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
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.
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
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?
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
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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?
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?
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?
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
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 second Covid winter more bearable?
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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
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
…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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
The next in our series on change agents is Jen Devor, a one-time candidate who promised to revolutionize the way Philly votes. She lost the race—but is still working to build the best citizens of her city.
The Citizen is collaborating with Keepers of the Commons to spotlight and uplift the people whose ideas are making our city—and our lives—better. Get ready to meet the next class of great Philly changemakers
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
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
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?
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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 group of law students in India is working to “translate” the country’s laws so that every citizen can understand their rights and responsibilities. A similar effort here could be one way to make our government more accessible to Philadelphians, too.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
The Northeast Philly resident has been donating food to hungry Community College of Philadelphia students since January. Now, she’s offering free meals to a different population: those in need because of coronavirus
Local activist and entrepreneur Judy Wicks’ newest project aims to unite and strengthen our state’s regional economies. It could be just what we all need in this time of climate—and coronavirus—crisis.
In another black mark on public integrity, former Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, now an employee of the Register of Wills, applied for the controversial DROP program. Will Tracey Gordon step in?
Proposed legislation would provide free lawyers for Philly tenants at risk of evictions, similar to how defendants are guaranteed counsel in criminal court. Could it help even the playing field here, as it has in New York City?
The City Commissioners are charged with managing elections so more people can vote. Philly 3.0’s engagement director lays out a five-point platform for choosing the best commissioner candidates this year
In Oregon and 12 other states, voters are automatically registered to vote. In 16, they can register on election day. In several counties and states, voting is done by mail. All have higher turnouts than in PA
On Sunday, HBO re-airs a documentary highlighting a volunteer Philly health clinic for immigrants. On September 15th, join area restaurants in supporting the work of Puentes de Salud that is more vital than ever
Elizabeth Warren wants large corporations to change their profit-at-all-costs model. B Lab’s co-founder offers some ways that liberals, conservatives and the private sector might all agree on a new vision for accountable capitalism
In the first of a deep-dive series, a well-respected economist notes that two-thirds of houses bought with a 10 year tax break are still owned by their original purchaser. This is—maybe—good news for the city
Sundial brands built a $700 million company on the strength of its “community commerce” model. The company’s chief community officer will talk about spreading its success around the globe at next week's Citizen event
Dad Darren Sudman and coach Gabe Infante are both intimately familiar with the pain of losing a young person to heart failure. Now they’re teaming up to support coaches across the country who share their common bond