaning of Health Care

A new financial wellness program at CHOP has helped families recoup $700,000 owed to them in an effort to tackle a critical vital sign: poverty

Charlottesville Comes to the Capitol

A day after thugs waving confederate flags and wearing “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirts breached the Capitol, a talk with a Trump-supporting Republican state senator offers some hope

Guest Commentary: Solve “The Lost Mile” for Hungry Philadelphians

Share Food has fed more than 1 million people a month since last March. That, says its executive director, has required some creative pivoting.

Future-Ready: Kenney’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

A local futurist—and former City official—on how the mayor could make his next budget a legacy of vision, equity and modernization. Hint: Start at zero.

52 Small Ways To Make A Better Philly

Do one thing a week that makes you a better citizen of your city. Here, some ideas to get you started

The Vaccine Is Here! The Vaccine is Here!

Convincing skeptical Philadelphians to get their Covid-19 vaccine will take trust-building—and ample creativity. A new citywide special, anyone?

Jim Kenney’s New Year’s Resolutions

Here, advice for the mayor after the worst year ever. Hey, hope springs eternal, right?

Guest Commentary: Philadelphia, I Miss Your Face

A local high school teacher’s ode to the so-Philly thing we’ve all missed most this year: community

Guest Commentary: A Return to Environmental Protection

Philadelphians, especially the most vulnerable, face increasing devastation due to climate change. Local clean air advocates look to President-elect Biden to renew a much-needed partnership to help the city and the planet

Guest Commentary: The Great Rethink

One civic leader’s take on how the pandemic can be an opportunity for reinvention

Suck It, 2020!

A compendium of the things we cared about in a super crappy year

Bill Hite, Reconsidered

Philadelphia’s schools superintendent has taken some hits lately. Does he have what it takes to manage—and tame—a $3.5 billion bureaucracy?

The Virus and the City: Can Philly Perfect PPP?

Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director and the Enterprise Center's Della Clark on organizing locally to save minority-owned businesses

Integrity Icon 2020: Meet Dr. Ruth Abaya

The pediatric ER doctor and public health manager is using every avenue possible to heal the other epidemic in our midst: gun violence

Josh Shapiro’s Mic Drop

Catching up with the AG on his take-no-prisoners Supreme Court Brief that helped to expose the fraud that is Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Dropping Science

Join us next Tuesday to hear the best-selling author and inspirational orator hold forth on his new book, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America, in a conversation with Citizen contributor Dr. James Peterson

Let’s Say Black Lives Mattered

A Penn professor and novelist on what life would be like if we could see the sacred in each other

The Citizen Updates: Houwzer’s Next Move

Mike Maher’s growing, Philly-based real estate company has launched a nonprofit arm that's poised to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help underserved people buy homes

10+ Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

We can all make the holidays brighter for others this year. Here, some simple, tangible, impactful ways to get started

Rallying for the Neighborhood

New Kensington Community Development Corporation has stepped in where government has failed, to help neighborhood businesses survive the pandemic. Could this be a model for other communities?

Et tu, Martina?

A year ago, she was the best hope for reform in Philly politics. But now Republican State Rep. Martina White has thrown her lot in with the crazies who deny the results of a free and fair election.

The Bok Evolution

Six years ago, developer Lindsey Scannapieco set out to turn an old South Philly school building into a space for Philly’s creative class. She overcame neighborhood skeptics to become so much more.

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “Joy Is A Form of Rebellion”

Five takeaways from Week 2 of our Ideas We Should Steal Festival—and ways we can all make a better city

Holiday Gift Guide: 25+ Philly gifts for everyone on your list

Check out our annual gift guide to discover a host of Philly-made goods that give back

Building A Health Assurance System

In an excerpt from their book, Unhealthcare, Jefferson CEO Stephen Klasko and a Silicon Valley disruptor offer innovative ideas to reinvent health care

The Color of Coronavirus: Engines for Misery in the Racial Pandemic

We know that people of color suffer more from Covid-19. A Philly-born researcher makes the case that racism makes the pandemic worse for everyone

The Age of Denial, Philly-Style

How Councilwoman Helen Gym, Mayor Jim Kenney and even an Inky columnist are catching the allergy to reality

The Citizen Recommends: Beethoven in Beijing

A soaring new documentary from Sam Katz's History Making Productions explores the Philadelphia Orchestra’s role in the revival of classical music in China almost 50 years ago ... and the lasting global impact today

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: 5 Things We Learned from Night One

We laughed, we cried, we learned so much. Here's just a teaser from the opening night of our 3rd annual Festival. Join us for the remaining evenings to be part of the solution.

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “You Can’t Be Afraid of the Mess”

After last year’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, The Citizen awarded $50,000 to pilot a basketball-based gun violence reduction program in Philly. Its long journey has just begun.

How to Help During the Pandemic Right Now

Here, our regularly updated guide to specific ways you can continue to help communities affected by Covid-19

Guest Commentary: Is the Philadelphia Committee Person an Endangered Species?

The key to unlocking more civic engagement in elections could be you

Guest Commentary: Let Philly Be Our Guide Out of Our Divisions

The insights on government penned in the city centuries ago, and the work of religious and community organizations here today, point a way forward for America

The People’s Kitchen

Local chefs are serving food to those in need, while fueling awareness and action around social justice

The New RFK?

The election results reveal the potential for a transformative new coalition—if Joe Biden and progressives have the guts to go there

Changing Behavior … For Good

Wharton professor Katy Milkman is co-leading groundbreaking research, along with her Penn colleague Angela Duckworth, to uncover why we make the decisions we do, and how we can make better ones—that stick

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: How Art Can Change the World

Join The Citizen in December to hear from Jane Golden, Shepherd Fairey, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Hank Willis Thomas, and many more

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: Comedy as the New Frontier of Journalism

Can satire help change the world? Roy Wood Jr. says yes.

“I Call Them Momola and the Mensch”

Catching up with Delaware Rabbi Michael Beals, also known as “Joe Biden’s rabbi”

How Lisa Deeley Saved Democracy

She’s a Democratic party loyalist. But, along with her co-city commissioners, Omar Sabir and Republican Al Schmidt, the Northeast native spearheaded a heroic election process.

Business for Good: Germ Hero

A trio of entrepreneurs has brought their proprietary cleaning product to Philly to keep businesses clean and customers safe in the age of Covid-19

The Citizen Recommends: World Kindness Day 2020

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation is rallying behind Friday’s international day of, well, being a solid human. You should, too

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “Things That Matter”

With Hill-Freedman World Academy’s fourth album, students weave the anguish of 2020 into powerful new music

Winning and Losing On Election Night

Who’s up? Who’s down? And is there a path forward for a President Biden to change the tone of our politics?

Citizens of the Week: Philly’s School Nurses

The unsung health heroes of the pandemic have risen to the challenge of new job descriptions

Business for Good: Aardvark Mobile Health

The Conshohocken-based business is fighting the spread of Covid-19 by meeting people where they are

Ideas We Should Steal: Winterizing Outdoor Dining

Chicago invited citizens to come up with solutions to the challenges of outdoor winter dining. Philly should put out the same call.

The Citizen Voter Guide: PA General Election 2020

Election Day is officially November 3—but now is the time to get ready to vote. Here, everything you need to know to cast a ballot

The Color of Coronavirus: Racial Equity Rapid Response Teams

Some cities have deployed dedicated teams to combat the racial disparities exposed and exacerbated by Covid-19.

It’s the Capital, Stupid!

Della Clark, CEO of The Enterprise Center, has become the city’s chief evangelist for a recovery that invests in Black and brown entrepreneurs

Ideas We Should Steal: Mental Health Police Reforms That Work

If we really want to honor Walter Wallace Jr., let's look at and consider implementing some of these successful—systemic—solutions from around the world

Better Civics: Meeting People Where They Are

We hosted a block party during a pandemic, and it was great

The Crisis of Millennial Health

Independence Blue Cross and The Economy League have launched an innovative approach to addressing the surprising health needs of an entire generation

“A True Sankofa Moment”

A who’s who of civic leaders are behind Philadelphia Community Stakeholders’ new—free—pod for local students. The next challenge is scaling it.

Guest Commentary: Tackling Illiteracy

The first-ever virtual Freedom Schools Literacy Academy models liberation education — and gets results

Guest Commentary: Want to Boost Voter Turnout?

A legendary UArts professor of innovation says the advent of the secret ballot fueled voter apathy

Gathering with Dignity

Along with delicious food, a new pop-up food hall at Temple offers an innovative, stigma-free solution to campus hunger

Citizen of the Week: Larry Abrams

The South Jersey teacher and founder of BookSmiles has created a magical book bank, where teachers can load up on books to give to their students. The cost? Free.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

Well before this summer’s racial awakening, civic leaders in Buffalo came together to not only talk about race, but work on real systemic change. Is it a model for other cities?

Out of the Mouth of Babes

#VoteThatJawn and Fresh Artists tap an army of kiddos to turn out the parent vote

Business for Good: Promptworks

The local software company proves that investing in the well-being of employees and the community can be good for the bottom line, too

The Virus and the City: Big Ideas for Small Business

Drexel’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab director is out with a Marshall Plan-like report for saving small businesses and investing in equity for Black and Brown entrepreneurs

Guest Commentary: Are the polls making the same mistake all over again?

A veteran political consultant warns that by not adjusting for new pandemic voting patterns, pollsters may be missing worrisome drop-offs in Black and Latino voting

Ideas We Should Steal: Citizens’ Assemblies

A growing body of research suggests that the leadership we need right now could—quite literally—be all around us

A Crack in the Permanent Establishment

The ascension of Wharton’s Erika James, IBX’s Gregory Deavens and Comcast’s Dalila Wilson-Scott points to refreshing change among the city’s leadership class

The Citizen Recommends: “Compilation of Love”

A new album featuring Philly musicians is raising money for Women Against Abuse and the survivors of intimate partner violence who rely on the organization’s life-saving services

The Citizen Recommends: New Wharton Lecture Series

Erika H. James, Wharton’s first-ever female and African American leader, will address the pressing issues facing businesses in the States, and around the world

The Citizen Recommends: Art for Social Justice

“Points of Connection”—a collection of 10 portraits by the DA’s first-ever artist-in-residence—offers a moving look at the people impacted by, and impacting, our justice system

Ideas We Should Steal: Swap Columbus Day for an Election Day Holiday

The small city of Sandusky, Ohio, cancelled the out-of-step holiday in favor of one much needed. We should do that in Philly, too.

Larry Krasner’s Inconvenient Truth

It’s nearly three years in. Is there any data to suggest the progressive experiment of D.A. Larry Krasner is or is not working?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence with Jobs

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s anti-violence program has helped reduce shootings in Chicago’s South Side by 33 percent—while citywide, violence has spiked. The key? Economic opportunity

The Color of Coronavirus: Bearing Witness

When the pandemic hit Philly, a local photojournalist felt called to chronicle what was happening in his community. His months with the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium revealed heroism in the midst of tragedy

Ideas We Should Steal: 10 ways to fix our garbage mess

State Rep. Jared Solomon spent a day picking up city trash to understand just how bad Philly is at waste. Here, some ways to do better

“You can’t live in a vacuum”

A Lower Merion senior co-founded a student-run foreign policy media outlet that hammers home Gen Z’s commitment to tackling global problems—by finding common ground

What Would Dyson Say?

Catching up with bestselling author, professor, preacher and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson, whose much-anticipated forthcoming book provides a roadmap from racial reckoning to reconciliation

Better Civics: Claim Your Space

Good citizenship can be as simple as meeting neighbors where they are—even during a pandemic. The Better Civics co-founders offer ideas for how to do that

Big Shots

The Sixers may be struggling. But through their support of NBA Math Hoops, Philly-area kids get the all-star treatment for excelling—in the classroom

Business for Good: Jumpstart Germantown

Ken Weinstein’s anti-gentrification training program, with six spin-offs in the city and region, is keeping development local—and bringing women and people of color into the industry

The Color of Coronavirus: A Model For Possibilities

Could the proposed Healthy Town Tioga Project be the solution to the disparities that plague Philly?

Did LeBron Choke?

Missing from the NBA players’ historic wildcat strike last month was a call for bold action on economic justice. If only they’d heard of Philly nonprofit B Lab

What Failed Leadership Looks Like

In an email exchange between Council President Clarke and a constituent, not even a murder epidemic can prompt an empathetic response. This is your tax dollars at work?

Citizen of the Week: Cydney Brown

Philly’s new Youth Poet Laureate doesn’t just write well—she does G.O.O.D.

Future-Ready: Harnessing Local Brain Power

The Future Works Alliance wants to prove to the world that Philly is ready, open and planning for the world of automation. Here’s how you can help.

Better Civics: The Real Truth About Voter Apathy

It’s not that people don’t care, the founders of a new civic engagement nonprofit contend. It’s that our electoral system continuously puts up barriers to voting. Here’s what we all can do about it

Business for Good: OneClick.chat

The four-year-old Philly company—started by a millennial and a boomer—takes on social isolation by providing an easy platform for 50,000 older adults worldwide to connect

Maybe Not an Oxymoron

Can Philly’s Innovation Management group make “bureaucrat” a synonym for “problem-solver” in City Hall, one employee at a time?

55 Shots

Two dead in a Spring Garden playground is just the latest example of a murder epidemic overtaking the city. The mayor and City Council president will hold a press conference today … about Donald Trump

I Want My Jubilee!

Center City venture capitalist and philanthropist Richard Vague has a stimulus plan that will boost the economy and address inequality. Will the political class listen?

Photo Essay: Grow Your Own

With Covid-19 food shortages looming, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society mobilized thousands of gardeners to grow food and feed their neighbors this year—an act that builds community resilience. Here, some gardening photos to inspire your own growing season.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Housing Reform We Really Need

Portland, Oregon, just passed the most revolutionary urban zoning reform in recent history to keep residents from being displaced. In Philly, that could bring housing relief to tens of thousands

Power The Polls

The city needs to recruit another 4,000 people to work the polls to ensure voting goes smoothly on November 3. Here’s why it matters—and some ways we can prevent this last minute scramble in the future

Does Police Reform Include Better Policing?

A virtual panel discussion last week was full of talk of reform. But you wouldn’t have known we’re in the midst of a tragic murder epidemic

Business for Good Update: Dropps

A $10 million investment this year has helped make the eco-friendly local laundry pod business the city’s fastest growing company. The secret? Eliminating the stupid.

Foodizen: Honeysuckle Grows Roots

Thanks to the pandemic, chef and native Philadelphian Omar Tate brought his lauded pop-up home. Now, he’s working on its reinvention: a Mantua food and community center

Guest Commentary: To Pod or Not to Pod?

Innovations like learning pods do not cause inequity. Instead, a Philly dad and schools advocate contends, it’s access to that innovation that is the real problem we need to solve

How to Build Philadelphia Back Better

Two of the country’s most prominent urban thinkers have teamed up to offer Philly a bold plan for inclusive and resilient recovery from Covid-19. Could a $250 million “Philadelphia Regeneration Fund” be in our future?

Answering Rodney

What last week's meeting between Black and Jewish leaders tells us, now that the local head of the NAACP has been jettisoned for an anti-Semitic posting

Free College for All?

Under PA State Treasurer Joe Torsella’s newest plan, Pennsylvania would join 26 other states in offering tuition-free skills training and associates degrees to all residents

Answering the—many—calls

South Philly’s SEAMAAC has fed thousands of people since March, while continuing to push the vote and the census—missions more aligned than you might think

Guest Commentary: A Love Letter to the Post Office

The USPS is in the news these days for its (potential) election-related failings. But a novelist and Penn professor remembers it for its beauty

Save Restaurants, Save Philadelphia

The RESTAURANTS Act—co-sponsored by local Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick—would bail out an industry we all love. If it’s good enough for American Airlines, why are we not backstopping Ellen Yin’s Fork?

Why The Sixers Need Jay Wright

Our dysfunctional pro team’s problems have nothing to do with basketball

Business for Good: Girls Auto Clinic

Patrice Banks has plans for another car repair shop, post-Covid. First, though, she’s launched a program aimed at getting more women of color into the car repair biz.

Making Contact

The City’s 100 contact tracers spend their days delivering scary news and advice. How they do it can mean the difference between life and death.

Seriously? Now the Post Office is Dramatic?

Catching up with the Philly lawyer who used to chair the Postal Service’s board of governors. How did we get here?

The Possibilities of “If”

Meegan Denenberg and Tayyib Smith’s new incubator, co-working and networking space aims to boost Black businesses in Philly

“Actors Have to Work On Their Craft”

The Covid-19 recession has hit theater—and those who work in it—hard. A virtual networking support group is helping them stay connected

Citizens of the Week: Welcome Bread

The volunteer peanut butter and jelly brigade is helping to feed thousands of people throughout the region during the pandemic

Where’s The Beef?

It’s great that Columbus and Rizzo statues are coming down and Lady Antebellum is now Lady A, but how about agitating for substantive systemic reform?

Business for Good: The Kitchen Garden Series

A former costume designer is now working to upend the textiles industry and revive an old Philly tradition by producing local linen

The Hook is Sports

Give and Go Athletics uses sports to give kids in Brewerytown the confidence to be who they want to be

How to Fix Philly’s Trash Problem

As garbage piles up all over town, the city’s former Waste and Litter Czar shares what he’s learned about how to clean it up. Hint: It requires good leadership.

Ideas We Should Steal: Ambitious Mental Health Training for Cops

Basic mental health first aid training is de rigueur in many police forces. Tucson, Arizona, takes its approach further.

Philly’s Doomsday Election Night Scenario

A longtime political mad genius has an answer to Trump’s challenge to the legitimacy of November’s election. Oh yeah, and he just got out of prison.

Color of Coronavirus: What’s Behind Black Conspiracism?

A deep dive into understanding the rise of Covid-19 conspiracy thinking in the Black community. Ever hear of the "King Alfred Plan"?

Full-Circle Support

The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle supports Black-led, Black-serving nonprofits while disrupting the field of philanthropy

“Build Your Own Brand”

Could the key to turning around Philly schools come down to human connection? Robeson High School Principal Richard Gordon IV thinks so—and he has the outcomes to prove it

Future-Ready: Building A Tech Talent System

Other cities are capitalizing on the disruptions caused by the pandemic to rebrand themselves as innovation hubs. Can Philly do the same?

Citizens of the Week: Crescent Foundation

As people with sickle cell disease live longer, they need more and different support. A group of young patients in Philly is here to give it to them.

Breaking Down Barriers

Can Sunflower Philly, a community space in Kensington run by local artists and funded by local developers, forge a connection between new and longtime residents?

An Argument For Funding The Police

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw on her crime fighting plan, which is full of state-of-the-art reforms. So here’s a novel thought…why not fund it?

“Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get To Work”

An update on professor and activist Stephanie Sena, who is still working to uplift Philadelphians in need of food, shelter and dignity

“How Do You Make Sure People Still Get Food?”

New Philabundance CEO Loree Jones started her job in the midst of a pandemic and racial protests that roiled the city. She is exactly where she wants to be.

Reality Check: Beating the Heat

New York and Baltimore are handing out free air conditioners to low-income seniors most at risk of heat-related illness and Covid-19. Why, WURD's midday host wonders, isn’t Philly doing the same?

Recognizing Unsung City Heroes

Who are the city workers helping to keep Philadelphians clean, cool and safe during this hot summer of Covid? Nominate them for Integrity Icon.

Citizens of the Week: Mask On! Philly

Melissa Lamarre and Leon Caldwell call themselves “solutionists.” Their latest endeavor provides learning, volunteering and better health for their community.

How Jim Kenney Lost The City

Murders raging. Trash piling up. Police both running amok and turning a blind eye to enforcing laws. How’d we get here?

Business For Good: Lilu

As a Latinx woman in tech, Adriana C. Vázquez has faced uphill odds in transforming the $1.4 billion breast pump market. The Philly startup she co-founded just might do it anyway.

The Virus and the City: Now is a Great Time to Start a Business

A federal self-employment fund used by five states—but shut down by Pennsylvania—can help would-be entrepreneurs make a go of it. How about it, Congress?

The 13 Best Philly Books to Read Now

Local bookstore owners shared their favorite Philly reads at the moment—from the silly to the serious.

Ideas We Should Steal: Treat Homelessness as a Health Issue

While the City and advocates continue negotiations over the homeless encampment on the Parkway, Denver and New Jersey demonstrate some much-needed new thinking

“Recovery Doesn’t Happen by Accident”

In Chicago, Lori Lightfoot is out with a visionary post-Covid plan. A group of Philly civic leaders are working on doing the same. Here’s hoping it’s a first step.

The Color of Coronavirus: Black Mental Health Aftershocks

Black Philadelphians already suffered from trauma before the pandemic. Do we need a new approach to therapy?

Ideas We Should Steal: Police as Guardians Not Warriors

Critical thinking, empathy and kindness are saving lives from Scotland to Florida. Why not in Philly?

Guest Commentary: An Open Letter To Malcolm Jenkins

What the NFL star (and former Citizen columnist) doesn’t get about DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts

Future-Ready: Calling all CEOs

An expert on the Future of Work discusses the steps employers can take to create opportunities for Philadelphians in the post-Covid economy

Oy Vey, DeSean!

The reaction to the NFL star’s anti-Semitic postings flips the usual script … and may just offer a constructive way forward in Black / Jewish relations

Home Schooling

The ParentChild+ program has boosted high school graduation among Philly’s most vulnerable children—by showing up at their homes

Business for Good: Mosaic Development Partners

The Black-owned real estate company provides affordable housing and wealth-generating opportunities for oft-overlooked Philadelphians

Who’s your Philly hero?

Philly has some serious challenges. Let’s celebrate those public servants rising to meet them.

Business for Good: Black and Mobile

The Caviar for black-owned restaurants is having its busiest season yet—and this month, it’s relaunching with a new app to be more competitive in cities around the country

Business For Good: SustainVC

The Radnor-based firm invests in companies that address inequity, like Reconnect, whose interview with Rayshard Brooks was released just after his death at the hands of Atlanta police

Photo Essay: “You Wear The Mask For Me”

As Covid-19 cases rise in Philly, the act of wearing a mask has come to mean more than just health. It’s good citizenship

Reality Check: Cracking The Youth Voter Code

Want to get more young protesters casting a vote? WURD's midday hose urges that we start by taking them seriously

Guest Commentary: On Rizzo, Columbus, and the Confederacy

As the statues fall, a Princeton grad and local resident warns that honestly confronting our past helps us reckon with the present

Ideas We Should Steal: RIP Medical Debt

A third of Americans have medical bills they cannot pay. A New York nonprofit has helped eliminate $2 billion of that debt for the poorest of them

Guest Commentary: Teaching Black Children is a Revolutionary Act

The director of a Black teacher training program pens an open letter to new educators for their “subversive act of hope”

The Virus and the City: How To Grow Black Businesses

Post-Covid economic recovery requires providing opportunities for Black businesses to thrive. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director lays out a plan to do that

Of Newsrooms and Race

Recent events at The Inquirer and The New York Times raise questions both about racial hierarchy and the commitment to open discourse

Yesterday’s Protests, Today

In 1967, thousands of students marched to protest inadequate schooling for Black Philadelphians. In this new moment of racial uprising, a group of high schoolers won the right to honor them.

Guest Commentary: Philly’s Hot Weather Health Crisis

Heat and Covid-19 could make this the most dangerous summer on record. Two urban environmentalists with ways to make a more sustainable, resilient and just city .

Future-Ready: 5 Future-Proof FAQs

Wondering what the Future of Work is all about? A former director in the Philadelphia's Office of Workforce Development has answers.

Reality Check: In Policing, Prevention is the Best Medicine

How about we keep murderous cops off the force to begin with? WURD’s midday host lays out a plan to do that

Defund the FOP

Less police funding wouldn’t have spared George Floyd’s life or upended systemic racism. But real reform of police unions might

The Color of Coronavirus: Our Mournful Undertaking

The first in a series exploring Covid-19’s effects on Black Philadelphians asks: What else is lost when someone dies?

Green-Lighting Change

Poverty-fighting programs have spent millions in Philly—but the numbers of poor people remain high. GreenLight Fund supports data-based programs that have proven to make a real difference

Citizen of the Week: Kenneth Walker Jr.

The North Philly native turned a former campaign office into The Unity Center, a twice-weekly food distribution site whose clients have tripled since Covid-19

Foodizen: Revolutionizing Your Meat

While national suppliers come up short during the pandemic, Philly’s Primal Supply Meats is keeping fridges stocked and local farmers afloat. That’s good for our diets—and our economy

Ideas We Should Steal: Open Checkbook

Cities like New York and Pittsburgh allow the public to view every local government expenditure online. City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart wants to make that happen here, too

Ali Velshi, From The Frontlines

The MSNBC anchor and Citizen board member on covering the protests, getting shot by a so-called rubber bullet, and whether the First Amendment is in peril

How To Speed Up The Vote Count

It’s taken nearly two weeks to count ballots from the June 2 primary. Philly 3.0’s engagement director with ways to avoid democracy-threatening delays for the general election

Business For Good: Ed Satell’s Latest $1 Million CEO Challenge

The veteran entrepreneur and founder of the Satell Institute is going all out to help nonprofits during Covid-19

CHOP and the Virus

The hospital’s PolicyLab has made news with its innovative tool to track Covid-19 outbreak

Reality Check: Reinventing the Police Advisory Commission Wheel

Three years ago, Mayor Kenney “reestablished” the department’s civilian oversight board. So, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, what’s so different this time?

Ideas We Should Steal: Fighting Domestic Abuse During Covid-19

The pandemic has survivors of domestic violence trapped at home with their abusers. France, Spain and others have figured out how to reach them

Future-Ready: Why I’m Obsessed with the Future of Work

A former director in Philly’s Office of Workforce Development on what needs to happen to keep Philadelphia working

Where things stand in the 2020 primary

Last week we had the weirdest, most chaotic primary in recent history. Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down what we know so far.

Guest Commentary: Now It’s Time to Rebuild

The president of a West Philly group representing 3,000 local businesses reflects on the devastation to his community—and the work needed to move forward

Hooray! We’ve Disappeared The Frank Rizzo Statue…

… which helps precisely zero black lives today. Remember the civil rights-era admonition to keep our eyes on the prize?

Ideas We Should Steal: Ethical Policing

The New Orleans Police Department has been remade thanks to an innovative peer intervention program. Can the Philly PD undergo a similar culture change?

Guest Commentary: “No One Will Mistake Me For the Valet”

A white Temple professor acknowledges what she cannot know about racism in America—but what she must take responsibility for

The Slow Death of Black Americans

The Citizen’s new columnist reflects on what today’s media coverage glosses over: the long, wrenching story of black people in this country

Guest Commentary: Where are you, Mr. Mayor?

A Philadelphian wanted answers to why—after so many days of violent protests across the country—the City was unprepared for the looting. So he wrote to Mayor Kenney.

Citizen of the Week: Patty Bassett

The Delco mom pairs families experiencing hunger in the face of Covid-19 with those who can give—right in their own backyards

Guest Commentary: Calling Out White Noise

A white father of three young black men pens an open letter to white people

What Can We Do?

The horrendous police killing of George Floyd—on the heels of two other high-profile killings of African Americans this year—makes clear once again that we cannot stand by. Here, 13 ways all of us can start making change.

Guest Commentary: Lessons From The Locker Room

A former Eagle and community activist reacts to the killing of George Floyd by sharing lessons on diversity and common cause

Guest Commentary: George Floyd’s Ghost Is In Your Mirror

A white suburban father of three young black men on whom is really responsible for the injustice of our criminal justice system

New Blood: Just Another Socialist Revolutionary, Policy Nerd, Organizer…and Would-Be Pol

Catching up with Nikil Saval during the homestretch of his primary challenge to State Senator Larry Farnese

The Virus and the City: Wake Up, Feds!

With talk of “blue state bailouts,” the Senate has dithered in its response to Covid-19. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director urges the Federal Reserve Bank to jump in with an emergency fiscal task force

Business For Good: $3,000 Covid-19 Forgivable Loans

A group of bold-face name Philly business leaders are funding loans to small businesses left out of PPP and, in the process, providing all of us with an object lesson

Guest Commentary: Social Equity and Climate Resilience Are Economic Drivers

The director of Philly’s Sustainable Business Network offers a blueprint to creating a fairer and stronger economic ecosystem during our recovery

Citizen of the Week: Kelli Wyatt

The middle school teacher started a Facebook group that has connected 600 high school seniors with “adopters” to help them celebrate their graduation—and raise money for college expenses

Putting Money to Work

Women’s Way is set to expand a financial coaching program that has already helped 250 low- and moderate-income women save $115,000. Could it be the key to getting them through the pandemic?

The Disappearing Generation — Thanking a World War II Veteran

Thousands of the Greatest Generation have died from Covid-19 this spring. This Memorial Day, we catch up with—and thank—a local 95-year-old World War II vet

The Fix: Is Now The Time to Go Softer On Public Corruption?

A ballot question amends the charter’s ban on political activity. Is there evidence that, left to their own devices, our political players will make good government choices?

The Virus and the City: Cory Booker’s $50 Billion Bet

Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director worked with Senator Booker on his RELIEF for Main Street Act—a lifeline to small and minority-owned businesses supported by 100 mayors. Will Congress pass it?

A Green Stimulus for Philly

Penn’s resident climate wonk co-wrote a letter urging Congress to green its pandemic response. Could the public investments he supports help solve Philly’s poverty epidemic, too?

Guest Commentary: Test. Open. Recover.

A soon-to-be Princeton grad and local resident calls on Gov. Wolf to use his powers to make testing more widely available. The state depends on it

A Tamal To Feed Them All

A Philly chef makes and sells tamales with out-of-work immigrant cooks hit hard by the pandemic—and ineligible for unemployment

Guest Commentary: Fund Housing. Save Lives.

Mayor Kenney has proposed slashing the Housing Trust Fund. A longtime affordable housing advocate on why that could mean disaster—for all of us

Can We Talk This Over?

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart released an alternative to Mayor Kenney’s revised tax-and-cut budget. Will City Council listen?

Who is—And Who Isn’t—Distributing PPP Loans

Community development financial institutions like North Philly’s Beech Business Bank invest in inner city mom-and-pop businesses. So why weren’t they giving out federal Paycheck Protection Program funds?

Ideas We Should Steal: Mailing Ballots to Every Voter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered ballots be sent to all his state’s registered voters for the general election. Why don’t we do that here?

How to Remake Schools

Eight questions to consider as we look to reopening schools in Philly

The Virus and the City: Introducing Main Street Regenerators

Covid-19 has decimated small businesses. Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab Director proposes an entity to help rescue neighborhood mom and pops entrepreneurs

35 Years Later…Healing?

The anniversary of MOVE should call for more than an apology. A forthcoming documentary points the way toward true reconciliation

Guest Commentary: We Need The Arts, Now More Than Ever

Mayor Kenney has proposed cutting almost all the City’s arts funding. A local theater professional explains why that’s a bad idea, for all of us

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on who stands to gain—and who doesn’t—from Mayor Kenney’s post-Covid budget plan

Tackling the Covid Slide

Keeping students from falling behind may be simpler than we think

The Incredible Shrinking Mayor

Compared to other cities, does Jim Kenney’s budget redo qualify as a plan for recovery?

Feeding Peacetown

The pandemic hasn’t kept North Philly Peace Park from getting healthy food to their neighbors—and building a self-reliant community for the future

The Citizen Voter Guide: PA Primary Election 2020

Voting by mail in Pennsylvania or heading to the polls in Philly on June 2? Here's everything you need to know.

Ideas We Should Steal: Help for Renters and Landlords

A New Jersey landlord waived the rent for his tenants over the next three months—something most property owners probably can’t afford. How can both sides get relief?

“The Endurance Race is On”

Checking back in with an anonymous ER doctor, on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic

Reality Check: Even a pandemic can’t stop the murders

Philly’s homicide rate continues to rise, even during the quarantine. Where, WURD’s mid-day host wonders, is Danielle Outlaw in all this?

11 Mother’s Day Gifts That Give Back

Covid-19 is not canceling mom’s special day. This year, gift her something that supports Philadelphia businesses and relief efforts

The Kids Are (Mostly) Alright

Online school is ramping up this week—but as the students will tell you, it’s not the same. Here’s how some are coping with life during the pandemic

Michael Rubin’s Challenge

Catching up with the billionaire who has raised in excess of $26 million to combat food insecurity during the pandemic. Now, about those ABCs…

Disaster Optimism

Covid-19 is a catastrophe. Here, six ways to turn it into an opportunity for Philadelphia

Business(es) For Good: The Pandemic Edition

Covid-19 has hit almost everyone hard. But these local companies are stepping up to help more than just their bottom line

Business For Good: Cohere

The creative agency pushes clients to thrive and do good. That’s just what Philly needs to come out of Covid-19 stronger than ever

Citizen of the Week: Shawn “Frogg” Banks

The nonprofit leader spent his youth being part of the problem in his North Philly neighborhood. Over two decades later, he’s a safe space for other kids—day, night or pandemic

The Covid-19 Budget Tsunami

This week, Mayor Kenney, promising pain, will announce a revamped budget. Are you confident it will include a vision for smart recovery?

Guest Commentary: How Not to Help Small Businesses

Congress’s plan to save the country’s businesses during the Covid-19 shutdown was a failure, a former Philly official says. Here’s how it could be done better

Reality Check: Get The Kids Connected Already

It’s nearly 50 days into the pandemic and thousands of school kids still aren’t able to access online learning. WURD’s midday host wonders, why can’t we be more like Detroit?

The Virus and the City: Reopening…Smartly

Downtowns are key to the revival of cities post-Covid-19. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director with five ways to rethink how we use Center City

The Citizen Recommends: City Nature Challenge

This Earth Day weekend, boost your mood during Covid-19 by enjoying the nature around you—and helping science while you’re at it

The Other Crisis We Can’t Ignore

What we can learn about fighting climate change from our fight against the coronavirus.

Guest Commentary: Best Game Ever

A Philadelphia father recreates a birthday trip to Citizens Bank Park for his baseball-crazy 10-year-old

Reality Check: Unprecedented Doesn’t Mean Unexpected

The City, like the country, was unprepared for Covid-19, WURD’s midday host contends. How do we do better now?

Ideas We Should Steal: Dumplings Against Hate

The grassroots campaign raises funds for businesses in New York's Chinatowns and fights coronavirus-related racism. A local activist hopes to bring it here.