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 episode 4 of The Citizen’s podcast, hosts Michael Nutter, Kasim Reed and Larry Platt talk with Republican OKC Mayor David Holt, who models pragmatism like no other leader today
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
Who’s Running for Philadelphia City Council?
We’ve got your list of primary incumbents and challengers for City Council right here.
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
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?
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
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.
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?
Chasing Every Cure
Penn physician David Fajgenbaum and his team had a plan to repurpose existing drugs to cure 12,000 known diseases. Now, with Bill Clinton’s help, they're working to change healthcare as we know it
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
Finally, Someone’s Running for Mayor …
... against Jim Kenney?
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
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
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?
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, Episode 2
Episode 2 of the How to Really Run a City podcast stars Michael Nutter, Kasim Reed and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who just may be the smartest climate crusader in politics
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
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
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.
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
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
How to Support Veterans
We celebrate Veterans Day on Friday. Here, more than a dozen ways to give back to those who fought to keep you free
Ideas We Should Steal, Revisited: Make. Voting. Easier.
We learned many things about Pennsylvania after yesterday’s midterm election. One of them: We should have a better way to vote
How To Up Your Election Day Game
It’s November 8. Election Day in Philadelphia. You voted. Or, you’re going to vote. There is still more you can do
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 New 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.
What’s Worse than Larry Krasner?
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.
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?
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 Neighborhood 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
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
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
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)
Ideas We Should Steal: State Seal of Civic Engagement
Outraged that less than 50 percent of Americans can name the three branches of government? California and several other states are working to literally certify good citizenship for high school grads.
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?
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.
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
Ideas We Should Steal: Affordable 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
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
Senate candidate John Fetterman’s heckling of Mehmet Oz may entertain the already converted, but it might work against actually persuading independent voters
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 during the 2022-23 school year
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.
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
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
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
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
“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.
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
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
Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth in Philadelphia This Year
The African American Museum hosts its biggest Freedom Day celebration yet. So does the rest of Philly
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
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
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
Why We Must Fight Classroom Censorship
A long-time college president recommends ways to affirm democracy — through libraries and schools — in these troubled times
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?
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
10+ Farmers Markets In and Around Philly
Fresh local produce and handcrafted wares return to parks and neighborhoods this month. Here, a few of our faves
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?
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
Why Doesn’t Anyone Like John Fetterman…
…except for voters?
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)
Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia
Follow our guide to outdoor dining in Philly this spring to discover spots around town for delicious food and drink in gardens, on tucked-away patios and other Insta-worthy surrounds
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?
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?
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
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
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
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
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?
Your one-stop-shop for how to get involved in your community so you can be a better, more engaged citizen of your city and the world
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
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
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?
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.
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?
The assault on the U.S. Capitol was a low point of our 240-year history. It’s time to pick a side: Are you for or against democracy?
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?
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
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
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.
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 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?
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
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Generation Change Philly: The Super Citizen
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.
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.
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.
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?
Introducing … Generation Change Philly
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
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
“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?
“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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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: 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
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.
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?
“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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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?
Ideas We Should Steal: Laws We Can Actually Understand
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.
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?
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.
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
Business 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.
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
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.
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
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?
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
The Citizen Recommends: Iron Sharpens Iron
The podcast, launching today from two community organizers, aims to empower every citizen to improve our city, one front stoop at a time
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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?
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
Put the Students in Charge
Two local schools are showing that maybe kids know better than adults what real education and civic engagement look like
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
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?
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
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
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—even during the pandemic. Here’s how you can help.
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?
“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
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.
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.
“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?
“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?
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.
“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.
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
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
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?
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
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
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?
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…
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.
Does Helen Gym Want Donald Trump To Be Re-Elected?
Even though Bernie Sanders has endorsed Joe Biden, questions remain about how supportive Democratic Socialists will ultimately be
Guest Commentary: Let Them Vote
Two high school history teachers urge all who care about our democracy to sign a letter today to allow all eligible voters—like the 20,000 youth in our city—to vote by mail
The Long View
The Citizen co-founders catch up on the meaning of the post-Covid world
First, Heal Yourself
Feeling anxious about the pandemic? The state rolled out a free, confidential, 24/7 support and referral helpline to help anyone who’s struggling
Benefits Data Trust wades through the confusing rules governing welfare programs and links those in poverty with benefits. They’re needed now more than ever.
Photo essay: It’s Spring!
It’s hard to imagine new life springing up in these scary times, but the proof is all around us
Modeling The Pandemic
Penn Medicine and Code for Philly have developed a tool that predicts local hospital surges due to Covid-19. Its ultimate accuracy depends on you
Guest Commentary: Public Service Journalism At Its Best
Despite the business struggles of local media across America, a longtime former Inquirer editor says the newspaper’s Covid-19 coverage proves its civic worth everyday
A group of Penn students, led by author/professor Lorene Cary, won’t let even a pandemic keep them from their mission: to register 10,000 first-time voters
The Leadership Chronicles
Covid-19, and Mayor Kenney’s response to its economic impact, continues to reveal who’s leading, who’s reacting and who’s pandering
The End of the Boom?
Philly’s population grew by just 472 residents last year, possibly marking the end of our growth. We can’t afford that. Here’s what we should do about it.
The Virus and the City: In Need Of A Main Street Emergency Act
Small businesses are quickly running out of cash—and neither federal or local government programs offer enough help. That’s why, Drexel’s Metro Finance Director says, we need a radical new plan
Citizen Sports: True Champs
In a world without sports, players step up
Surviving the quarantine: Podcasts to Get Us Through
Some of Philly’s most revered podcasters share the podcasts they’re listening to
Guest Commentary: We Are All In Charge
A Wharton expert on leadership during crisis urges each of us to be a leader at this time of coronavirus
Shielding those in harm’s way
Four Penn alums put their startups on hold to 3D-print face shields for Covid-19 frontline workers in Philly, and beyond
Business For Good: The Precisionists, Inc.
The Delaware-based company prepares people on the autism spectrum with jobs in which they—and companies’ bottom lines—can thrive
Reality Check: We Shouldn’t Have To Pick Sides Over Gun Violence
People are being shot while the Mayor Jim Kenney and the D.A. Larry Krasner snipe at each other. Where, WURD’s midday host wonders, are the leaders we need?
Banks To The Rescue?
Local banks are stepping up in the fight to keep Covid-19 economic calamity at bay
Small Acts of Citizenship
These are scary times. But thanks to Philadelphians, they are not uniformly dark
The Virus and the City: The CARES Act Will Not Be Enough
$2.2 trillion in federal dollars will help. But it’s local institutions, Drexel’s Metro Finance Director notes, that will make the difference on the ground
Filling The Walls With Hope
Philly street art project "Fill the Walls With Hope" aims to cover walls around the city with optimistic messages during the Covid-19 crisis
Home “schooling” during Covid-19
The lessons one mom hopes her children take from this time have nothing to do with school
Citizen of the Week: Piseitta Arrington
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
Guest Commentary: Being together, apart
The founder of a community-building storytelling nonprofit on why now is the time to fight the growing scourge of loneliness in America
In It Together
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.
Leadership in the time of crisis
Elected official press conferences suddenly make for great TV. Are any of our guys at all Churchillian?
Reality Check: We Must Save the Election
WURD’s midday host warns that coronavirus-inspired primary delays could lead to voter suppression and a win for Trump in November—unless we take action now
Dear Educators…This is a Lot
A Swarthmore professor pens an open letter to Philadelphia teachers—heroes today even more than usual
Foodizen: Communal Dinners for Distanced Times
In this serialized book, industry veterans take us where they love to eat. Here, a pre-isolation Pakistani meal—that you should have delivered at home tonight
Business For Good: Building a Better Workforce
Even during an economic crisis, Post Brothers' Matt Pestronk is tackling workforce development the same way he stood up to the building trades. Like a wrestler.
As coronavirus upends our lives, community organizers aren’t waiting for the government to help us—supporting each other is the only way through
Tips from a life of avoiding infection
A local cystic fibrosis patient and advocate has spent her whole life avoiding viruses. In the time of coronavirus, we could all benefit from her experience
“Really, Stay Home”
An anonymous local ER doc on what it’s like being on the front lines of coronavirus—and what the rest of us can do
(Environmental) Justice for All
North Philly’s Serenity Soular is training workers and installing solar panels in communities hardest hit by climate change
What does COVID-19 mean for your finances?
Wharton experts share their two cents
The Citizen Recommends: The Chase Series
Philly native John Butler III creates children’s books with characters all kids can relate to
Philly Biotech Is On It
Will Center City’s Biomeme, and other local medical research facilities, be part of the national solution to the coronavirus?
Reality Check: Building Trust
There have been some important moves to help residents during the coronavirus scare. Now, WURD’s midday host says, the City must do more to ensure trust and safety
Protect the vote during the coronavirus pandemic
With the April 28 primary approaching in the midst of calls for social isolation, Philly 3.0’s engagement director urges the state to send every voter a mail-in ballot
Philly’s Biggest Coronavirus Threat
The highest risk to the city lies in the scourge that lives with us constantly: Poverty
Where’s The Money Going?
As we enter budget season, Paul Levy’s Center City District is out with a new report that lays out 20 years of the city’s spending priorities. Could it be a roadmap?
Guest Commentary: Financing small businesses shouldn’t be so damn hard
The principal of socially conscious developer Shift Capital lays out ways to make it easier to help local entrepreneurs.
The Citizen Recommends: Map the Vote
At least 40,000 eligible Philadelphians are not even registered to vote. You can help change that with a new app
Citizen of the Week: Mia Concepcion
Slam poetry changed the Youth Poet Laureate’s young life. Now she wants to give other Philly teens a chance to be heard.
Reality Check: “Basic income” To The Rescue?
WURD’s midday host praises the boldness of City Council's poverty proposal, with caveats
An Early Warning on the New Sheriff?
Rochelle Bilal seemed like a fresh start for the corrupt office. But, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, an early spending scandal proves again that the office should be closed
The Fix: It’s Always Groundhog Day
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?
Data For Kids
Philly is stealing an evidenced-based idea from other cities and forming a cabinet for children. Will that move the needle on our 35-percent child poverty rate?
Citizen Mystery Shopper (Part 15)
We sent out mystery shoppers to test Philadelphia City Council and SEPTA. Here, the results.
One Man’s Trash…
The Energy Co-Op in Mount Airy turns Philly’s garbage into renewable energy. Now it’s available to all Philadelphians
Welcome to Spendadelphia!
On the eve of budget season, a new report by Controller Rebecca Rhynhart looks at Mayor Jim Kenney's historic spending spree. Do you trust him with your money?
Ideas We Should Steal: HBCU Week
At the Wilmington event, hundreds of students get on-the-spot admissions and scholarships to attend historically black colleges. Philly’s high schoolers could use the same chance
Ideas We Should Steal: Redistributing Medication
Thirty-eight states—but not Pennsylvania—operate programs that recycle surplus prescription drugs, eliminating waste and providing them to residents who couldn’t otherwise afford them
Leveling the Playing Field
D.C.-based Black Girl Ventures is planting roots in Philly to empower black and brown female-identifying entrepreneurs with the resources they need most
When They Build It, Will They Stay?
Philly-bred entrepreneurs are increasingly finding success … in Philly. Can a start-up connector group prove the city is ready for the big time?
Taking On The Opportunity Gap
Legendary educator and activist Geoffrey Canada on how to move the needle on poverty and equity
How to Build Minority-Owned Businesses
Cincinnati has an ecosystem for nurturing, growing and capitalizing minority-owned businesses. Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director on why it’s time to pay attention to that.
Suing the State
City Council wants the state to get out of its way of enacting new gun laws. Smart strategy, or a waste of time?
How Yasmine Mustafa Got Her Groove Back
The local entrepreneur has found a niche that’s poised to change lives and—finally—turn a profit
Roadblocking the War on Litter
Are city rules unintentionally creating more litter?
What Would Jay Do?
Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright’s Zen coaching may be the only antidote to the Sixers’ dysfunction
Reality Check: Philly is Key to Trump’s PA Strategy
It’s too bad, WURD’s midday host contends, that the city can’t see that
Foodizen: Where Those Who Feed Us Go to Be Fed
In this new serialized book, industry veterans take us where they love to eat. Here, from accommodating Chinese to uncompromising Malaysian
Nurturing Tomorrow’s Workforce
Workforce development programs don’t always live up to their mission. PowerCorpsPHL exceeds theirs
Citizens of the Week: Kim Celano and Phillip Smith
Two student advocates launched Free Food @ Temple to decrease campus waste and help hungry students find a meal
Three Philly Priorities to Watch in Wolf’s Budget
The governor has proposed funds for education and transportation. Philly 3.0’s engagement director on why that’s good for the city.
The Charter Follies
City Council is entertaining amending the Home Rule Charter … again. Why does this matter?
The Citizen Recommends: My General Tubman
With her first play, acclaimed Philly author Lorene Cary delves deeply into what Harriet Tubman’s extraordinary life says about our own
Business for Good: The Fruit Hackers
Philly-based Strella Biotech aims to eliminate food waste, a major factor in climate change—and save food distributors hundreds of thousands of dollars
The Fix: R.I.P Councilmanic Prerogative
Every councilperson convicted of a crime in Philly since 1981 committed offenses related to councilmanic prerogative. There is, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, another way: Planning
Citizen Sports: Beyond Football
The Birds are, sadly, not in this year’s Super Bowl—but they are still champions off the field
The Fix: Let The Sun Shine
The indictment of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is just the latest example of Philly’s most pressing political problem: Transactionalism
Reality Check: Let’s Rethink Our School Board
Without pay or accountability to citizens, this WURD host wonders, how can we really expect school board members to solve what ails the struggling system?
I’m heartbroken about Kobe—and I didn’t even like him
A Philly native in L.A. reflects on the personal growth and complexity of the late NBA star
Free Our Youth
It’s 2020 and teens in Philly are still being held in adult prisons. This youth-led group wants to change that, and help heal communities
The Citizen Recommends: Long Bright River
Temple writing professor Liz Moore’s acclaimed new novel is set amidst the Kensington opioid crisis. Here, she talks about finding—and writing—hope within despair
Guest Commentary: The Impeachment in Black, Brown and White
Come November, will white people just say no to making America white again?
Reformer vs. Progressive
Recent revelations illustrate Philly’s real political divide. Here’s why it matters.
Can Big Money Rescue the Climate?
Fixing the environment is a moral—and financial—imperative. Already, Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director notes, 2020 is proving transformative
Guest Commentary: Is Progressivism Letting Down Our Kids?
A longtime educator/activist bemoans the dilemma of progressive cities like Philly, where everyone progresses, except for Black and Brown children.
The Citizen Recommends: Venture Cafe Philly
The Science Center’s weekly meetup draws more than 200 innovators every week for free programming, networking and games. Everyone is welcome.
Ideas We Should Steal: Harmony Project
The Columbus, OH, nonprofit connects people across lines of difference to sing and to serve more than 60,000 volunteer hours per year. Is there room in Philly for something similar?
The Easiest Way To Vote
For the first time this year, you can cast your ballot for 50 days straight at City Hall—or maybe, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, in a neighborhood near you. Here’s how to take advantage.
Be a Problem Solver
We’re giving away $50,000 for one idea that can make Philly better. Is it yours?
Not Your Grandma’s Library
Like every generation before them, today’s teens just want a place to call their own. The basement of 1901 Vine Street provides just that
Business For Good: Honeycomb Credit
The Pittsburgh-based startup has expanded to Philly with a crowdfunding model to help small businesses with one of their toughest challenges: getting loans
Citizen of the Week: Lauren Helge
The Roxborough woman wanted to help animals affected by the Australian fires. So she turned to what she often does when she wants to give to others: crocheting
Planning To The Rescue
Wouldn’t it be great, Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders, if our advisory-only Planning Commission were given more power?
Jim Kenney Giveth, Jim Kenney Taketh Away
Just a week after his inspiring police commissioner choice, the new boss seems a lot like the old boss
The Year of Transformative Change
Could the right investments in 2020 bring wealth to city neighborhoods that most need it? As Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director notes, it’s already happening all across the country.
Does City Hall Have An Actual Plan?
City Council and Mayor Kenney began their new terms this week. WURD’s afternoon host wonders if that will matter at all for Philadelphians
Will Philly votes swing the state?
Philadelphia contains 20 percent of the state’s voters. An urban demographer charts what that means for the Presidential primary on April 28
The Citizen Updates Podcast: REC Philly
The music incubator has a new membership model and a new hub at Fashion District. We talk to co-founder Will Toms about the future of creative work in Philly and beyond.
Jim Kenney’s Home Run
With his selection of Danielle Outlaw as police commissioner, the Mayor showed vision and guts. Now comes the hard part: Making sure reform succeeds
Is the fix for our trash woes…tech?
The City issued its first, tentative, call for smart tech solutions under its Smart City Road Map. Will Philly be as bold as other cities?
It’s on, 2020!
We asked Philadelphians how they will work to make a better city in 2020. Their resolutions give us hope for the new year.
Reality Check: Philly Schools Are Like a Slow-Moving Asteroid
Philly schools are toxic, underperforming and mismanaged. When, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, is someone going to take responsibility?
The Citizen Recommends Podcast: “30 Americans”
Penn professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, curator of the groundbreaking exhibit at The Barnes, talks about the importance of art to tell everyone’s story
Guest Commentary: How to Fix the PES Refinery Mess
A Drexel University class studied ways to mitigate what happens to Philly’s PES refinery site. Here, a student lays out proposals to benefit those who most need it: Philly residents
Foodizen: A Year of Eating Intentionally
In 2019, our Nowak Fellow explored the intersection of food and culture in Philly. He discovered a city rich in both
The Cure For Fake News?
A trustworthy media is key to a healthy democracy. That’s why, instead of wringing his hands over the death of facts, entrepreneurial journalist Steven Brill just might have a solution.
The Things We Cared About in 2019
2019 was an epic year in a decade of epic years for Philadelphia. Can we up our game in 2020?
Building Black Role Models
Research shows we need more Black teachers in our classrooms—for everyone's sake. A former Mastery principal is working on it
Where’s the Bang for All Our City Bucks?
The city has way more money than in 2016. Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders what services we’re getting with that.
Ain’t No Party Like A Home Rule Charter Party
Our local constitution hasn’t been updated for nearly 70 years. The Citizen and Drexel University are partnering on a course that asks: Isn’t it about time for a refresh?
Texting To The Rescue
A team at Penn Medicine may have found a way to save hundreds of new moms’ lives with a simple—but incredibly effective—tool
From West Philly to the World
Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director on how a University City jobs initiative is a model for inclusive growth—one that other cities should emulate
Guest Commentary: An Important Endeavor For Justice
A former federal judge lauds Philly’s planned Equal Justice Center for what it promises: to bridge the haves and have-nots in our justice system
Business for Good: The Soulfull Project
Two Campbell’s alums have struck out on their own to create healthy, delicious oatmeal—with a purpose
Guest Commentary: Make Biking Safe
The state Senate may fix a technicality that prevents the city from installing safe bike lanes. A local bike commuter and nurse urges it to do so.
That’s A Wrap
What bills passed—and didn’t—in City Council’s final session of the year
Gifts That Give Back
Looking to give some impactful gifts this season? Our holiday gift guide can help you with that.
A Business Community Call to Arms
The political left seems to want jobs but without the employers to provide them. So what are you going to do about that, job creators?
Guest Commentary: The Climate Movement’s Diversity Problem
The co-founder of environmental B Corp rePurpose demands a seat at the table for those most affected by climate change: young people of color
The Citizen Updates: Sunday Love Project
The hunger-fighting organization has partnered with a Philly restaurant vet to train people who desperately need jobs: those experiencing homelessness
Pennsylvania’s Drinking Economy
What’s good news for the state budget is bad news for our health. So how can it be health, Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders, that justifies state control over liquor sales?
Can Basketball Keep People Out of Prison?
Police say returning citizen Taylor Paul’s inner-city league for young adults and cops in Richmond, Virginia, has markedly reduced the gun violence rate.
A Woman’s Place …
… is running the kitchen, despite restaurants still being mostly male-dominated. Philly proves that’s true at an event with influential food magazine Cherry Bombe.
The Citizen Recommends: Emily’s Entourage Gala
Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, who has a rare form of cystic fibrosis, is in a race against time. Her foundation is on the path to finding a cure for people like her—and you have the power to help.
Growing the Pie, Not Cutting the Pieces
Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab Director Bruce Katz on growing inclusive wealth in city neighborhoods
Citizen of the Week: Aminata Sandra Calhoun
The Belmont resident replaces blight with beauty in the hopes of restoring civic engagement in her neighborhood
Ideas We Should Steal: CultureHouse
The Boston-area nonprofit builds indoor pop-up community spaces in vacant storefronts, spurring foot traffic and connections. Can a group of intrigued Philadelphians successfully bring it here?
My Mister Rogers
Catching up with writer Tom Junod, the real protagonist of the new movie A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
Thank you, Philly!
Philadelphians on what they’re most grateful for about their city—and how they love it back
Why Gratitude Matters
Angela Duckworth’s Character Lab has uncovered the deep power of gratitude. Here, the Lab’s primer on giving thanks this holiday season, and beyond
Citizens of the Week: Tools for School
In 2013, a Cherry Hill family launched a teen-led initiative to get school supplies to kids who needed them. Today, it distributes backpacks to thousands of kids in the area
Reality Check: Walking the Talk on Clean Energy
In Chicago and D.C., residents and government came together to close polluting plants in their community. In Philly, City Hall won’t even take real action on the PES Refinery site
How Will City Council End Its Term?
As the end of this legislative session approaches, Philly 3.0’s engagement director looks at the bills our elected leaders may still consider—or let die—before new Councilmembers take office
Ideas We Should Steal: Using Civic Leaders to Make Government Smarter
Had your fill of incompetent local government? In Chicago, pro-bono civic leaders help implement smart policy
Foodizen: Composting in the City
Philadelphians dump 400,000 tons of food and yard scraps into the landfill every year. A city community composting pilot is working to put that waste to good use
Citizens of the Week: We The Women
Philly graphic artists Michele Cooper and Kelly Holohan asked 32 designers to put their thoughts about women’s issues into a series of posters. They’re for sale to support women’s advocacy
How We Voted
Philly 3.0's engagement director with a fine-grained look at how citywide voting coalitions made a difference in 2019
Where’s Our ‘Paige Against The Machine’?
Independent Paige Cognetti’s upset win in Scranton’s mayor’s race offers an object lesson for Philly
Business for Good: Quil Health
Could a joint venture between Independence Blue Cross and Comcast herald the solution to our country’s healthcare woes?
Foodizen: Global is Local
Dining around the world on the “Ethnic Food Tour” of North 5th Street, where revitalization means something unexpected
How Design Thinking Took on The Opioid Epidemic
A team at Penn Medicine has built a system of care that might revolutionize the treatment of patients with Opioid Use Disorder. Could it be the answer we need?
Citizen of the Week: Michael Bennett
He served our country in Vietnam. Now, the former U.S. Postal worker continues to give back to his community every single day. This Veterans Day, we salute him
A Momentous Year in Philly Politics
Philly 3.0’s engagement director with four key takeaways from last week’s municipal election
Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Ranked-Choice Voting
New York City is now the biggest jurisdiction that will let voters rank their favorite candidates in municipal elections. Could a similar change bring better elections to Philly?
Reality Check: Just Another Day in Philly
Low turnout, broken machine politics, an invisible mayor and other unimpressive takeaways from the city’s general election
Ideas We Should Steal: A Fairer Evictions Court
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?
Business for Good: Ready to Work
Everyone benefits when companies like Boathouse Row’s Cosmic Cafe hire people with disabilities for meaningful work
Good News About Voting
Turnout is expected to be low on Tuesday, but, as Philly 3.0’s engagement director explains, the state’s new election reforms may make it easier to cast a ballot starting next year
The Citizen Recommends: Conversations With RBG
Checking in with National Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen, whose new book doubles down on civility and reason
Portrait of a Political Badass
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez models how to get stuff done while speaking truth to power … and slamming Stellas
Why Porngate Still Matters
One of the previously unnamed judges tagged for sending offensive emails in the 2015 scandal is running for Superior Court. Post #MeToo, what do voters have the right to know?
Business for Good: Dorothy
A Penn alum’s startup helps regular folks predict flooding—something climate change will make more necessary than ever
Citizen of the Week: Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman
The Drexel urban anthropologist, just named one of BBC’s 100 Women making a difference, is committed to making Philly accessible and desirable for all—and says we’re already on the right track
Voting Is (Just Maybe) About to Get Easier
The State Legislature is set to pass a bill that would help more people vote. So why does City Commissioner Lisa Deeley seem to be against it?
Brady vs. Brooks
Kendra Brooks’ Working Families Party council candidacy has ruffled feathers. But does she represent real change?
Ideas We Should Steal: Community Solar Power
A West Philly neighborhood wants to turn vacant land into solar farms that low-income residents can share. Why is Pennsylvania law standing in their way?
Business for Good: Shift Capital’s J-Centrel
The social-minded developer's newest project will offer residents a rent break to volunteer in Kensington. Could it solve the problem of gentrification?
The Citizen Voter Guide: General Election 2019
Voting November 5th? Here's everything you need to know.
Is Council’s Love of Parking Finally Over?
As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, new members could bring even more sense to the ongoing debate over zoning code parking minimums
Citizen Sports: Why do we hate the Cowboys?
A closer look at an age-old rivalry, on the eve of the Eagles beating Dallas (right?) this weekend
Foodizen: Bee the Change
Protecting bees is critical to preserving our food supply. Some 50,000 rooftop bees, including ones in the evolving Spring Arts District, are doing a small part of what Philly needs
Our Zoo Is Greener Than Your Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is growing its own greens to more sustainably feed its animals—and to help humans in neighboring food deserts
Citizen of the Week: Sam Wachs
The Sixers fan was kicked out of a game last week for protesting China’s crackdown on Hong Kong. Does his team have something against freedom?
The Citizen Recommends: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity
The African American Museum in Philadelphia’s exhibit features the work of 55 women and non-binary people of the African diaspora
How Diverse is Your Art Collection?
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts leads the way among American museums in buying art by women and African Americans. It’s about time.
Why Philly Must Win the Transit War
Jobs, housing and economic mobility all rely on good public transportation. Can Philly rise to the occasion before it’s too late?
No Common Sense on Guns
The only gun bills the state legislature will consider this year take us backwards, not forwards. Is there anything Philly can do?
Want Less Traffic? Fix Trash Pickup
Philly 3.0’s engagement director on the unlikely solution to Philly’s congestion problem
The Path Out of Poverty?
The latest Philly poverty numbers should be a call to arms and not cause for a victory lap. Did it wake up Mayor Kenney?
Foodizen: Beyond BBQ
Is Chris Cho’s Center City Seorabol the start of a Korean food empire?
The Citizen Recommends: Supporting Holocaust Education
Our city is home to the oldest Holocaust memorial in the U.S. During this Jewish holiday season, supporting the work of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation is more meaningful than ever
Taking a Cue From Beyoncé
Penn-based nonprofit Bridges to Wealth works to decrease the wealth gap in Philly through lessons in investing and entrepreneurship
Less Parking, Please
Even Philly’s parking magnates think parking lots no longer make sense. Now, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, it’s time for city policy to follow suit
The Working Families Party Distraction
Are we really supposed to believe that the impediment to progress in the city has been … two Republican at-large members of Council?
Citizen Sports: Sideline Poli-Sci
Eagles coaches have long mirrored the Philly political eras in which they worked. What does that mean today?
Week 4: Jason Kelce’s Eagles Education Season
This week, the Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman compares Philly schools to those of Green Bay—and celebrates a local education innovation
One Step Forward
First Step Staffing connects vulnerable people with jobs. Then, it ensures they keep them
Why Jobs Matter
Jobs are the top reason people leave Philly. So why, Philly 3.0’s engagement director asks, isn’t anyone talking about it?
The Heartbeat of a Neighborhood
Violence in Overbrook might be what makes the news. But it’s not the whole—or even the most important—story to those who live there
Foodizen: Generation Urban Farmers
W.B. Saul, the largest agricultural school in the country, trains students in the art of farming. Yes, even in the city
The Mayor of the Northeast
Rep. Jared Solomon's efforts to turn an old church into a community center meant going beyond the role of traditional politics. Why can’t we see more of that?
I is for Immigrant
It’s Welcoming Week in Philly and America. Al-Bustan’s Immigrant Alphabet offers 26 stories to honor it
Is there a difference between Jim Kenney and Donald Trump?
The mayor’s vendetta against Philly Mag is just the latest in a disturbing series of similarities
“Opera is Already in You”
Opera Philadelphia had the guts to overhaul its entire way of presenting opera in 2017. Has the gamble paid off?
Business for Good: A Greener Afterlife
The West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home has the greenest burial practices in the country. Now you can care for the earth even after you leave it.
Citizen of the Week: Angela Beale-Tawfeeq
A Rowan University professor created a program to teach children in urban communities how to swim. She’s co-hosting a Philly aquatics symposium this month
The Oddly Exciting At-Large City Council Race
How Dan Tinney may be the unexpected beneficiary of this year’s tumult
Week 1: Jason Kelce’s Eagles Education Season
Each week this season, the Super Bowl-winning center compares Philly schools to those of our on-field competitors—and celebrates a local education innovation. This week, he looks at D.C.
Deconstructing Meek Mill
The case against him may be over, but Amazon’s Free Meek docuseries raises serious systemic questions—and a reconsideration of the rapper
Foodizen Podcast: The Most Famous Soup You’ve Never Heard Of
The latest episode of the food history podcast examines the roots of pepper pot soup, sold by Campbell’s for 110 years. No, it was not invented in Camden
Happy Back to School (And Beyond)!
Experts share back to school tips on what students really need to thrive this year—and how we can all do our part to provide it
Citizens of the Week: Al and Marjani Harris
The couple’s nonprofit, Cancer WHO?, ensures that no one feels alone while coping with cancer
Foodizen: Hail, Cider
In an excerpt from his new book, The Citizen’s Foodizen columnist celebrates the burgeoning world of apple ciders. They are not what you think they are
Revenge of the Amateurs
DA Krasner. NJ Governor Murphy. Pres. Trump … Just how are politicians who have never done politics working out for us?
Reality Check: What Climate Change Debate?
Black voters—and Democrats—worry about the environment’s effect on their lives. All the more reason, WURD’s afternoon host argues, the DNC should not have nixed a climate debate
Ideas We Should Steal: Hiring a Bug Czar
Philly is ground zero for bed bugs, and the only big city without a policy to help fight them. Local pest educator Michelle Niedermeier wants to change that
SEPTA’s Most Important Choice
With the impending retirement of its GM next year, Philly 3.0's engagement director says the transit agency may—finally—make urban riders a priority
Make America for All Americans Again
Despite the mediocrity of the current presidential campaigns, it’s important to remember the essential truth about America: It’s only great when it includes everyone
Citizen of the Week: Stacey Trooskin
The infectious disease physician is leading the charge to make Philly the first city to eradicate Hepatitis C
Business for Good: Beyond the Bell
Two Haverford alums are filling a niche in Philly’s tourist economy: Tours featuring lesser-known American heroes
Bullets Fly While Larry Krasner Attacks…Josh Shapiro?
The DA’s Trump-like pugilism makes you wonder just who he can get along with in order to make Philly safer
Reality Check: Of Course, It Was Nicetown
The shootout with city police yesterday was in a struggling stretch of North Philly that has too often seen violence. WURD’s afternoon host wonders if now the neighborhood will get some help
The Citizen Recommends: Hidden Lives Illuminated
A series of films created by incarcerated men and women in Philly has a common thread: Humanity. See them at Eastern State Penitentiary this month
More Trees, Please
Trees—which nourish the earth, beautify the city, lower temperatures and increase good health—are disappearing from Philly. Here, some ideas to fix that
Business for Good: Triple Bottom Brewing
The local brewery wants to prove that a business can be profitable and still do good by its employees, the people it serves and the environment
Can Democracy Vouchers Save Democracy?
Seattle gives every voter $25 to donate to the candidate of their choice. Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders if the popular idea could work here
Citizen Sports: Angelo Cataldi…Feminist?
The WIP sports shock-jock just might be the unlikely civil rights advocate our city needs right now
Guest Commentary: Sticks and stones (and your AR-15)
Words matter. So do actions. A former city official and gun violence survivor urges public officials to speak carefully—and act decisively—to prevent gun violence
Foodizen: Meditations on Meat
Michael Schulson’s fabulous new Alpen Rose puts steak back on the menu. Can we find a way to make peace with meat?
Can Philly Save the World?
Drexel’s Politics Department chair on how his city—and all cities—are leading the charge against climate disaster
Who Else is Running for City Council?
Seven independent candidates for At-Large seats are on the ballot in November. That, Philly 3.0’s engagement director explains, should make this election one of the most entertaining in recent memory
The Non-Debate Debate
Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate was really a scripted performance, particularly when it came to Booker, Biden and criminal justice reform.
Citizens of the Week: Katel LeDû and Sara Wachter-Boettcher
The Philly duo works to empower women through their Strong Feelings podcast and live events—without the b.s.
Choose Tap (Wooder)
Can the water department convince Philadelphians that what comes out of their sinks is safe, and convenient? A year-long project is trying to do just that
Saving Capitalism From Itself
Philly Congressman Brendan Boyle has signed onto Elizabeth Warren’s plan to make capitalism accountable again
Business for Good: The Merchants Fund
The 150-year-old organization gives help to small businesses when they need it, $10,000 at a time
Council’s Housing Reactionaries
As Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders, why is City Council ducking the voter-approved process for zoning changes?
Dear Gentlemen, Your 60-year-old Wedding Pics are Ready
Decades after having photos from their same-sex Philly-area ceremony confiscated, a search is on for the owners of a historic set of prints. Can they be found before it’s too late?
Ideas We Should Steal: Neighbor-powered realty co-ops
In Minneapolis, neighbors joined together to develop property in their community. Could that approach ensure Philly residents benefit from their changing neighborhoods too?
Foodizen: Dinner on the Farm
What’s even better than a farm-to-table dinner? A farm-to-farm table dinner, that also helps keep small, sustainable farms afloat
Despite the rhetoric of Mayor Kenney, Helen Gym, and Bernie Sanders, the hospital’s fiscal woes are not new. What did they know and when did they know it?
Why Do Council Side Gigs Matter?
Councilman Bobby Henon is arguing that his union work was legal as he seeks a dismissal of his corruption charges. That, Philly 3.0’s engagement director points out, is exactly the problem
Megan Rapinoe For President?
The Democratic candidates ought to get beyond their bubble of consultants and learn from the soccer star and her “love more, hate less” message
Reality Check: Who Matters More?
Residents near the PES refinery have suffered from poor health for years. So why, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, is everyone only talking about jobs?
Foodizen: When Celery Was the Avocado Toast of Its Day
A Fishtown restaurant takes us on a culinary journey into Pennsylvania’s past. Waffles and catfish, anyone?
Competition, Cronyism, Corruption
Our same old capitalist system is causing new and more worrisome problems—including life or death. It doesn’t have to be that way
Celebrate America like a Philadelphian
We are the place where freedom first rang out. We can be the best at it
Ideas We Should Steal: Campus Thrift Stores
An upstate New York college helps reduce its community’s carbon footprint by giving students a way to recycle used clothes and textiles. In Philly, that could be huge
Foodizen: Food it Forward
The next in our series on food and culture looks at a Rittenhouse Square nonprofit helping restaurants do the right thing: Donating their food waste
Is Gerrymandering Here to Stay?
A Supreme Court ruling last week seemed to end the dream of non-partisan electoral districting. So why is the state’s chief reformer not worried?
To Grow Or Not To Grow
Helen Gym, Allan Domb, the Chamber and other stakeholders are all talking about “inclusive growth.” What might that look like here?
Ideas We Should Steal: Less Driving
A new study shows that congestion costs us millions of dollars, pollutes our air, and is a hassle. Can we be more like Paris?
Citizen Sports: The Sixers’ Real Draft Needs
The first in a series examining the nexus of sports and culture looks at the importance of leadership
Citizen of the Week: Laurada Byers
With her new book, the founder of Russell Byers Charter School inspires by telling deep truths
Reality Check: Philadelphia’s Really Bad Gas Problem
The PES refinery fire, WURD’s afternoon host argues, proves our embrace of gas plants doesn’t square with Mayor Kenney’s green rhetoric
How To Tell Philadelphia’s Stories
Was the closing of the Philadelphia History Museum the wake-up call we need?
Business For Good: Declaring A Climate Emergency
B Lab’s co-founder calls on business leaders to do what politicians won’t: Save the planet
Foodizen: Eat Your Values
In the aftermath of The Rooster closing, our series on the nexus of food and culture in cities looks at how you can eat well and do good
Facebook and the Cops
Discipline racist, sexist cops? Sure. But we also need leadership that targets real culture change among the police
Citizens of the Week: Climate Dads
This Father’s Day, we tip our hat to a Philly duo who’s giving like-minded men agency over a seemingly daunting problem
Foodizen: What you need to know about “ugly produce”
Three companies in Philly offer cheap, fresh produce they say also helps our planet. But, as the next in our series on food and culture uncovers, it’s more complicated than that
Are we ready for voting reform?
State legislators have introduced a raft of bills to make voting easier. Philly 3.0’s engagement director says this could be the year that actually happens
Election? What election?
Since we went to the polls, it’s been business as usual in city government. Does it have to be?
Citizens Of The Week: Philly’s Teachers
It’s the last day of public school in Philly. Let’s give teachers a hand as they embark on their much-deserved summer break
Business For Good: Plastic with a Purpose
Philadelphia-based rePurpose is trying to reduce plastic consumption and bring fair pay to the global workers tasked with recycling it. Will more Philadelphians join them in going #PlasticNeutral?
Reality Check: What “zero carbon”?
SEPTA is set to open a new natural gas plant in North Philly. How, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, does Mayor Kenney justify that?
Business for Good: Penji
The Camden-based design company doesn’t just create graphics: It fuels opportunities
Foodizen: “What are you?”
Filipino food has lately been at the center of Twitter outrage. Our series on the nexus of food and society finds Philly’s newest cuisine can’t be unlinked from its history and culture
Good Manners, Clean Streets
In Japan, being tidy is just considered the right thing to do. Can we be more like that in Philly?
Some great things happened at the polls this week. So why was I tossing and turning after the results?
Reality Check: Get Off The Road
Philly’s traffic woes are holding us back. So why, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, did no one talk about it in the campaign?
What’s Up With Those Endorsements, Inky?
The newspaper of record has weighed in with its election day choices. Can you find any consistency of logic between them?
One-Stop Legal Shop
The Equal Justice Center will bring 12 community legal groups under one roof, to help low-income Philadelphians. It will be the first of its kind
How Did Kenney Do?
The Mayor is asking for your vote on Tuesday. Here, we look at how well he kept his promises from 2015
New Blood: 10th District Candidate Judy Moore
The first-time Council candidate is a true outsider who turned her own life around and now wants to do the same for her native Northeast
Foodizen: Not Cambodia Town
Our series on the nexus of food and culture explores the flavors of the South Philly area around Mifflin Square Park, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city
Stop The Presses—We Had a Debate
Last night’s mayoral debate actually had some substance. Who knew?
Business For Good: iBreastExam
The device, by a Philly-area engineer, is helping poor women around the world check for breast cancer earlier and cheaper. It could save lives here, as well
“Not One Creative Idea”
Former Mayor John Street says that Jim Kenney has let down African-American voters and Philly’s neighborhoods. Why is he so outraged?
Citizens of the Week: 10,000 White Women—Doing the Work
There's no perfect way to talk about race. But four friends are igniting conversations among a group that could use more of them: white women
New Blood: Council Candidate Drew Murray
The newly-minted Republican wants to bring a more conservative nuance to Council. The next in a series asks, Is Philly ready for his brand of politics?
The vast amount of vacant land in Philly offers a rare opportunity for the city to be a national leader. Can we become our own bread basket?
The Citizen 2019 Primary Election Guide
Voting May 21st? Here's what you need to know
Philly’s Voting Machine Fiasco…
...is even worse than you thought. The City wants to buy a costly machine that may be easily-hacked. Is it too late to stop it?
New Blood: Common Pleas Judicial Candidate Kay Yu
The next in an ongoing series finds a first-generation candidate wading into the absurd way we elect judges. Why? Because of where she’s been
Reality Check: Let the Teens Vote
In some towns, Americans as young as 16 can vote. WURD’s afternoon host asks: Why not here?
Ideas We Should Steal: Men’s Sheds
A global nonprofit making its way across the U.S. is fighting loneliness and depression in older men by bringing them together to build things. Could the next shed be here in Philly?
The Citizen Recommends: ImpactPHL’s Total Impact
Among the speakers not to miss at this week’s impact investing conference is Catherine Berman of CNote, a platform that funds women-owned startups
New Blood: City Council Candidate Eryn Santamoor
A former Nutter administration policy nerd has — not surprisingly — drafted an action plan for the city with depth and clarity. The next in an ongoing series wonders, will it matter?
Citizen of the Week: Michelle Angela Ortiz
The South Philly artist activist works to empower immigrants and galvanize the public and lawmakers into action through compassion
The Mayor’s new street sweeping pilot may cause more pollution in our already polluted city. Is this really a solution worth celebrating?
Foodizen: What’s in Your Glass?
Our series on the nexus of food and culture explores the natural wine trend that has finally caught on in Philly. Will drinking it make you a better person?
Business For Good: FS Investments
By putting employees and community first—and offering elite investment opportunities to the middle class—the Navy Yard company is modeling a new way to think about financial firms
Business For Good: Sapient Industries
The Philly startup provides companies the tools to save energy costs—and preserve the planet. So far, 120,000 building clients have signed on
Ideas We Should Steal: Tech for Turnout
Two years after the presidential election galvanized mostly progressive technologists, their innovations brought more voters to the polls in 2018. Expect more of that in Philly, too
Jim Kenney’s Taxadelphia
Property taxes are going up again. Why is it always groundhog day for the middle class Philadelphia taxpayer?
Kenyatta’s Gentrification Blame Game
The Councilman says his opponent is responsible for soaring home prices in South Philly. But as Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, he's the one with the power
The Fix: Corruption Is On The Ballot…In Chicago!
Can the Windy City’s stunning mayoral election results serve as an object lesson for Philly?
“They Can Win”
When their garden project was halted because of lead in their school, students at Furness High School embarked on a different campaign: To clean every toxic school in Philly
Reality Check: Let’s Bail out CCP
In the wake of last week’s union agreement, WURD’s afternoon host offers a fix to our community college’s financial woes. Hint: Look at area higher ed’s endowments
The Shame of the Sheriff’s Race
Two women, both African American, are running to unseat accused sexual harasser Sheriff Jewell Williams this year. Did you even know?
Joe Biden Embraced Me and I Loved It
The VP's handsiness comes from a bygone political tradition. Is it a candidacy-imperiling crisis?
Foodizen: Breaking Bread
The next in a series on the nexus of food and culture explores Philly’s new wave of sustainable, socially-conscious bakeries at the forefront of change
Business For Good: Consumption with a Conscience
Philly-based Wearwell is a clothing delivery service that will have you looking—and doing—good
Reality Check: Raise The Rates
Only 25 percent of Philadelphians have bachelors degrees. WURD’s afternoon host wonders: Why aren’t local universities doing more to change that?
How to Get Better Elections
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
Ideas We Should Steal: More Young Voters
Districts around the country—including University City in Philly—saw a huge uptick in young voters during the midterms. Harnessing that citywide could sway elections
Business for Good: Live Life Nice
Christian Crosby and Ashley Kane are making kindness cool with a booming social media platform and an apparel line supported by the Sixers Innovation Lab
Foodizen: What’s a Food Hall, Anyway?
Philly is late to the national food trend. The latest in a series on the nexus of food and culture wonders: Will we embrace the Bourse’s new effort?
The Last Outraged Philadelphian
Today State Rep. Jared Solomon is announcing a bill to give voters recall power. Why is he seemingly the only person worked up about Philly’s culture of corruption?
The Citizen Updates: DuckDuckGo
The Paoli-based search engine—whose founder, Gabriel Weinberg, testified before Congress this month— never has and never will track your data. Amen.
New Blood: Jamie Gauthier
It’s been nearly 45 years since someone not named Blackwell has represented Council’s 3rd District. The next in an ongoing series asks: Might that be changing?
Ideas We Should Steal: Voter Turnout Contest
In Cumberland County, NJ, a competition among cities helped to boost 2018 turnout by 13 percent. Could Philly’s competitive spirit be the key to more votes here, too?
Try. Fail. Try Again.
The political consequences of failure keep American cities from engaging in real innovation. Can we change that in Philly?
Reality Check: Why Weed?
As Lt. Governor John Fetterman continues his statewide marijuana tour, WURD’s afternoon host contends there are more pressing issues to consider
Who’s Running for Office?
More than 100 municipal candidates filed petitions to get on the ballot last week. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, that could mean an unusually competitive election season
Mayor Kenney says there’s no alternative to the soda tax to fund pre-K and Rebuild. Guess who disagrees? Candidate Kenney in 2015
The Street Corner Answer
Intensely local investments rescued a Louisville neighborhood from the brink. Could it be a new way to think about economic development?
Citizens of the Week: Erin Kreszl and Christine Kondra
When these local sisters lost their beloved cousin to a ruptured brain aneurysm, they vowed to spare others their heartbreak
Foodizen: Cooking for the Culture
Chef Elijah Milligan’s pop-up dinners showcase the talents of Philly-based African American chefs. It’s a start to equalizing the restaurant industry
The Vacant Land Problem…
...is still a City Council problem. Philly 3.0’s engagement director on a new report that puts Councilmanic Prerogative in the cross hairs
New Blood: Lauren Vidas
The next in an ongoing series looks at the former Council staffer and lobbyist who is challenging Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Her slogan? “Expect more and demand better.”
Mayor Kenney is replacing his chief property assessor. But will he fix the broken assessment system?
Business for Good: Help for the Helpers
D3 Developers is replicating its teacher-centric Oxford Mills model with housing for another group of city do-gooders: health and wellness workers
Prerogative on the Ballot
A string of bad land deals has put the practice of Councilmanic Prerogative in the headlines. Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders: Will you vote on it?
What Change Feels Like
Three months out from mayoral and council elections, is Philly’s political establishment heading for a reckoning?
Second (Science) City No More
Could a bold Penn investment strategy jumpstart the makeover our city needs?
Ideas We Should Steal: Art for the Aging
A Portland program is helping senior citizen artists connect more with their community and even make extra money. It could be a boon for Philly’s growing senior population
Reality Check: Voting Green
Why aren’t our elected officials talking more about climate change and pollution? This election, WURD’s afternoon host says, voters should demand it
The War On Growth
The city is banning cashless stores while the state cuts investment in tech startups. Remember when progressives used to believe in creating jobs?
Is Allan Domb Running for Mayor?
And other speculations from the political class as election season revs up
The New Philadelphia Story
The coming age of Artificial Intelligence offers us a chance at reinvention. Will we be bold enough to take it?
“What’s Missing is Boldness”
The City announced its new sexual harassment policies this month, and two state legislators proposed a new way to review harassment claims in Harrisburg. They are a start anyway
Ideas We Should Steal: Security Deposit Alternatives
An option for a security deposit insurance program is helping landlords and tenants fill 400,000 apartments nationwide, including some in Philly. Should it become law here, as it is in Cincinnati?
How To Fix City Council
Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on two reforms that could make local elections more competitive—and make for better outcomes
New Blood: City Council Candidate Justin DiBerardinis
The next in an ongoing series on the 37-year-old community organizer with a familiar last name who has some big ideas
Foodizen: Georgian On My Mind
The next in a series on the nexus of food and urban culture takes us on a journey—to the heart of Eurasia's Georgian cuisine in the far Northeast
The Citizen Updates: Stepwise
Formerly FixList, the startup has grown in size and scope while remaining true to its mission: to empower anyone with the real estate know-how to make their deal—and our city—thrive
In the wake of last week’s Instagram threat against 10 Philly schools, here are some ideas for actually keeping our kids safe
Move the Navy Yard North
It’s unlikely we’ll get a subway extension to the Navy Yard soon. Philly 3.0’s engagement director suggests instead focusing development at the current end of the line
Doc’s Indefensible Defense
The union leader and Councilman Bobby Henon, both indicted, want you to believe they’re the victims. Be wary of that spin
Foodizen: Satay in the City
The series on the nexus of food and culture looks at satay, a window into Philly’s substantial Indonesian community
Ideas We Should Steal: Turning Blight into Play Spaces
A New Orleans nonprofit transforms vacant land into playgrounds that teach design thinking. Could the same idea help Philly kids thrive in their own neighborhoods?
The Biggest Local 98 Indictment Scandal Is Totally Legal
John Dougherty and Bobby Henon may go to jail for embezzlement and other crimes. But as Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, it’s the rest that should really worry us
The Dougherty Fallout
The reaction to the federal indictment of the union leader and his acolyte, Councilman Bobby Henon, raises two questions: Where’s the outrage? And: Is corruption now on the ballot?
Mayors for President
The Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director on how city leaders can be the national problem-solvers we need
Foodizen: Identity, Reclaimed
The first of a new series on the nexus of food and culture in cities considers next-generation Lao chefs, (tastily) reshaping how Philly thinks about their cuisine
Shining a Light On Land Sales
As the City rethinks how it sells valuable vacant land, Philly 3.0's engagement director suggests something radical: Telling the truth about the process
The Real News On Philly
A spate of national stories might have us feeling good about ourselves (and Gritty). But do they tell the story we should be telling about and to ourselves?
Business for Good: A pillbox with heart
Philly-based startup Fellow may have created the solution to one of healthcare’s biggest crises
Ideas We Should Steal: StationSoccer
Atlanta nonprofit Soccer in the Streets combines soccer and public transit to bring the sport to neighborhoods that don’t always get to play. Could Philly do something similar?
How Not To Clean A Street
Philly 3.0’s engagement director posits that Mayor Kenney’s street sweeping pilot would make air quality worse—just to avoid tough parking politics
The Fix: Term Limits For City Council?
In Arlington, Texas and across the nation, term limits are gaining steam. Would they make Council more responsive…to us?
Reality Check: More Trees, Less Crime?
Studies show that cleaner and greener neighborhoods lead to lower violence. WURD’s afternoon host urges city leaders to act like it
Ideas We Should Steal: Feeding Your Neighbors
Philly is facing a hunger crisis. An idea from three North Carolina moms could offer a solution we can all take part in
Threading a Future
Could a Baltimore nonprofit hold the answer to turning around the lives of Philly’s most at-risk teens—and our city at-large?
The Citizen Recommends: Cash Rules Everything Around Me
Temple sociologist Sara Goldrick-Rab hosts a town hall this week on college debt. Here she talks about her groundbreaking work—and the hope it brings her
What Are the Soda Tax Facts?
A new, independent study sheds some light on our ongoing political debate. Isn't it time Mayor Kenney started paying attention?
Ideas We Should Steal: Action Civics in Schools
A new Massachusetts law mandates experiential civics learning in school. It’s one way to ensure a better democracy in our children’s future
Think Locally, Invest Locally
The Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director introduces his big idea for 2019: Using local wealth to grow local wealth in cities like Philadelphia
Who’s Running in 2019?
Philly’s primary campaign season kicks off this month. Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on what we know about the candidates so far
The Tax That Ate Philadelphia
The closing of a grocery in what will now be a food desert due to the soda tax may be a defining moment. Mayor Kenney’s response? A Trump-like personal attack
Reality Check: Philly Has a Violence Problem
And it’s time our leaders start acting like it
“We Are the World Changers”
Young people experiencing poverty from all over the world came to Philly to find solutions to their joint plight. Can they be the answer we’re looking for?
Read, Vote, Play, Be a Better Citizen in 2019
Help Philadelphia soar in 2019. Some ideas to get you started
Ideas We Should Steal: “The Real Possibilities for Change”
Connecticut’s Child FIRST program sends therapists into homes to help families address crippling mental health needs. Could it help the poorest Philadelphians get ahead?
Business For Good: Giving PTSD the Attention it Deserves
Since The Citizen last checked in, local startup NeuroFlow has grown and pivoted‚ but its mission stays the same: Providing help to vets traumatized by war
Buy New Voting Machines Already
Philly Election Commissioners are refusing to have new, reliable machines in place by 2020. As Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director notes, that puts the Presidential election at risk
The Things We Cared About
2018 was quite a year. Can we make 2019 the best one ever in Philly?
Where’s Our Growth Agenda?
In the wake of Council’s passage of Fair Work Week legislation, a panel of civic and business leaders remind us that inclusive economic growth is the real answer to addressing poverty
“It’s Not Just About Housing”
Stephanie Sena’s latest project to help the homeless would create villages of small houses on lots around the city. Is community the solution to one of our biggest ills?
Philly, Let’s Steal An Idea!
We brought together innovators from other cities. Apply by January 18th for $50,000 to steal one of three big ideas for Philly
Reality Check: How “Good Cause” Fails Renters
WURD’s afternoon host on why City Council members should not be celebrating their tepid attempt to reform tenant protections in Philly
The Fix: The Real Problem with Corrupt Land Sales? City Council
As Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, reform is hampered by Council's refusal to grapple with its own worst impulses
New Blood: Ah, The Ghosts of Scandals Past
In the next of an occasional series profiling relative newcomers to the political process, two would-be reformers eye the City Commissioner’s office.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Turnout
November’s midterm saw a higher turnout than any in recent memory. An urban demographer breaks down what that really means
Guest Commentary: Protect pedestrians. It’s Good for the Earth
A clean air advocate calls for better traffic safety measures citywide—as a way to also lessen the effects of climate change
The Fix: Shifting the Blame
In the wake of a land sale scandal, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has tried to take attention off himself. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, that’s part of the problem
Paying Off Our Debt
The Jewish community is always there for the rest of us. Now it’s time to bring them some chicken soup
Don’t Silence Marc Lamont Hill. Debate Him.
The controversy over the Temple professor’s comments about Israel raises the question: Why is banishment from the public square so often the first choice of the offended?
Guest Commentary: How many people does it take to corrupt a city?
Want to put an end to Councilmanic Prerogative? A good government advocate knows one way: Elect new Councilmembers
Guest Commentary: “Great But Also Good”
Pennsylvania’s Treasurer on the passing of his friend and mentor, George H. W. Bush
The Fix: End Council-sponsored Land Sales
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson directed city land to a campaign contributor—twice. Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls for a City Charter change to outlaw such behavior
“The City That Holds No One Accountable”
How’s that for a new Philly marketing slogan? The latest example: All the high-fiving over our Amazon participation trophy
Keeping It Local
The Economy League has plans to keep millions of dollars in purchases from Penn and other institutions from leaving the city every year. Could it be the answer we’re looking for?
Hire More Lawyers. Save More Money.
A new report raises an unexpected scenario: The city could save taxpayers $45 million a year by providing lawyers for low-income renters at risk of eviction
Guest Commentary: The Key to Student Success? Relationships
A psychologist and former teacher on the benefits of “attachment theory” in schools. Hint: It’s about better learning
Guest Commentary: Bribing Businesses Won’t Boost Philly’s Economy
A free market advocate bemoans the loss of Amazon—but suggests we look to our own for creating real business opportunity in Philly
The Citizen’s (Alternative) Giving Guide
Tis the season to give. But need in Philly extends well beyond the holidays. Here, some ideas for helping Philadelphians who have less—all year round
Ideas We Should Steal: Barbershop Confessions
Black men are among the most traumatized people in the country, and also the least likely to seek help. That’s why an Arkansas man is bringing mental health help to where they are: barbershops
The Politics of Good Intentions
Narberth has banned plastic straws. Cue the cheering. But shouldn’t such an act have at least some impact on curbing marine pollution?
And We’re Off…
Butko is in, Williams is mulling, and there are other rumblings. Will we have a much-needed debate about Philly’s future in a competitive mayor’s race next year?
What Philly Can Learn From A Leaky Roof
We need more transformational thinking in our public life. It’s already happening when it comes to criminal justice reform
Business for Good: Rethink Staffing
A Bryn Mawr entrepreneur plans to offer a living wage, with benefits, for workers at his new call-in center in Kensington. That doesn’t make him a do-gooder
Hold That Champagne, Progressives
The much-anticipated blue wave turned out to be a ripple, but local philanthropist, investor and civic entrepreneur Richard Vague might have the answer for our divided times. It starts with listening
We Will Have Women
And six other takeaways from Tuesday’s midterms
Ideas We Should Steal: Make Voting Easy
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
Vote. Then Do More.
Make a plan, bring some friends, stay engaged. 23 ways to be a better citizen—starting now
Predicting the Midterms
Philly 3.0’s engagement director games the outcome of tomorrow’s election
The Citizen 2018 General Election Guide
Voting Tuesday? Here’s what you need to know
The War Against Community
What David Adelman’s new Holocaust Memorial can tell us about last week’s horrors in Pittsburgh
Reality Check: What Blue Wave?
WURD’s afternoon host warns that Pennsylvanians may not comply with those who are hoping for a progressive midterm landslide
Ideas We Should Steal: Teaching Curiosity
At next month’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, the CEO of Brooklyn’s Ascend Charter Schools will talk about turning away from “No Excuses” and toward what may be the key to education: Joy
The Next Silicon Valley Will Be…Philly?
If we want to become a major innovation hub, we’d better embrace a concept that translates roughly into “love of place”
Kenney Zoning vs…. Kenney Planning?
The Mayor’s zoning board is making bad decisions that are counter to the Mayor’s own plans for the city. Philly 3.0’s engagement director paints a picture of an administration at war with itself
The Citizen Recommends: A Public Forum with Adam Foss
The criminal justice reformer—and former prosecutor—is bringing his program to Philadelphia. Later this month, United Way hosts him to talk about poverty and the justice system.
A New Twist on Salvation
A design project seeks to save threatened religious spaces by reimagining their use as community hubs—for neighbors new and old
Guest Commentary: New Collaboration for a New Philly
What happens when public, private and nonprofits work together to develop a neighborhood hub? Everyone benefits
Not A Tale of Two Cities
As the president of Center City District notes, poverty is not fate. But it will remain stubborn as long as the city still lags in jobs and housing.
Hey, Big Spender
The mayor has increased the spending of your taxpayer dollars by a whopping 17 percent since taking office. What is our return on that investment?
The New Politics of Zoning
City Council's new housing bills could provide at least $70 million for affordable housing. Philly 3.0's engagement director asks which neighborhoods will shoulder the responsibility
The Meritocratic Class Con
The problem isn’t the 1 percent. It’s the top 10 percent. Have we forgotten what got us here?
Reality Check: Lose Me The Money
The City has lost or misspent nearly $2 billion in taxpayer money—that we know of—with no consequences to anyone. WURD’s afternoon host wonders when we’re going to demand a full accounting
The Fix: “Integrity Idol”
Nationwide contests in developing countries turn honest public officials into celebrities. Let’s convince the DC-based group behind the project to bring it here
Water is Wet
And trash cans reduce litter, according to a new city report. So when, Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director wonders, is Mayor Kenney going to do something about it?
Black Teachers Are Not Enough
A Mastery principal notes that schools also need support to keep those—and all—teachers in their jobs
The second annual On the Table discussion series is scheduled for November. Can it lead to more than just talk?
Reality Check: Philly can fix its classrooms…
...but, as WURD’s afternoon host notes in the wake of the recent heat wave, it won’t.
The Fix: Councilmanic Prerogative at its Worst
Councilmember Cindy Bass wants to ban new day cares from her district. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, it’s a shameful example of how politics works here
Citizen Engagement 101
The Citizens Planning Institute has launched 500 community activists in neighborhoods around the city by arming them with the tools to make real change
A Tree Ought to Grow in Philly
Trees increase health, safety, and air quality. So why doesn’t the city insist on planting more of them?
Build It So They Will Come
It’s greener and more lucrative to grow cities than suburbs. Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls on Mayor Kenney to make housing policies to reflect that
Art vs. Art
The Historical Commission on Friday will pick sides in a debate about our past and future cultural heritage. Will they rule for mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar or the Painted Bride Art Center?
Citizen of the Week: Thomas Quinn
The Central High School social studies teacher is on a mission to change the world outside his classroom—by registering to vote every eligible high schooler in the city
Kenney’s Housing Shortfall
The mayor’s new plan for housing could be a tool for growth. So Philly 3.0's engagement director wonders why is he aiming so low
Larry Krasner Is Right. Just Ask Him.
The district attorney is at the forefront of a social justice movement among prosecutors. He may want to consider adding some humility to his game
“These kids are not messing around”
Sick of our politics of bitterness and bile? Take a lesson from a couple 10-year-olds
Ideas We Should Steal: Training teachers like doctors
Could a Michigan experiment to bring medical school-like training to the teaching of teachers make for better-prepared educators—and more successful students?
Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2018: Calling BS
Author Anand Giridharadas discusses his provocative new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, see him at The Citizen's Ideas Fest November 30th
Ideas We Should Steal: Helping Tenants Register to Vote
In St. Paul—where voter turnout is already an enviable 75 percent—landlords must give new tenants voter registration info. Could something similar help get more residents to the polls in Philly too?
Open Wards for All
Want better democracy? Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls for a more democratic decision-making process among the lowest elected bodies in the city
Welcome To Cellicon Valley
A week at Penn Medicine offers a glimpse into an innovation revolution that may not only change Philadelphia, but the world
Reality Check: Kenney’s Community Schools Gap
Following the Mayor’s comments in D.C. last week, WURD’s afternoon host notes that the community schools effort could be a delicious hoagie...once they put the meats in it
Steve Poses Takes On Trump
The chef responsible for Philly’s first restaurant renaissance is back with a plan to use food to turn Pennsylvania blue
Guest Commentary: Dena, Emma, Helen, #MeToo & Me
A high school teacher on the hope and inspiration she finds from the “speak-truth-to-power” generation
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