The Election Whisperer

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

Remembering JoAnne Epps

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

“A Place Where Everyone Comes Together”

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

Houses for the Poorest? Or for Middle Class Philadelphians?

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

Guest Commentary: Black Male Mental Health Must Matter

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

Why PA Must Fund our Public Universities

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

Who is Your Favorite City Worker?

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Chance for Safe Injection Sites?

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

Guest Commentary: It’s Time For Joe To Go

A local businessperson/philanthropist/coach has known — and admired — the President for years. Now he makes a painful case about the 2024 election.

Big Rube’s Philly: The DreamSleeve

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

Who Should Replace Danielle Outlaw?

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

The Most Radical Reform Philly Could Make?

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

Listen to How to Really Run a City: Is L.A. Modeling the Way Forward for Cities?

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

Who Are Philly’s 2023 Integrity Icons?

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

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

Fall in Philadelphia

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

Why Does Everyone Want to Shut Everyone Else Up?

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

“An Amazing Commitment to Children”

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

Guest Commentary: Urban Doom Loop … Really?

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Grassroots Housing Reparations

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

Growing Money Smarts

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

Does Anyone Care that the Cops Lied?

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

The Secret Sauce Behind Kelce

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

Something All Pennsylvanians Can Agree On

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

Big Rube’s Philly: Thrift Shops Are Hidden Gems

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

“Don’t Take Away My Home”

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

Seeing the Unseen

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

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

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

The Stages of Springsteen

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

Art for Change: The Reluctant Queer Futurist

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

Ideas We Should Steal: More Parklets

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

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

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

Quantum Hip Hop

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

Citizen of the Week: Pastor Buddy of the Rock Ministries

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Help Everyone Be Like Shaq

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

Memo to Madam Mayor: Radically Rethink Transit

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

Time For a Taxpayer Seal of Approval

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

The Progressive Allergy to Solutions

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

LISTEN to How to Really Run a City: The Secret to Being a Good Mayor? Swagger

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

The Unbearable Cost of Togetherness

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

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Sustainability Education for All Students

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

K & A Makes a Presidential Race Appearance

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

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

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

Our Bulletproof History

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

Big Rube’s Philly: A Manayunk Mainstay

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

Will Philly’s Murder Rate Keep Going Down?

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Boosting Neighborhood Commercial Corridors

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

Do The House Dems Want to Lose Power?

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

The PA Plan to Curb Porch Pirates

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

Mystery Shopper: Parking Permit Hell

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

A Local Experiment in Scandinavian Justice

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

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

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

When Affirmative Action Was a Philly Thing

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

Guest Commentary: The Letter that Sank School Vouchers in PA

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

Pennsylvania, Resolve the Budget Impasse

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

Ideas We Should Steal: No More Traffic Deaths

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

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

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

The Citizen Recommends: Biking 158 miles from Philly to Harrisburg

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

Meet Philadelphia’s Cosmic Writers

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

Guns Don’t Kill People … Bullets Do?

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

The Unfairness of Students for ‘Fair’ Admissions

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

Ideas We Should Steal: 7 Ways to Solve Gun Violence

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

Guest Commentary: The Next Mayor Must Prioritize Sustainable Businesses

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

The Fourth of July Voices We Need to Read Now

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

This Moment is Why Elections Matter

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

Josh Shapiro’s Master Class

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

The Supreme Court Struck Down Affirmative Action. Now What?

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

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

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

Listen: How to Really Build Black Business Density

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

Bring Back Queer Radicalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Win With Grace, Lose With Dignity”

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

How to Make the I-95 Detour Not Suck (As Much)

Traffic is gonna be bad for a while. Here’s help making your way up and down the interstate more tolerable — and maybe even … fun?

Guest Commentary: A Bold Proposal for I-95

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

The I-95 Wake-Up Call

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

Business for Good: Wharton WORKS

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

Banking on Moms

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

The Fix: What If Everyone Had to Vote?

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

Seriously? Now Drag Racing is a … Hobby?

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

LGBTQ-Owned Shops, Restaurants, More in Philadelphia

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

LISTEN: How to Build Black Business Density, Part I

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Wage Boosts for Local Workers

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

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

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

Yo Biden, Campaign Like Jagger

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

Do Philadelphia’s Mayoral Candidates Care About the Environment?

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

Your Guide to Philadelphia Pride 2023

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

What We Talk About When We Talk About Sustainability

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

A New Way To Police Philly?

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

Veteran-Owned Businesses in Philadelphia

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

Is Year-Round Schooling the Answer We Need?

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

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

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

The Primary Election Outcome No One Paid Attention To

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

Character Lab: Keep Thinking

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Vote Like Minneapolitans

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

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

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

Guest Commentary: The Team Philly Needs Now

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

Election Winners and Losers

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

Getting To Graduation, Together

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

Dawn Staley for Sixers Coach

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

Who is Cherelle Parker?

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

The 2023 Primary: Why Philadelphians Voted

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

Guest Commentary: Who Couldn’t Vote in the Primary

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

The Stakes of the Election: The Leadership Question

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

Inside the Last Days of the Election

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

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

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

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

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

Development … for Good: Black Squirrel Collective

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

Business for Good: Mea Culpa

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

From There, Still Here

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

It’s the Pragmatism, Stupid!

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

Sit On It, Neighbor

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

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

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

Art for Change: The Prankster

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

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

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

Citizen of the Week: Cheryl Ann Wadlington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Commentary: Why Ed Rendell is For Rhynhart

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

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

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

Stop Idolizing Politicians like They’re Celebrities

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

Business for Good: KIDAS

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

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Chief Heat Officer

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

Earth Day Philadelphia Guide

More than 50 years after the holiday began, there are more reasons — and more ways — than ever to combat climate change, right here in Philly

Guest Commentary: How Can Center City Achieve Total Recovery?

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

“Our Children’s Killers Are Still Out There”

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

Is Helen Gym a Hypocrite?

Or is she just wrong?

The Citizen Recommends: City Bright Philadelphia Saturday Cleanup

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

Your City Defined: Primary Elections

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

Philadelphia City Council Money Race

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

Guest Commentary: We’re Already Defunding the Philly Police

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

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

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

Business for Good: PatientWing

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

The Stakes of the Election: The Making of a Mayor

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

Temple, The People’s University?

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

“Writing to the Dying is Difficult”

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

Get Involved

Your one-stop-shop for getting involved in your Philly community so you can be a better, more engaged Philadelphia Citizen

Your Guide to the Philadelphia Primary Election on May 16

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

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

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

Business for Good: JVS Philadelphia Fund for Women

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

Why Academic Freedom Matters

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

Critical Race Theatre

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

Ideas We Should Steal: A Better Way to Select Judges

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

The Mayoral Ad Wars

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

Not Your Country Club’s Squash Team

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

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

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

Bye, Bye Fiefdoms?

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

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

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

Arena? What Arena?

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

Can Temple Recover its Public Image?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Local Company That Doesn’t Care About Your Search

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

Guest Commentary: Do. Learn. Change.

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

Philly’s Fiercest Advocates

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

Can Place-Based Learning Work in Philly Schools Too?

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

Mystery Shopper: Registering to Vote in Pennsylvania

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

The Real Legacy of Darrell Clarke

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Verify the News

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

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

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

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Youth Restorative Justice For All Students

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

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

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

Business for Good Update: Honeycomb Credit

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

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

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

Integrity Icon 2023: Celebrate City Workers!

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

Guest Commentary: How To End Our Culture of Gun Violence

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

Business for Good: Trashmitter

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

How to End Philadelphia’s Staffing Crisis

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

Ideas We Should Steal: An Everything Transportation App

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

Ideas Mayoral Candidates Should Steal

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

Guest Commentary: First Time Caller, Long Time Listener

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal: A History in Two Monuments

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

Philly Can Still Win

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

Eagles Win the (Civic) Super Bowl!

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

2023 Philadelphia City Council Candidates’ Race for Money

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

Art For Change: The Comic Artist

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Information Literacy Education

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

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

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

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

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

The Black Masculinity Pill

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

Poverty Is Not Fashion

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

Citizen of the Week: Hillary Do of Philly BOLT

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

Can We Just Rename Taney Street, Already?

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

Now, We’ve Got a Mayor’s Race, Philly

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

Level Up to Healing

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

Business for Good: ZeroEyes

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

Jalen Hurts, Unburdened

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

Guest Commentary: Six Ways Schools Can Better Serve Students

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

What Has Happened to Activism?

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

Generation Change Philly: The People’s Planner

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

Business for Good: Grant Blvd + Blk Ivy

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

A New Gun Violence Narrative

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

Citizens of the Week: Mazzie Casher and Steven Pickens

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

So You Wanna Be Mayor?

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

Philadelphia’s Opioid Addiction Failure

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

Things to Do on the King Day of Service in Philadelphia

MLK Day — the King Day of Service — is the perfect opportunity to engage with other Philadelphia citizens on civic projects that matter. So, Volunteer. And, attend a discussion, see a film, listen to live music …

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

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

How Elections in Philadelphia Work

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

Citizens of the Week: Brent Johnstone and Akeiff Staples

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

What Should Josh Shapiro Do?

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

Art for Change: The Grounded Optimist

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

Guest Commentary: We Need Fact Over Fiction in Education

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

Citizen Updates: Hopeworks Comes to Kensington

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

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Giving Locally

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

Brian Fitzpatrick For Speaker of the House?

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

Stop the Public Education Blame Game

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

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

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

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

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

2023 Is the Year of the Local

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

Generation Change Philly: The Philadelphians Changing Philadelphia

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

Thank You, Amen Brown

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

Future-Ready: The Next Mayor’s Jobs Vision

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

George Santos Needed a Better Job Interview

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

Will Ever-Improving AI Put Humans Out of Business?

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

Guest Commentary: PA Adults with Autism Deserve More

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

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

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

Citizen of the Week: Christine Rouse

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

Kensington’s Trauma Porn Problem

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

Development for Good: Omar Blaik and U3 Advisors

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

Generation Change Philly: The Millennial Door Opener

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

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

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

20 Sustainable Shops and Services in Philadelphia

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

Vote for School Boards That Protect Democracy

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

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

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

The Gun Violence Plan Philly Finally Needs?

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

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

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

The Citizen Recommends: WURD’s Empowerment Experience

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

Hey, Philly! Let’s Hire a Mayor!

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

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

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

Art for Change: The Cultural Curator

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

Does Philly Crime Deter Prospective College Students?

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

Listen: How to Really Run a City

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

Building a (Good) Teacher Pipeline

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

Citizen of the Week: Ken Johnston

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

Now is the Time to Protect DREAMers

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

Winter in Philadelphia

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

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

This Philadelphia holiday gift guide checks all of the boxes.

Philadelphians We Are Thankful For

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

Who’s New on Philadelphia City Council?

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

Guest Commentary: Three Kids, One Post-Pandemic Philadelphia

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

Safe at Home

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

Seeing Black Excellence

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

Six Lessons from the Republicans’ Disastrous Midterm Elections

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

Your City Defined: 311

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

Art for Change: The Collaborator

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

Development for Good: Girlbuild

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

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

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

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

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.

Generation Change Philly: The Better Business Builder

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

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

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

Only Vigilance — and Voting — Can Protect Education

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

Business for Good: Lluna

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

Will Walt Whitman Be In The Phillies Lineup Tonight?

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

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

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

What to Know About Philly’s 2022 Ballot Questions

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

We All Lost The Fetterman-Oz Debate

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

What to Do With the Philadelphia Roundhouse

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

What the Controller’s Police Audit Didn’t Say

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

Are We Still A Union League Town?

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

Does Dr. Oz Have a Genocide Problem?

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

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

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

Your City Defined: Philly’s Weirdest Sports Superstitions

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

The Problem with Blaming Parents for Kids’ Unlawful Behavior

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

Development for Good: Kensington 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

Generation Change Philly: The Healthcare Revolutionary

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

SEPTA’s Success Story

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

Generation Change Philly: The Activist Chef

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

Guest Commentary: Of Voting and Atonement

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

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

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

Sizing Up Philly’s Special Elections

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

Citizens of the Week: Kerri Conner Matchett and Anita Conner

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

Mastriano versus The Free Press

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

Generation Change Philly: The Doc Saving Us From Ourselves

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Gun Violence Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

Business for Good: App + Amex = Millions for Good

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

The West Philly Housing Crisis That Was Utterly Avoidable

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

Enough of the Monkeypox B.S.

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

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

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

The Price of City Council’s National Politics

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

The (Vote) Play’s The (Vote) Thing

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Decarbonize All The Buildings

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

God $!%# The Queen!

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

Save Soccer. Save Suffolk Park.

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

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

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

Future-Ready: What Really Matters in Education?

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

Constructing a Community of Fathers

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

What Happens in City Hall When Council Resigns?

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

John Fetterman and the Politics of Hypocrisy

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

Setting Returning Women Up for Success

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

Vote For Higher Ed

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

How Not To Treat Young Professionals

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

10 Ways to Help Shelter Dogs and Cats in Philly

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

Announcing Kenney 2.0

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

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

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

Talking To People You Disagree With

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

Citizen of the Week: Rosalind Pichardo

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Mental Health Days for Philly Students

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

President Biden’s Higher Ed Transformation

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

Why The New School Year Offers Reasons for Hope

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

The Enlightenment Is On The Ballot

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

How to Recruit More (Good) Cops

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

The Next Mayor’s Most Important Goal

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

Guest Commentary: Praising the Non-Endorsers of Doug Mastriano

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

Generation Change Philly: The Impact Investor Evangelist

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Affordable housing as economic development

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

“Democracy Or Not Democracy”

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

WATCH: Project Save Democracy with Ali Velshi

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

How a Community Fridge Built … a Community

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

Business for Good: YING

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

The “Drexel Promise” Is Just The Start

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

Citizen of the Week: Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez

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

Photo Essay: Fab Youth Philly’s Play Captains

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

Joe Biden’s Master Class in … Politics?

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

Guest Commentary: How to Make Illegal Guns Kryptonite

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

Art for Change: The Institutional Critic

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

Michael E. Mann is Coming For Your Climate Doomism

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

Glitter’s Glow Up

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

Is Democracy in Peril … Or Not?

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

Generation Change Philly: The Home Maker

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

Who Will Clean Up Philly?

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

Guest Commentary: Without More Jobs, Our Future is Limited

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

The High Cost of a Disengaged Mayor

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

Senator Troll?

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

Art for Change: The R&B Eclectic

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

Ideas We Should Steal: The 20-Minute Neighborhood

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

How to End the Endless Fuss Over FDR Park

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

The Sixers For The Win?

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

Business for Good: Re Vision Architecture

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

Generation Change Philly: The Teachers’ Teacher

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

How to Fight Food Insecurity in Philly

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

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

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

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal Revisited: Security Deposit Alternatives

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

The Return of Stop and Frisk?

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

Progressives vs. Safety

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

Art for Change: The Teaching Artist

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

“Health Starts at Home”

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

Ronnie Listens: Why “Housing First” Works

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

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

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

What Went Wrong on Washington Avenue

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

Business for Good: Cayaba Care

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

Generation Change Philly: The Urban Farmer

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

How Philly Invented Ice Cream (As We Know It)

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

Women’s Choice, Men’s Responsibility

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

Sussing Out — and Stopping — Illegal Dumping

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

The Spectacular Philly Hip-Hop Artist You Never Heard of

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

Will the Supreme Court Bombshells Change How PA Votes?

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

Can Education Save Us From Tyranny?

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

Roe Reneged: What Now, Philly?

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

“We Deserve for You to Protect Us”

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

What to know — and do — about the abortion ruling

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

Governing Makes a Comeback

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

Abortion — Then, Now and Tomorrow

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

Philly’s Climate Change Report Card

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

Business for Good: Brightly

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

15+ Indie Bookstores in Philadelphia We ❤️

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

Framing Black Joy

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

Can Philly Solve Its ATV Problem?

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

Mr. Schmidt Goes to Washington

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

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

The Little-Known Leader Pushing For Urgency on Gun Violence

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

How Philly Fights Illegal Dumping

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

Guest Commentary: It’s Time to Connect the Unconnected

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

Generation Change Philly: The Do-Good Music Impresario

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

Yasmine Mustafa to the Rescue (Again)

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

Business for Good: Modest Transitions

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

Listen: Philly Under Fire Podcast

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

Dear Teachers

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

George Carlin and Me

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

The Other Music Lessons

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

Art for Change: The Trans Culture Documenter

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

Follow Gabe Kapler’s Example

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

Citizen of the Week: Rev. Dr. Michelle Simmons

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

What To Do About School Shootings

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

You Can Still Help Enact Racial Justice

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

Why We Must Fight Classroom Censorship

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

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

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

The Contrarian

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

Notes From Crazy Town

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

Generation Change Philly: The Literary Activist

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

Ronnie Listens: How To Really Turn Out Voters

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

“Healed Men Heal Men”

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

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

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

LISTEN: The Ultimate Insider on the PA Primary

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence with Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Roca, a program in Massachusetts and Baltimore trains shooters to refrain from shooting by literally changing their minds

How to Turn “Almost-Alums” into College Graduates

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

Is Elon Musk a Free Speech Savior?

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

How To End Our Garbage Deluge

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

Bailing Out Moms

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

Art for Change: The Community Builder

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

Business for Good: BirdWatch/birdSEED

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

20 Black-Owned Businesses That Do Good

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

Ideas We Should Steal: More Public Defense Spending

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

Guest Commentary: Yes, We Are Taxadelphia

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

Generation Change Philly: The College Funding Crusader

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

SEPTA for the Win

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

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

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

Farmers Markets You Need to Try In and Near Philly

Fresh local produce and handcrafted wares return to parks and neighborhoods this month. Here, a few of our faves

Building a Better Budget

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

Guest Commentary: We Can Have a Litter-Free Philly

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

Guest Commentary: Pre-K Polling Needs Improvement

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

The Citizen Recommends: Opportunity Summit

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

Generation Change Philly: The Restaurant Mentor

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

Welcome to Fearadelphia

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

Future-Ready: The Key To Economic Growth

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Raising School Funds through Solar Power

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Make College More Affordable

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

Citizens of the Week: Cobbs Creek Park Cleanups

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

The C Word

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

The Citizen Recommends: 35 Doors Project

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

Generation Change Philly: The Senior Savior

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

The Economic Gift That Keeps On Giving

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

How Philly Sees Philly

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

Do We Need a Wealth Tax?

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

Slapstick Masculinity

Unpacking Will Smith’s Oscars slap

The Grittiest Athletes in Town

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

Is the Inquirer Too Woke?

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

What We Know About 2022’s Ward Elections

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

The Citizen Updates: Teaching Black Teachers

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

The Fix: Is City Council Anti-Democratic?

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

Guest Commentary: Up With Black Businesswomen

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

Philly Heroes Here!

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

Reality Check: Honor This, City Council

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Cool Streets to Cool the Air

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

What Problem is the School Board Solving For?

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

Guest Commentary: Reject the Curse of Low Expectations

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

“A Human Repository for Black History”

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

Generation Change Philly: Gadfly for Good

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

Save the Moms!

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

Zelensky for Mayor?

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

A Win Win for Water

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Human Library

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

Guest Commentary: Why I Am Proud to Be Ukrainian

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

Pothole Whack-a-Hole, Anyone?

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

Philly’s War on Restaurants

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

Lessons from Abbott Elementary

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

Philadelphia Distilleries Doing Good

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Pedestrian Scrambles

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

Generation Change Philly: The Carbon Slayer

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

Your Miserable ER Experience Isn’t Just Because of Covid

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

Guest Commentary: Help the Kids Vote

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

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

The shuttered golf course at FDR Park went beautifully wild just when we needed it at the start of the pandemic. Now, the City wants to turn it into artificial ball fields. A South Philly local wonders why we can’t have both.

Want a Job? Get a Job.

Since The Citizen wrote about First Step Staffing in 2018, the nonprofit has placed thousands of vulnerable Philadelphians in entry level jobs around the region. Now, it’s launching Second Step to create even better opportunities for all.

Business for Good: Fishadelphia

The local fish subscription service started as a project at one South Philly high school. Now, it’s a burgeoning business with 300 customers citywide—and still run by the kids.

Guest Commentary: Turning on Krasner

A former assistant DA hired by Krasner on why he can no longer support his former boss

Not Just “Man’s Work”

Can a Philly program to prepare aspiring carpenters for the demands of a well-paying union job pave the way for women in the traditionally male industry?

The Folly of a Public Bank

Councilman Derek Green’s bill puts you, the taxpayer, in the banking business. What problem does it solve—and create?

Guess What’s to Blame for Keeping Washington Avenue Unsafe?

Despite 10 years of planning, the City’s failure to deliver on promises to make the South Philly arterial safer is the handiwork of a longtime good governance nemesis: councilmanic prerogative

Ideas We Should Steal: Working Farms Fund

The program has helped 25 small, organic farmers preserve and cultivate 355 acres of farmland around Atlanta, launching new generations of growers and a healthy locally produced food scene. Could Philly be next?

“It’s Just About Doing the Right Thing”

Philly’s Democratic Socialists tried to upend the appointment of democracy-saving Republican Seth Bluestein to city commissioner. But two local pols demonstrated the real progressive ideals we need from our leaders.

Food Waste? There’s An App For That.

Since 2014, Food Connect has tackled rampant food waste and hunger by solving the problem of logistics: connecting people in need of food with people who have excess

Citizens of the Week: Lynette Medley and Nya McGlone

The mother-daughter duo’s own experience with “period poverty” inspired their Germantown nonprofit No More Secrets, which has distributed over 4 million menstrual products to women experiencing “period poverty” in the last year. 

Philly Breweries Where Giving Back Is On Tap

A guide to breweries in Philadelphia that are raising funds for locals (and more) in need. Cheers!

The Ultimate Black History Month Playbook

What to know, what to do, what impact you can have

The Answer to Our Youth Mental Health Crisis?

A collaboration between CHOP, Girard College and The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is meeting children in mental distress where they are most comfortable: school. Could this be a model for these overwhelming times?

Citizen of the Week: Shelah Harper

How the Germantown resident turned the tragic loss of her daughter into a two-decade campaign to prevent teen dating violence in Philadelphia

Generation Change Philly: The Philly Booster

Through passion projects like Amplify Philly at SXSW, Witty Gritty’s Michelle Freeman is one of the region’s biggest cheerleaders—both to locals, and to those outside our city who’d be wise to come on in

Forgiving Student Loans… For Public Servants

Rather than canceling student debt for everyone, a longtime college president points to recently revised standards for college loan forgiveness that apply to teachers, police officers, firefighters and others in public service

Who Has the Guts to Say We Need Cops?

For progressives, it's the ultimate inconvenient truth: We need better, smarter policing and prosecution to combat gun violence. Eric Adams is saying that in NY. Anyone here care to agree?

Three Civic Heroes, RIP

A longtime political and civic leader reflects on the outsized legacies left by Lynn Yeakel, Sultan Ahmad and Steve Honeyman

Moving On From the Trauma

Catching up with Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at CHOP, who has been blanketing the airwaves arguing that it’s time to rethink our Covid risk management strategies

Ideas We Should Steal: Other-Caring Our Way Out of Covid Misery

In the Age of Self-Care, a Stanford psychologist suggests a better antidote to what ails us right now: focusing on other people

Business for Good: Pound Cake

Camille Bell’s search for the perfect shade to “rock a red lip” prompted her to launch her own Philly-based lipstick brand tailored to every lip color. The first batch sold out in just 48 hours.

Potholes, Litter and Customer Service

Amid a tsunami of crises, there’s still a way for Jim Kenney to turn things around and bring the city back: Become a quality-of-life mayor

Ideas We Should Steal: More Trees 🌳

The benefits of trees go beyond health, heat and economic equity—though those are reason enough to increase Philly's tree canopy. Here’s how other cities are doing just that.

What Are the Real Covid Hospital Numbers?

New York and New Jersey have released new info showing that half of hospitalized patients who tested positive for Covid are actually there for other reasons. Why isn’t Gov. Wolf doing the same in PA?

Generation Change Philly: The Juvenile Justice Champions

In the eight years since co-founding the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project Joanna Visser Adjoian and Lauren Fine have helped dozens of young people stay out of adult prisons—and get the support they need to lead productive lives

Between King and Guns

Today we honor the great American pacifist. But it turns out that King’s relationship to guns was more complicated than you might expect.

The Weirdest Senate Primary Race In The Nation

Carpetbaggers, 2020 election result deniers, candidates—including a celebrity TV doc—spending personal fortunes, and connections to Communist China and the Turkish army. Welcome to democracy, PA-style

Ideas We Should Steal: A City Designed for Women

Vienna has ranked as the most livable city in the world for 10 years, in part due to rethinking its urban design with women and children in mind. Could a similar approach in Philly make our city more livable for all?

Open the Doors to Higher Ed

A longtime university president calls on local colleges to steal an idea from Michigan: recruit and educate the nearly 17,000 foster kids in Pennsylvania.

Help Keep Philadelphians Warm

As temperatures stay low, many Philadelphians will urgently need to find warmth over the next several weeks. Here, some simple, impactful ways you can support them.

Guest Commentary: The Future of Violence Is Digital

Online beefs are behind an increasing amount of violence in Philly. A local resident and teacher wonders what police can do to stop it—and what responsibility social media giants should face

Is It Time For a Citywide Vaccine Mandate?

Boston and New York City both instituted more sweeping vaccine mandates to keep their residents healthy. In Philly, we let Mummers strut. What more could Mayor Kenney do to ensure everyone gets their shots?

Honey, Council Shrunk The Mayor

Mayor Kenney ended 2021 complaining that he’s responsible for things that are out of his control. Council President Darrell Clarke sees a power vacuum. Is that a good thing?

Letter from Fairmount

A neighbor of those lost in the tragic fire this week chronicles the horror, the sorrow and, fittingly, the community togetherness that has emerged

The End of 13th Street Streateries?

The Streets Department is making restaurants in Midtown Village dismantle their outside dining huts for non-emergency utility work set to start January 20. With Covid surging, and food businesses barely hanging on, is this really how to keep the city thriving?

Choose Democracy

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?

Krasner, Revealed

A well-reported Inquirer story about an exodus from the D.A.’s office and a PBS documentary series tell us who our district attorney really is—and why that’s hurting Philly

Turning the Tide on Gun Violence… Everywhere But Philly

Some big city mayors are saying enough is enough and are—finally—doubling down on smart policing and prosecution. Here in Philly? Not so much

Guest Commentary: We Must Heal the Trauma

As we end a year with almost 550 homicides, an expert on the future of work offers five ways Philadelphia can help survivors move forward and live healthy, prosperous lives

Generation Change Philly: The Cleaner-Upper

How Terrill Haigler (a.k.a. Ya Fav Trashman), a former Philly sanitation worker with a gift for organizing — and for social media — became one of Filthadelphia’s most beloved and recognizable change-makers 

Business for Good: AmorSui

A lab accident inspired Beau Wangtrakuldee’s line of women-friendly personal protective equipment used by hospitals around the country. Covid-19 inspired a sustainable model that is also protecting the planet.

Un-Gerrymandering PA?

New maps to determine who will represent us in Harrisburg are being drawn up by state legislators. Philly 3.0’s engagement director runs down what we know so far—and what we can do keep the process fair.

Guest Commentary: PGW’s Gas Leak Failure

An Earthworks advocate who lives in Queen Village happens to have the gear to spot methane leaks. What she’s learned in her own neighborhood is a scary sign of the air pollution our city misses everyday.

Why Democrats Lose

A transgender swimmer at Penn is setting NCAA records. Why haven’t we read about it in the Inquirer?

Ideas We Should Steal: Citywide Restorative Justice

The attack on Asian-American high school students on SEPTA last month was another symptom of our city's broken systems. Could implementing Philly-wide restorative justice practices, as they do in Oakland, help heal our collective pain?

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2021 Recap: We Can Solve Problems

Nine big takeaways from The Philadelphia Citizen's fourth annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival at Fitler Club

How To Put More Teachers Into Philly Schools

The School District has 1,900 open positions, including in several classrooms that have no teachers. A longtime university president offers a way out of this disaster.

Ideas We Should Steal: Cutting Light Pollution

Pittsburgh is fighting light pollution by mandating dimmer, warmer and more environmentally-friendly fixtures in public streets and buildings. Don’t we want to see some stars in Philly, too?

Will City Council Save Our Streateries?

A new bill would make it easier to build outdoor dining setups in Philadelphia. But, as Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, those rules mostly apply to the whitest, wealthiest neighborhoods.

America’s Delivery Crisis

The federal government has done its part, authorizing billions of dollars for infrastructure and other programs. Now, Drexel’s Metro Finance head says, it’s up to cities to use it well. Are you paying attention, Philly?

The Real Story Behind Philly’s Violence Epidemic

D.A. Larry Krasner is in denial, the mayor has thrown up his hands, and the police commissioner has gone MIA. But maybe the ultimate solution to our historic scourge of violence lies beyond them, anyway

Generation Change Philly: The Profit Sharer

Last year, Seer Interactive founder Wil Reynolds turned down a $50 million offer for his internet search firm. Instead, he’s investing his company’s wealth in his employees and his community

Guest Commentary: Why Taxpayers Should Fund News

The Citizen's co-founder argued that a government bailout of newspapers was a bad idea. Penn’s chief innovation officer and board member of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism disagrees

Guest Commentary: A Right to Diapers

A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Casey would help the one-third of American families who struggle to buy diapers for their babies. Passing it is good health, safety and economic sense, say the leaders of a local children’s charity

Who’s Ready to “Rewild” Philadelphia?

Okay, the moose is a joke, but here are five legit—and inexpensive—ways Philly can revive the splendor of our natural environs by rewilding

Ideas We Should Steal: Turning Data Into Solutions

Orange County and other communities are using a Social Progress Index to measure success beyond economics. Could it help Philly solve its most pressing problems?

Boycott College Rankings

The fraud conviction of Temple’s business school dean proves that U.S. News rankings are bogus. So why are we still beholden to them?

The Fix: You Can’t Change a Culture of Corruption…

… when just about everyone in it is complicit. State Rep. Jared Solomon and Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez have spoken out. But, in the aftermath of the Dougherty conviction, where are the others?

Guest Commentary: The Day We Fled Kabul

An Afghan refugee who worked for the U.S. government relates his family's harrowing experience fleeing the Taliban, making their way to the U.S.—and finding a welcoming home in Philadelphia

How to Help Afghan Refugees in Philadelphia Now

It’s been three months since the last US military plane left Kabul. After a traumatic evacuation and weeks living on military bases, hundreds of Afghan refugees are arriving in Philadelphia—they need our support now more than ever.

Yours, Dangerously

A cadre of visionary women are behind Guild House Hotel—a newly opened boutique hotel that celebrates the history residing in our buildings by giving props to the early feminists who initially occupied the property.

Generation Change Philly: The Fair Justice Funder

With his De-Carceration Fund, Chris Bentley plans to invest up to $20 million to radically change our unjust criminal justice system

Mystery Shopper: Getting flood prevention help from the City

A City program is supposed to give free plumbing upgrades to homeowners who experience flooding. But after city sewage pours into a basement, just how hard is it to get the Water Department to install a flood prevention device?

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Gifts That Give Back

Find something amazing for everyone on your gift list while supporting creators, communities and small businesses that give back

Generation Change Philly: The Modern Humanitarian

Everyone in the know says Michael O'Bryan is Philly's thought leader 'it' person of the moment. But no one can actually say what he does. Maybe that's because changing humanity is hard to sum up pithily.

Guest Commentary: “We Need To Do This”

A group of Philly high schoolers are playing football Tuesday to raise money for the mothers of shooting victims, and to connect with police officers. Their teacher asks the rest of us: What will you do to help?

The Fix: A Post-Dougherty Anti-Corruption Crusade?

In a special Citizen Zoom series, former mayoral candidate Sam Katz, State Rep. Jared Solomon and City Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez weigh in on how we got here and how we move forward

Are Newspapers Too Big to Fail Now?

Democrats’ gigantic Build Back Better bill contains a government bailout for local journalism. Why does no one see a problem with that?

How to Give Back on Thanksgiving

With food prices and hunger on the rise, giving what you can is especially important this holiday season. Here’s how you can help people and families for Thanksgiving in 2021.

Plant Trees!

As we experience ever-warming temperatures, Philadelphia is losing tree canopy. Join PHS’s tree planting bonanza to green, cool and heal our neighborhoods.

Reality Check: Why the Philadelphia Tire Fire Should Scare You

The plume of black smoke that erupted over Philly last week was another sign, WURD’s midday host and a Temple professor say, of the carelessness with which the City addresses real environmental concerns for mostly Black residents

Social Capital Is More Important Than College Majors

Universities and students should consider “mission before major,” advises a long-time college president

The Citizen Recommends: Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

Join us December 13th and 14th for ideas from across the country to foster “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity” here in Philly

The Problem With Aaron Rodgers

We champion athletes speaking out on social issues. What to do when they turn out to be not so bright?

Guest Commentary: “What Do You Think We Should Do?”

The co-founder of the B Corp movement has a challenge—and an invitation—for his fellow White men in these racially challenging times

The Citizen Recommends: War Words

This Veterans Day, Philly’s InterAct Theatre is among seven U.S. venues to stage a play culled from real vets’ stories about life in, and after, service to our country

Citizen of the Week: Zulma Guzman

The Salvadoran immigrant is a “social worker without a title” for new Philadelphians in her Elmwood Park neighborhood—a community often invisible to city government.

Surprise! Trash Pickup Is Terrible

Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down the City Controller’s new report on trash pickup during the pandemic. Spoiler: Even garbage collection varies by neighborhood

Generation Pandemic

Penn seniors Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger spent last semester road-tripping across the U.S. to capture young people’s pandemic experiences. The result is a staggering archive that captures this precarious moment in time

What Do The Election Results Really Say for Philly?

Progressives got shellacked. Will Philly Dems double-down on democratic socialism—or finally embrace being a governing party?

The Equity Conundrum

The District’s new magnet schools policy is putting the progressive push for equity under an uncomfortable lens. Does it even solve the problem we need to be solving?

Generation Change Philly: The Startup Cheerleader

With her nonprofit Mom Your Business, Tanya T. Morris coaches Black and Brown female entrepreneurs to be the city’s next business leaders

Listen Up!

In our divided times, Philadelphia Contemporary explores the healing power of empathetic listening with a 10-year art project that kicked off last month.

Business for Good: AnaOno

Queen Village resident Dana Donofree—one of Inc’s 2021 most inspiring female founders—has grown her line of “boob-inclusive” bras to 30,000 customers all over the world while helping raise awareness and support for breast cancer survivors

“The Jewish JFK”

While Democrats tear down statues of Thomas Jefferson and deride parents’ involvement in schools, can Josh Shapiro’s campaign for governor point the way forward for his often bumbling party?

Guest Commentary: 12 Candidates for 12 Judicial Vacancies—An Electoral Joke

A prominent public interest attorney walks us through the farce of electing judges in Philadelphia

Generation Change Philly: The Innovation Coach 

As the executive director of Penn’s Integrated Product Design program, Sarah Rottenberg inspires the next generation of inventors to solve problems at the intersection of humanity and design 

Guest Commentary: The Folly of Philly’s Driving Equality Bill

As cities around the country work to protect residents from traffic accidents, a local resident contends a new bill passed by City Council makes walkers—and drivers—less safe

How Childcare Is Key To College Success

Less than 30 percent of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree. One way to change that, a long-time college president says, is better access to high-quality childcare on campus

Citizens of The Week: Stephen Piner and Jamir Shaw

The Philly natives’ Dope Shows isn’t just changing the music and performance industry—it’s also building community and helping Philly youth

Sign Of The Times?

Does a rape in front of silent witnesses on the El signify that, amid rampant disorder, citizens have given up on that which keeps us all together: citizenship itself?

Generation Change Philly: The Pipeline Builder

A natural convener, Sulaiman Rahman is helping to place people of color on boards and in high-powered jobs to make meaningful change to our city’s institutions

Can Critical Race Theory Save Pro Sports?

Twenty-five years after publishing his seminal book on race and sports, a renowned Wharton emeritus professor looks back with some provocative rethinking

Guest Commentary: The Answer to Our Housing Crisis

A building industry official contends City Council’s proposal for “inclusionary housing” will make it harder to increase Philly's stock of affordable homes. But, he says, there is a solution: Building on public land

Who Are Philly’s Next Integrity Icons?

We're launching our second contest to name the city worker with the highest ethics and best customer service. Can we fame the little-known folks who do good for a change?

What the Fight Over the Columbus Statue Is Really About

The fight in South Philly is a proxy for the divide that threatens to engulf all of us. Why can’t two opposing sets of facts be true at the same time?

How Good Development Is Reshaping Philly

Along with Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, we’re kicking off a speakers series that features a host of bold-face names exploring the intersection of private real estate development and the public good.

Generation Change Philly: The Wellness Crusader

Sudan Green’s Spirits Up! brings community-based yoga, mindfulness and peace to Black Philadelphians, who are still underserved by the wellness community. It is a revolutionary act for our times

Business for Good: Journal My Health

Local tech guru Tracey Welson-Rossman had an idea for an app to help people with chronic illnesses track their symptoms back in 2009. The plight of Covid long-haulers prompted her to finally launch it this year

Ideas We Should Steal: Mobile Farmers’ Markets

Chicago’s Urban Growers Collective grows fresh produce on a teaching farm and then brings it directly to citizens living in food deserts, a full-service program that goes beyond anything in Philly

Why Can’t Philly Stop Pedestrian Deaths?

More Philly walkers were hit by cars in 2020 than any other recent year. Blame for the City’s Vision Zero failure lies with a familiar culprit: councilmanic prerogative, says Philly 3.0’s engagement director

Citizen of The Week: Brandon “B.McFly” Chastang

The West Philly native preaches sobriety, recovery and love to 93,000 Instagram followers and in a popular podcast. The key? Being “transparent” about his own lived experience

The Fix: What Good Can Come From the Dougherty/Henon Trial?

Another day, another trial of Philly’s once-powerful. This time, maybe there are some lessons to be learned for cleaning up our politics

Generation Change Philly: The Hunger Disruptor

Melanie Cataldi, the next in our series of Philadelphians working to change the status quo, turned her masters thesis into the hunger- and poverty-fighting culinary school at Philabundance. The goal: Ending hunger for good

Arts Can Transform Lives and Cities

In honor of Mural Arts Month, a longtime college president not only nominates Jane Golden for a MacArthur Genius Award, she urges educators from pre-school to grad school to respect and promote the arts—not cut them.

Reality Check: Could We Cut Philly Shootings by. . .Up to 93 Percent?

Multiple studies find that environmental fixes to low-income neighborhoods reduce gun violence dramatically. WURD’s midday host combines five of them into one bold plan

The Citizen Recommends: We Are Not Like Them

Jo Piazza and Christine Pride’s new Philly-based novel is about a cross-racial friendship tested by the police shooting of a young Black teen. But really, it’s a way to start the hard conversations we need to have

Vaccines 2.0

As we prepare for approval of the Covid vaccine for children, what have we learned so far about efforts to get shots in arms?

The Doctor Will See You in the Barbershop

Jefferson Health CEO Steve Klasko is rethinking the very delivery of medicine, taking on the racial health gap, trying to get our eds and meds to focus on equity...and still deejaying

Who Should Replace Bill Hite?

Superintendent Hite’s announcement this week that he’s leaving the post at the end of the school year is an opportunity for Philadelphia. Here, a wish list of possible school leaders.

Is Ranked-Choice Voting in Philly’s Future?

Councilmember Derek Green wants to bring the polling method here—which could, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, help elect the people’s choice in an especially competitive 2023 race.

Liberation through Fitness

Philly nonprofit UliftU provides training and jobs for recently incarcerated Philadelphians while tackling chronic diseases in under resourced communities

Where to Find Hope

It’s so hard to be optimistic these days. But look closely and you’ll find reasons for hope all around us.

Generation Change Philly: The Intergenerational Poverty Buster

The first in our new series spotlighting Philly change agents is Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, president/CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network, which prepares our city’s young people for lives beyond poverty

A Luxury Philly Can’t Afford

City Council’s housing policy power grab is crippling Philly’s big-picture goals on affordability and climate. Where, Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders, is Mayor Kenney in all this?

Business for Good: Baby Gear Group

Philly mom Bo Zhao's two-year-old business lets families lease baby gear, saving thousands of dollars and keeping used items out of the landfill

Business For Good: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Could a locally-made line of toys be an antidote to the world’s problems?

Kensington’s Recovery Plan

At the epicenter of the region’s opioid and homelessness crisis, the River Wards have been all but abandoned by city leaders. But does the City already have a solution to the problem?

The Mission is Preventing Violence

The state is giving about $40 million in grants to community groups this year to fight gun violence. Will it stop the shootings?

More Than Just A Check

Social Venture Partners is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in local nonprofits that fight poverty. But it’s their “engaged philanthropy” that really sets them apart.

How Not to Start a School Year

The rage-inducing opening of the new school year illustrates why good management matters—and how our leaders are failing us

Game Changer?

The Philadelphia Equity Alliance has an audacious goal: To make Philly the most equitable big city in America. Just as groundbreaking is the relationship forming between its co-chairs, businessman Michael Forman and labor leader Ryan Boyer

Guest Commentary: Remember Those Left Behind

A Philly school teacher and veteran who helped create literacy programs in Afghanistan reflects on the incredible people he encountered—and urges help for those who are arriving in our city

Guest Commentary: “More Than Just Blacktop”

Recess improves students’ mental health. But green schoolyards, says the state director of the Trust For Public Lands, can help even more.

Future-Ready: Get Your Career Future-Ready

We are at a pivotal moment of churn and reevaluation in careers. Here, Future Works Alliance PHL’s founder lays out how to know if you’re ready.

The Untold Story of the MOVE Remains

A new report commissioned by Penn puts the horrifying spectacle in full context—and offers ideas on how to fix what’s broken

A Dating App for Jobs

The new online tool PropelPHL doesn’t just connect employers to diverse job-seekers. It aims to be the crucial missing link between Philly talent, Philly jobs and Philly resources.

Residents vs. Taney Street

In the wake of last year’s racial awakening, a group of engaged Taney Street residents sought to shed the racist history of the name. Here’s how they’re doing it

18+ Ways To Help Students (and Teachers) Succeed This Year

Let’s commit to be all in on making this pandemic school year the best it can be

Higher Ed Should Learn From the Pandemic

A longtime college president on why a “return to normal” is the last thing our universities should do

Leadership Malpractice

The sniping and pettiness this week among Mayor Kenney, District Attorney Krasner and Council President Clarke advertises why they’re failing at curbing gun violence

Use. Repurpose. Repeat.

Circular Philadelphia is working to eliminate landfills by constantly repurposing our waste. Could it also be an avenue to economic growth in Philly?

Ideas We Should Steal: Finding Families for Foster Kids

State law requires that caseworkers place children who were removed from their parents with kin—but Philly lags behind Los Angeles and Lackawanna County in getting the job done.

“Lyft for Litter”

Philly is still the only big city without widespread street cleaning. A new app from MilkCrate and Ya Fav Trashman is stepping in to pay individuals a living wage to help clean up.

“Loving Every Part of Yourself”

Penn grads Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno launched Be Body Positive Philly to empower high schoolers to live peacefully and healthfully in their bodies

The Myth of Progressivism

Want to win elections? Voters around the country seem to be embracing common sense problem-solvers more than the Woke and MAGA crowds would have you believe. Are you listening, Helen Gym, et al?

Funding Food Justice

The City and Reinvestment Fund’s Food Justice Initiative supports equitable access to healthy food. This month, they’re offering another $380,000 for community-driven solutions to historic food injustice

Ready, Set…Redistrict!

The city and state saw population gains, according to the 2020 Census. Now, Philly 3.0’s engagement director says, the fight over legislative districts begins.

Citizen of the Week: Khalil Steward

Steward's Farmacy is a game-changing food delivery service offering fresh produce grown by local Black and brown farmers to Philadelphians at affordable prices

Wanna Take On Systemic Racism? Infrastructure

There’s been a lot of talk in the last year about systemic racism. Congressman Dwight Evans has an idea to actually do something about it.

“Science is Easier Than Trust”

Those Nerdy Girls of Dear Pandemic have spent the last 15 months sharing science-backed info with their 100,000 followers. They have some advice for how to get us through this next wave

Guest Commentary: Walnut Street Is For the Dogs

A Philly educator and urbanist bemoans what’s happened to Center City—and urges a renewed sense of urgency to protect our shared spaces

Business for Good: Kári Skin

Tirzah Blair’s spa startup is built around a surprisingly rare notion in the beauty world: Taking the "mean girl" out of the business

Where’s Our Vaccine Mandate, Mayor Kenney?

Since New York required vaccines for city employees, shots surged 40 percent. Is it time, Philly 3.0’s engagement director asks, for the same here, too?

Guest Commentary: Tiny Houses Have a Big Problem

The favorite bourgeois solution to homelessness won’t solve the problem and reveals sneering class bias, a formerly homeless Philadelphian and City staffer says. Why aren’t we doing what actually works?

How To Reverse The Murder Epidemic

Unlike many other leaders, Delco DA Jack Stollsteimer and City Council members Isaiah Thomas and Allan Domb speak with a no-nonsense sense of urgency. That’s a start.

“A Massive Amount of Heartbreak”

A combination of the contagious Delta variant and high numbers of unvaccinated people is causing Covid cases to rise again. A critical care physician at Penn Medicine helps us understand how worried we should be—and what we can do

Healing Past the Trauma

An intergenerational therapy program for formerly incarcerated men with violent pasts strives to help everyone thrive post-incarceration. Could it be a path to less gun violence?

The Higher Ed Opportunity

Four local universities will be searching for new presidents in the next couple of years. Let’s be sure, a longtime college president says, they are principled leaders who can help transform the region.

Citizen of the Week: Kemar Jewel

The Philly native and Temple-trained choreographer has gone viral with dances that celebrate the Black queer experience—and offer hope for all of us

The Trash Election?

Philadelphians are fed up with the garbage piling up on our streets. That’s why, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, the next mayor may be the one with a vision for cleaning up the city

The Virus and the City: The Key To Inclusive Business Recovery

How cities and states use federal rescue funds to spark recovery can be the difference between success and failure, Drexel’s Metro Finance head says. Here, learnings Philly should heed.

The Phillies Strikeout

Half the team is unvaccinated. Here's why Phillies manager Joe Girardi has failed the test of leadership by saying it's a "personal choice."

Guest Commentary: Broadband Access is a Human Right 

A Philly pastor and activist urges legislators to ensure high speed internet is not just available everywhere, but affordable to every American 

Citizen of the Week: Finn Glew

The recent Harriton High School grad started a motor rally to spur conversation about toxic masculinity while raising money to help survivors of sexual abuse

Business for Good: Tribaja

Shannon Morales’ new business connects forward-thinking companies with diverse tech talent—while building community to sustain the work

Fighting Crime Through…Home Repairs?

According to new Penn research, home improvements can cut homicides by nearly 22 percent. Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down what that means for Philly

Emergency? What Emergency?

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Controller Rebecca Rhyhant and other elected leaders blasted Mayor Kenney yesterday for his inaction on gun violence. So what’s their plan?

More Art, Fewer Accidents?

A collaboration between Mural Arts Philadelphia and a South Philly neighborhood group aims to slow down speeding cars. Could it help reduce the nearly 500 serious traffic injuries in the city every year?

Mystery Shopper: How hard is it to get rid of illegal dumpsters?

Residents of one South Philly block tried for months to get the City to take action against businesses piling garbage on their street. Why is it so hard to get anyone to listen?

Guest Commentary: Can We Make Philly a “City That Works?”

A former schools leader warns that, in a city that can't even reliably pick up residents' trash, change begins with expecting more from our officials

Citizen of The Week: Joshua Santiago

Having given more than 8,000 free haircuts to people experiencing homelessness in Philly and beyond, one local father is serving up not just style, but dignity

Will The School District Squander Its $1.1 Billion Stimulus Windfall?

A history of management snafus under Superintendent Bill Hite can only make you wonder if we’re able to seize this potentially transformative moment

It’s Time to Re-Enroll Adults, including John Kruk, in Higher Education

36 million Americans have earned some college credits but no degree. A longtime college president says it’s time to honor what they have learned in life and help them attain degrees.

Ideas We Should Steal: Rewards for shopping local

In Akron and elsewhere, city governments are rewarding shoppers for spending money at mom-and-pop shops. Why shouldn’t Philly do the same?

Guest Commentary: Believe in Black Students

Here are some ways schools can take action and demonstrate a commitment to anti-racism that is essential for reducing pandemic learning loss

Preparing for Launch

The St. Louis-based nonprofit LaunchCode has recently come to Philly to fuel our tech talent pipeline, with training and job placement that support marginalized candidates

What’s So Wrong With David Cohen and Amy Gutmann Being Ambassadors?

An Inquirer news story raises questions about the sunken state of our public conversation

Using Your Voice Against You

In his new book, Penn professor Joseph Turow warns about a growing smart tech industry determined to use our voices in ways that should alarm us. It’s not too late to take back control.

“The Narrow Path That We’re Walking”

A historian’s look at the 1844 riots, policing and nativism in Philly reminds us that this democracy has always been fractured, fragile—and worth protecting

“Equity To End Inequity”

In the months since George Floyd’s murder, American businesses have fallen over themselves to declare that Black lives matter. Now, at least 10 new venture funds offering over $350 million in socially-good investment are actually doing something to make a fairer Philly

Why Richard Vague Still Thinks Business Can Save America

Philly’s modern-day Renaissance man has published the first-ever definitive history of U.S. business. And it’s a timely reminder that there really is something exceptional about the idea of America

Business for Good: Welcome to Nalaverse

Two Philly entrepreneurs are jumping into the $4 trillion wellness industry with a new platform that rethinks what wellness looks like, who it’s for, and how it can be accessed by everyone

Citizens of the Week: Tim Thornton and Sandeep Banga

The local tech execs are using Salesforce training to help bring a group of West Philadelphians out of poverty. Next up: Jobs

Medicine of and for the people

Is a vaccine collaboration between Penn and West Philly faith leaders a roadmap to more equitable healthcare?

20 Black Artists to Watch

Mural Arts Philadelphia's Fellowship for Black Artists is funding work by 20 local creators. Here's who they are

Should Mayor Kenney Resign?

A prominent pastor has called for Mayor Kenney to step down. Would that be a good thing?

Business for Good: Ctrl M Health

36 million Americans suffer from migraines, missing a total of 113 million work days a year—but only 4 percent receive specialist care. One local tech startup is on a mission to bring comprehensive relief to everyone

Business For Good: REC Philly Revisited

The local biz goes beyond your typical co-working space, to really help creatives thrive. Up next? A potential expansion to other cities.

Partners not Problems

When trash pickup was again delayed this week, it raised the question: Why doesn’t local government see its citizens as part of the solution? A former city official offers ideas for how the City can do better to meet our expectations

Bridging the Wealth Gap

A local program has taught wealth-building skills to 1,500 students and the adults in their lives. Now, it's growing—with the support of powerful local institutions—to take the poverty-fighting work nationwide

How The Sixers Can Save The City

Sports teams can make or break a city’s soul. Wednesday night’s loss was a historic collapse, but there’s one way the Sixers can save us from our angst tonight in Atlanta

Growing the Prison-to-Business Pipeline

A financial advisor-turned-social work professor has launched a Penn course that teams up students with formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs to help them launch their businesses—and stay out of prison

The TikTok Doc

Austin Chiang, self-professed “medical mythbuster,” is changing the way people get their (correct, research-based) health information … and absolutely killing it on social media.

How to Make the Parkway Grand Again

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway was a bold idea a century ago. As the city embarks on a redesign of our own Champs Elysees, a local urbanist has ideas for making it so again

The $100 Million Gamble

Council is pushing the mayor to spend $100 million on gun violence prevention programs. Is that bold policy-making or the appearance of it?

Business For Good: Bungee Oblečení

Darrell Alston has walked many paths — athlete, rapper, inmate. All of them have led to the role he’s filling now, as CEO and lead designer of a new Philly-based high-end sneaker line

Ideas We Should Steal: Arts Everywhere

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is embedding the arts in myriad city agencies with a bold, economy-boosting goal that Philly should emulate: supporting art in every neighborhood in the city

Philly’s Next Big Challenge

City leaders became experts at handling decline in the last half of the last century. Now, a former city official wonders, can they rise to the occasion and capitalize on growth?

How Else To Spend $1.4 Billion

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart offered an alternative spending plan for the city’s federal recovery funds with real, measurable goals. Philly 3.0’s engagement director lays out what that could mean for Philly

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

What’s the one thing few leaders are talking about as we secure a $2.7 billion windfall? Growing jobs. Is there a plan for that?

North Broad’s Next Chapter

The corridor stretching from City Hall to Germantown Avenue will never be “Avenue of the Arts”—or Northern Liberties or...any of the city’s “Hot ‘Hoods.” And that just might be a good thing.

Guest Commentary: Driving While Black (Again)

I’m a Black man who drives a BMW. Four times since George Floyd’s murder, I’ve been pulled over and asked whose car I was driving…and if I had a weapon.

Business for Good: Hand In Hand

The eco-friendly, socially-minded soap biz exploded during the pandemic—so did its impact in...Haiti?

Get (and give!) free reading help for kids this summer

Whether your child fell behind or could just use a bit of enrichment, there are plenty of Philly resources offering extra help between now and September. Plus: How to volunteer and donate, whether or not you have kids of your own

Guest Commentary: Our Beautiful City

Troubled by the problems tearing Philly apart, a former mayor unearths an old Broadway song to inspire us. Will we rise to his challenge and love our city as much as Ed Rendell?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reason to Run

An Oregon-based prison running program is helping incarcerated women with their mental and physical health, while giving them tools that discourage recidivism. Could it do the same in Philly?

Ideas We Should Steal: Vax to Win

Want to boost Covid vaccination rates in Philly? We should take a cue from any number of state and local governments around the country—Free cars! Savings bonds! A million bucks!!— and incentivize that shot

Business for Good: Home Appétit

Lee Wallach's Philly-based meal delivery service doubled its business in 2020, while continuing to create a workplace that is good for employees and the earth

Philly Under Fire Episode 7: Detective Mode

The final episode of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun epidemic meets the mothers who are solving their children’s murders when no one else can

20+ Great Ways to Keep Kids Busy This Summer

Whether you’ve got a budding artist, activist, or future tech wiz on your hands, these Philly summer activities will keep ’em entertained, engaged, and energized. Here, our 2021 guide to warm-weather things to do with kids in Philadelphia

Finding More Ways To Say Yes

We saw an unprecedented push to make living, working and participating in our civic life easier for Philly residents during the pandemic. A former city official urges our leaders to keep that momentum going.

A Better Way To Teach Reading

Two-thirds of Philly third graders are behind in reading. Will a new program the District is launching in September change that? The answer may lie in Bethlehem, PA.

Real Criminal Justice Reform

Catching up with Robert Rooks, CEO of Michael Rubin and Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance, on its new campaign to take on our broken parole and probation system

What Threatens Larry Krasner’s Progressive Vision?

District attorney Krasner is facing a climbing homicide rate, pushback from the police and skepticism from the community. A report from The Trace wonders: If he wins, can his platform survive?

Philly Under Fire Episode 6: The Golden Hour

The latest episode of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun epidemic looks at how supporting victims and their families can help stop the transmission of violence.

Ideas We Should Steal: Protection for Asian Americans

In Philly, as in the country as a whole, anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise. An all-volunteer chaperone service in Oakland, California, is doing its part to protect the community

Separating Fact From Fiction

At last week’s D.A. primary debate, candidates Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega both made—and disputed—various claims about their histories. In anticipation of another debate on WURD Wednesday, we fact-checked the back-and-forth

“Restaurants May No Longer Be Restaurants”

A national food writer looks at what a pandemic reset could mean for an industry long in need of reinvention. Join her, Fork’s Ellen Yin, Hip City Veg’s Nicole Marquis, Baltimore's Irena Stein and Brooklyn’s Sean Feeney for an event this month.

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence Through Better Policing

While murder and shootings have spiked in Philly and elsewhere, both Camden and Newark have made progress in reducing gun violence by adopting smart policing techniques. Why don’t we do what they’ve done?

In Search of the Spirit of Reinvention

Philly is the nation’s first startup. So, in this budget season, why not put old talking points behind us…and pivot?

The Optimist

Every day, Kevin Mahoney, CEO of University of Pennsylvania Health System, is rethinking the future of health care and partnering with anyone who buys into his vision. All this despite that 1.98 college GPA.

Row Office Revolt?

No, we’re not likely to get rid of the corruption-prone Sheriff's Office anytime soon. But a former city official has a solution for ensuring the office does right by residents.

“We’ve Just Got to Start Doing”

Art collectors/philanthropists Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice want to help Philly's cultural scene come back stronger—and more inclusive—than ever. With their $3 million Art Works initiative, they’re not waiting for anyone else’s permission.

A Brand, Not Just a Restaurant

Center City’s Tria Cafe brought back its beloved Fermentation School (virtually) to help it survive the pandemic. Who needs tables anyway?

Mystery Shopper: What the Hybrid?

Phase III of the School District’s back to campus plan launches next week—a colossal effort to give kids eight days of in-person learning. Our Mystery Shopper reviewed how it's going.

Breaking Barriers to Black Health

Get Fresh Daily founder and recent Well City Challenge winner Jiana Murdic is making healthy food accessible to her community—with a special focus on Black moms like her

Is Larry Krasner Really a Reformer?

Lost amid the safety versus reform back-and-forth of the DA’s race is a central question: Has DA Krasner reformed prosecution, or just not prosecuted?

It’s Time to Rethink Status in Higher Ed

Penn, Harvard, and other elite universities have rejected a record number of applicants this year. A longtime college president says it’s time to reconsider how we select—and fund—colleges

Philly Under Fire Episode 4: “A Fresh 24”

Episode four of The Philadelphia Citizen’s podcast exploring stories and solutions from the front lines of Philly’s gun violence epidemic looks at the power of meaningful jobs in curbing violence.

A House at the Heart of a Movement

Sojourner House, named after the human rights activist Sojourner Truth, has been a haven for women who have been abused for 33 years. The need—and what we know about it—has changed little since then.

“Yes, and…”

Two recent Penn grads are pioneering an improv program for teens in Philly’s public schools. Its impact is no laughing matter.

Business for Good: Simply Good Jars

With a star turn on Shark Tank and big expansion plans, Jared Cannon’s local salad purveyor is seeing all kinds of green

Pat Croce is Back and He’s Zen as F#@*!

After six years on an intense spiritual quest, the former Sixers owner and Philly cheerleader is back with a new mission: kickstarting a health and wellness movement for cancer patients

Guest Commentary: The D.A. Race Is Not a Choice Between Reform and Safety

District attorney candidate Carlos Vega responds to last week’s guest commentary

50+ ways to help fight climate change

Taking action to protect our planet is the work of our lifetime. Ready to dive in? Here are 50+ ways you can actually make an impact.

It’s All In The Name

Why I couldn't bring myself to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd

Vote to Win

The Philadelphia Citizen’s 2021 Municipal Primary Voter Lottery will give three Philly citizens $1,000 each just for voting. Could it be you?

Guest Commentary: A “Ray of Hope” For Fair School Funding

A May pre-trial hearing for a seven-year-old school funding lawsuit in Pennsylvania has a state politics watcher wondering: Could this finally mean more money for schools that need it?

Jo Piazza On the New Philly Under Fire Podcast Series

Author and podcaster Jo Piazza spent a year trying to understand Philly’s gun violence epidemic—and identify ways to solve it. Listen to the groundbreaking seven-episode series starting today

The Citizen Voter Guide: Primary Election 2021

Heading to the polls on May 18? Our voter guide lays out everything you need to know to vote like a champ.

Future-Ready: Rethinking Remote

As FutureWorks Alliance PHL’s founder testified at City Council Tuesday, remote work for City employees is not one-size-fits-all. Here’s how to plan for a technological future that’s smart and equitable.

Mystery Shopper: Where’s the Courtesy in “Courtesy Towing?”

The City "courtesy towed" a Philly driver's car. Here, we evaluate the process for getting it back.

Ideas We Should Steal: Wheelchair Ramps Made From LEGOs

Nearly 500 public buildings in Philly—not to mention rowhomes—have barriers to access for people in wheelchairs. Germany’s “LEGO Granny” has a brightly colored way to help

Citizen of the Week: Dr. Dan Taylor

The St. Christopher’s pediatrician is constantly finding new ways to uplift Philly youth. His latest endeavor: Need-a-Net Philly, a grassroots movement to repair basketball hoops—and restore dignity to neighborhoods.

The Buck Stops Elsewhere

With an election looming and body bags piling up at an alarming rate, can D.A. Larry Krasner skirt accountability?

Guest Commentary: How You Can Make Voting Fair in PA

Citizens are invited to apply this week to be the deciding vote on what new political districts look like in Pennsylvania. The Committee of 70's CEO lays out why that matters

Citizen of The Week: Gail Kotel

The local artist is drawing attention to the economic crisis in the restaurant industry and the environmental impact of our disposable culture through her new portrait series on takeout containers

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.

Revisiting Regionalism

Yo, Mayor Kenney! This time of crisis is actually an opportunity to revisit an idea from the ‘90s: the city and surrounding counties joining forces to form an economic behemoth

Vote Like the Kids

Thanks to a citywide volunteer effort to get 18-year-olds to the polls, they came out in record numbers last year. Now they’re taking the work statewide to keep the momentum going

Guest Commentary: Demand Responsible Cleanup at PES

It’s not enough for Hilco to promise it will create an environmentally safe commercial hub on the site of the 2019 South Philly explosion. All of us, a Penn PhD candidate insists, need to make sure it happens

“Black Future Matters”

With Concrete Cowboy premiering on Netflix this week, Neighborhood Film Company’s Ricky Staub and local actor/activist OG Law check in about telling an authentic Black story, saving Philly’s urban riders—and having Idris Elba on your side

How Not To Blow The Stimulus Windfall

The city stands to receive $1.4 billion. How confident are you that the Kenney administration will put it to good use?

Ideas We Should Steal: Universal Child Care

Massachusetts legislators are working to make their state the first to provide free, high-quality care for children. In Pennsylvania, doing so would bring more women to the workplace—and could add $6 billion to the economy

Business for Good: Nerd Street Gamers

The local company in the burgeoning field of esports is knocking down barriers and bringing more players into the—potentially lucrative—fray

Guest Commentary: Let Them Speak

There have been 161 reported rapes in Philly already this year. Here, a victim of rape shares how the system has continued to fail her and other survivors.

Citizen Mystery Shopper (Part 16)

What happened when we tried to pay taxes to the Philadelphia Department of Revenue

A Weekly Smile

An intergenerational program from Penn Memory Center and Temple University combats isolation in older adults and gives students valuable caregiving experience—and now, it’s gone virtual

One Year of Covid: Higher Ed Will Never Be the Same Again…

...and that should be a good thing. A longtime university president maps the way forward for universities—and the students they serve

“Putting Race At The Forefront”

At Penn Medicine, white workers were three times more likely to sign up for a vaccine than Black workers. Dr. Florencia Greer Polite and fellow Black physicians set out to change that with a program getting noticed across the country

17+ Ways to Support Asian Americans in Philly

A mass shooting in Georgia put Asian Americans on even higher alert after a year of increased racial incidents. Here’s how you can help.

Business for Good: Coffee With a (Updated) Mission

Saxbys has been training young, socially-conscious entrepreneurs and uplifting local communities for years. Now, it’s “walking the talk” with its new B Corp status

Fighting Poverty With Jobs

Camden-based Hopeworks is expanding its job training and placement mission with an eye to fighting regional poverty, hundreds of jobs at a time

The Unapologetically Black Genius of Reuben Harley

Catching up with the chef, photographer and fashion entrepreneur on the journey to launching his “Black folk cooking” empire this month

One Year of Covid: How Philadelphians Stepped Up

Checking in with the local heroes who manufactured PPE 24/7, raised millions (!) for small businesses, kept our neighbors fed and more. Philly, you rock.

Ideas, Please!

Two recent public policy press conferences raise the question: Do Philly leaders have any new ideas for old, intransigent problems? Maybe one gaping problem is an opportunity for new thinking

Guest Commentary: Time to Say Enough to Corruption

Union boss John Dougherty was indicted again this week, and 12 percent of City Council is facing corruption charges. One outraged elected official is calling for an end to the scourge of Philly politics

Business for Good: Truth & Consequences

In an industry known for high levels of burnout, one local ad agency has a different blueprint for success: taking care—great care—of its employees

The Answer To Our Vaccine Debacle

Locally and nationally, getting shots into arms has been a disaster. A longtime college president says the answer to preventing this in future is clear: education

Future-Ready: Can The Future Still Be Female?

Covid has wreaked havoc on women’s careers—but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Join Future Works Alliance and The Citizen for an event next week on where to go from here

Mindfulness for Minors

A local nonprofit has shown measurable progress in helping Philly public school students stay on track through training in an unexpected skill: meditation

Who Have They Left Behind?

The Philadelphia Obituary Project chronicles the devastating toll of our city’s murder epidemic, one victim at a time

Leaving Money on the Table

Rising house prices should mean rising tax revenue to help close Philly’s budget gap. Too bad, Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, the City’s property office is still too dysfunctional to reassess values

“We Only Have One Mayor”

Former Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Dwight Evans voice their concerns for the state of Philadelphia

How Cities Can Fight Climate Change

Drexel’s Metro Finance director talks to Iina Oilinki, the head of Helsinki’s ambitious effort to curb its polluting emissions, about how business and government can work together to save the environment

Finding A Shot

A Wharton MBA for Executives candidate has launched a site to help Americans find open vaccine appointments. Because we need all the help we can get

A New News Narrative

A youth-led after-school media program helps young Philadelphians cover issues important to, and about, them. Are you listening, big media?

Guest Commentary: Make this Sheriff the Last Sheriff

Another scandal prompts a former city official—and one-time candidate for the job—to call for getting the Sheriff’s Office out of the City’s real estate business

Congress, Don’t Cut Local Covid-19 Aid

The Covid Relief Bill includes much-needed funding for city services—if, Philly 3.0’s engagement director cautions, Congress doesn’t take it away

Guest Commentary: A Fitting Replacement for Christopher Columbus

As Women's History Month kicks off, two local historians suggest honoring our own “Rosa Parks” with a statue in Marconi Plaza

What to Do About the Covid Slide

The city has finally started planning for ways to help students make up for pandemic-related learning loss. But do we really want to just get back to normal?

Tech for Trash

The city’s first program under its Smart City Roadmap has diverted more than 100,000 pounds of local electronics and clothing from landfills—and helped get computers into Philly homes that need them

The Best Way To Eliminate College Debt

Some debt forgiveness could help students and the economy. But a longtime college president makes the case for another strategy: Preventing the debt in the first place.

Will Pop-Ups Save Philly’s Food Scene?

It’s getting harder for independent restaurants to survive. Could the sharing economy of pop-ups help preserve diversity in our food businesses?

Ideas We Should Steal: Desegregating the Region

A Connecticut coalition is fighting housing discrimination, and its effects, by taking on a little-understood piece of bureaucracy: zoning laws. Could a similar approach make for a more equitable Philly region?

A Mayoral Wishlist, Disruptor Edition

If we really want a robust debate in 2023, how about some bold, unconventional candidates? Here, a list of unusual suspects.

Rats on the Parkway!

A Fairmount resident’s encounter with rodents — in broad daylight! — sent her on an odyssey to get city action. Here’s what happened … and what you can do about Philly pests, too.

The Citizen Recommends: Stitching Our Futures

Mural Arts’ participatory quilting project invites all of us to imagine—and create—a city budget that reflects who we want to be

Philly’s Potential to Change The World

Penn’s Orphan Disease Center turns 10 this year. Its promise for Philadelphia goes well beyond science

The Citizen Recommends: The COmmunity VIDeo Resiliency Project

Big Picture Alliance’s screening of youth-created films explores how the pandemic has affected young people—and the resilience they continue to show in the face of adversity

Your 401(k) Might Be Your Best Tool to Create Social Change

You may be donating, volunteering, voting and protesting to live your values. But, ImpactPHL’s executive director wonders, do you know where your money sleeps at night?

Foodizen: Forget Back to “Normal”

Jezabel’s Argentine Bakery & BYO is doing better than ever in its 10-year history by pivoting to not just survive, but thrive during the pandemic—a start to rethinking the restaurant industry as we have known it

Business for Good: Oat Foundry

The local product design company tackles awesomely out-there projects while weaving sustainability throughout every aspect of its work. A latte in outer-space, anyone?

Penn Did A Great Thing. Now It Could Do More.

Amy Gutmann’s $100 million pledge to the school district proved again how she is making Penn a leader among elite universities. A longtime college president offers ideas for what else Penn could do for Philly.

Can Free Cash Solve Philly’s Poverty Problem?

More than 30 cities, including ours, have signed on to give unrestricted cash payments to some residents this year. Is this a progressive fad or the way to really fix what ails us?

STEM Jobs For All

A small new Science Center program trains overlooked Philadelphians for careers in our city’s burgeoning life sciences industry. Its mission: carving out a path to high-paying, in-demand jobs

Business For Good: Aequo Fund

The new program aims to take on the failings of the finance world by providing capital (and more) to promising minority and women developers

Guest Commentary: Med Students To The Rescue!

The president and CEO of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on why we should mobilize medical students to jumpstart the vaccination rollout

Jim Kenney’s Very Bad Week

Between a devastating report by Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and his administration’s fumbling of the vaccination rollout, it’s no wonder the mayor has floated the idea of cutting bait and running for the Senate

The False Symmetry of American Racial Politics

America may have moved on from the deadly Capitol siege. But the show of political and ideological force will continue to define us—if we let it.

Philadelphia Takeout for Good

It’s no surprise that local restaurants have spent the Covid-19 crisis finding ways to give to their community. Here, 11 generous local spots you can support with your takeout order

Business for Good: Anti “Tech Bro” Startups

Guru Technologies and Fishtown Analytics are defying tech-world stereotypes by prioritizing diversity, community and philanthropy

“Those Nerdy Girls” Explain The Pandemic to America

A volunteer team of women scientists, many from Philly, launched Dear Pandemic last year to spread real and clear information about Covid-19. They now speak to 1 million people a month.

Guest Commentary: Reflections from a First-Time Voter

A Penn student looks back on a whiplash year that forced her to confront her own assumptions: How could she preach voting when she wasn’t sure she’d vote?

The Krasner Referendum

The race for DA is off to a too-familiar start. Here’s hoping it will include a debate over what smart reform might look like

Business for Good: Ray’s Reusables

A Brewerytown resident’s pandemic-era business aims to limit plastic waste and bring sustainability to people where they live

Who Didn’t Vote in 2020

Philly’s once-in-a-generation turnout helped give Joe Biden the presidency. But in North Philly’s Hunting Park, voters mostly stayed home. What will get them to the polls next time?

Guest Commentary: Is Philly Ready For a Third Wave of Political Activism?

Now is the time to capitalize on the greatest civic engagement in a generation. A former city official lays out a plan to do that.

The Citizen Recommends: BalletX Beyond

With its new online subscription service, local contemporary dance company BalletX continues its tradition of breaking the mold. Could its pivot model a way forward for the beleaguered arts community in Philly, and elsewhere?

The Power of Snapshots

While Covid-19 has forced the closure of many after-school programs, Photography Without Borders continues to empower North Philly youth with cameras, connections—and confidence. And now, the students’ work has gone national.

The Fix: How About an Open, Transparent Government Run By… You?

Feeling alienated from your government, at all levels? Maybe we should open it up and change our relationship to it

The Fix: How To Reform The City Charter

Our Drexel class on rewriting Philly’s constitution last year produced dozens of ideas. Here are some of the best for changing the relationship between government and the governed.

The Virus and the City: Get Ready for the Biden Stimulus

The Democrats' control of the Senate means trillions of recovery dollars are coming. Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director explains how cities should plan for the influx of cash.

The Citizen Updates: Catching Up With Hallee Adelman

With the hit documentary The Social Dilemma and her latest children's book, the author, filmmaker and philanthropist continues to empower young people

The True Meaning of Health Care

A new financial wellness program at CHOP has helped families recoup $700,000 owed to them in an effort to tackle a critical vital sign: poverty

Charlottesville Comes to the Capitol

A day after thugs waving confederate flags and wearing “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirts breached the Capitol, a talk with a Trump-supporting Republican state senator offers some hope

Guest Commentary: Solve “The Lost Mile” for Hungry Philadelphians

Share Food has fed more than 1 million people a month since last March. That, says its executive director, has required some creative pivoting.

Future-Ready: Kenney’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

A local futurist—and former City official—on how the mayor could make his next budget a legacy of vision, equity and modernization. Hint: Start at zero.

52 Small Ways To Make A Better Philly

Do one thing a week that makes you a better citizen of your city. Here, some ideas to get you started

The Vaccine Is Here! The Vaccine is Here!

Convincing skeptical Philadelphians to get their Covid-19 vaccine will take trust-building—and ample creativity. A new citywide special, anyone?

Jim Kenney’s New Year’s Resolutions

Here, advice for the mayor after the worst year ever. Hey, hope springs eternal, right?

Guest Commentary: Philadelphia, I Miss Your Face

A local high school teacher’s ode to the so-Philly thing we’ve all missed most this year: community

Guest Commentary: A Return to Environmental Protection

Philadelphians, especially the most vulnerable, face increasing devastation due to climate change. Local clean air advocates look to President-elect Biden to renew a much-needed partnership to help the city and the planet

Guest Commentary: The Great Rethink

One civic leader’s take on how the pandemic can be an opportunity for reinvention

Suck It, 2020!

A compendium of the things we cared about in a super crappy year

Bill Hite, Reconsidered

Philadelphia’s schools superintendent has taken some hits lately. Does he have what it takes to manage—and tame—a $3.5 billion bureaucracy?

The Virus and the City: Can Philly Perfect PPP?

Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director and the Enterprise Center's Della Clark on organizing locally to save minority-owned businesses

Integrity Icon 2020: Meet Dr. Ruth Abaya

The pediatric ER doctor and public health manager is using every avenue possible to heal the other epidemic in our midst: gun violence

Josh Shapiro’s Mic Drop

Catching up with the AG on his take-no-prisoners Supreme Court Brief that helped to expose the fraud that is Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Dropping Science

Join us next Tuesday to hear the best-selling author and inspirational orator hold forth on his new book, Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America, in a conversation with Citizen contributor Dr. James Peterson

Let’s Say Black Lives Mattered

A Penn professor and novelist on what life would be like if we could see the sacred in each other

The Citizen Updates: Houwzer’s Next Move

Mike Maher’s growing, Philly-based real estate company has launched a nonprofit arm that's poised to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help underserved people buy homes

10+ Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

We can all make the holidays brighter for others this year. Here, some simple, tangible, impactful ways to get started

Rallying for the Neighborhood

New Kensington Community Development Corporation has stepped in where government has failed, to help neighborhood businesses survive the pandemic. Could this be a model for other communities?

Et tu, Martina?

A year ago, she was the best hope for reform in Philly politics. But now Republican State Rep. Martina White has thrown her lot in with the crazies who deny the results of a free and fair election.

The Bok Evolution

Six years ago, developer Lindsey Scannapieco set out to turn an old South Philly school building into a space for Philly’s creative class. She overcame neighborhood skeptics to become so much more.

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “Joy Is A Form of Rebellion”

Five takeaways from Week 2 of our Ideas We Should Steal Festival—and ways we can all make a better city

Holiday Gift Guide: 25+ Philly gifts for everyone on your list

Check out our annual gift guide to discover a host of Philly-made goods that give back

Building A Health Assurance System

In an excerpt from their book, Unhealthcare, Jefferson CEO Stephen Klasko and a Silicon Valley disruptor offer innovative ideas to reinvent health care

The Color of Coronavirus: Engines for Misery in the Racial Pandemic

We know that people of color suffer more from Covid-19. A Philly-born researcher makes the case that racism makes the pandemic worse for everyone

The Age of Denial, Philly-Style

How Councilwoman Helen Gym, Mayor Jim Kenney and even an Inky columnist are catching the allergy to reality

The Citizen Recommends: Beethoven in Beijing

A soaring new documentary from Sam Katz's History Making Productions explores the Philadelphia Orchestra’s role in the revival of classical music in China almost 50 years ago ... and the lasting global impact today

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: 5 Things We Learned from Night One

We laughed, we cried, we learned so much. Here's just a teaser from the opening night of our 3rd annual Festival. Join us for the remaining evenings to be part of the solution.

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “You Can’t Be Afraid of the Mess”

After last year’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, The Citizen awarded $50,000 to pilot a basketball-based gun violence reduction program in Philly. Its long journey has just begun.

How to Help During the Pandemic Right Now

Here, our regularly updated guide to specific ways you can continue to help communities affected by Covid-19

Guest Commentary: Is the Philadelphia Committee Person an Endangered Species?

The key to unlocking more civic engagement in elections could be you

Guest Commentary: Let Philly Be Our Guide Out of Our Divisions

The insights on government penned in the city centuries ago, and the work of religious and community organizations here today, point a way forward for America

The People’s Kitchen

Local chefs are serving food to those in need, while fueling awareness and action around social justice

The New RFK?

The election results reveal the potential for a transformative new coalition—if Joe Biden and progressives have the guts to go there

Changing Behavior … For Good

Wharton professor Katy Milkman is co-leading groundbreaking research, along with her Penn colleague Angela Duckworth, to uncover why we make the decisions we do, and how we can make better ones—that stick

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: How Art Can Change the World

Join The Citizen in December to hear from Jane Golden, Shepherd Fairey, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Hank Willis Thomas, and many more

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: Comedy as the New Frontier of Journalism

Can satire help change the world? Roy Wood Jr. says yes.

“I Call Them Momola and the Mensch”

Catching up with Delaware Rabbi Michael Beals, also known as “Joe Biden’s rabbi”

How Lisa Deeley Saved Democracy

She’s a Democratic party loyalist. But, along with her co-city commissioners, Omar Sabir and Republican Al Schmidt, the Northeast native spearheaded a heroic election process.

Business for Good: Germ Hero

A trio of entrepreneurs has brought their proprietary cleaning product to Philly to keep businesses clean and customers safe in the age of Covid-19

The Citizen Recommends: World Kindness Day 2020

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation is rallying behind Friday’s international day of, well, being a solid human. You should, too

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “Things That Matter”

With Hill-Freedman World Academy’s fourth album, students weave the anguish of 2020 into powerful new music

Winning and Losing On Election Night

Who’s up? Who’s down? And is there a path forward for a President Biden to change the tone of our politics?

Citizens of the Week: Philly’s School Nurses

The unsung health heroes of the pandemic have risen to the challenge of new job descriptions

Business for Good: Aardvark Mobile Health

The Conshohocken-based business is fighting the spread of Covid-19 by meeting people where they are

Ideas We Should Steal: Winterizing Outdoor Dining

Chicago invited citizens to come up with solutions to the challenges of outdoor winter dining. Philly should put out the same call.

The Citizen Voter Guide: PA General Election 2020

Election Day is officially November 3—but now is the time to get ready to vote. Here, everything you need to know to cast a ballot

The Color of Coronavirus: Racial Equity Rapid Response Teams

Some cities have deployed dedicated teams to combat the racial disparities exposed and exacerbated by Covid-19.

It’s the Capital, Stupid!

Della Clark, CEO of The Enterprise Center, has become the city’s chief evangelist for a recovery that invests in Black and brown entrepreneurs

Ideas We Should Steal: Mental Health Police Reforms That Work

If we really want to honor Walter Wallace Jr., let's look at and consider implementing some of these successful—systemic—solutions from around the world

Better Civics: Meeting People Where They Are

We hosted a block party during a pandemic, and it was great

The Crisis of Millennial Health

Independence Blue Cross and The Economy League have launched an innovative approach to addressing the surprising health needs of an entire generation

“A True Sankofa Moment”

A who’s who of civic leaders are behind Philadelphia Community Stakeholders’ new—free—pod for local students. The next challenge is scaling it.

Guest Commentary: Tackling Illiteracy

The first-ever virtual Freedom Schools Literacy Academy models liberation education—and gets results

Guest Commentary: Want to Boost Voter Turnout?

A legendary UArts professor of innovation says the advent of the secret ballot fueled voter apathy

Gathering with Dignity

Along with delicious food, a new pop-up food hall at Temple offers an innovative, stigma-free solution to campus hunger

Citizen of the Week: Larry Abrams

The South Jersey teacher and founder of BookSmiles has created a magical book bank, where teachers can load up on books to give to their students. The cost? Free.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

Well before this summer’s racial awakening, civic leaders in Buffalo came together to not only talk about race, but work on real systemic change. Is it a model for other cities?

Out of the Mouth of Babes

#VoteThatJawn and Fresh Artists tap an army of kiddos to turn out the parent vote

Business for Good: Promptworks

The local software company proves that investing in the well-being of employees and the community can be good for the bottom line, too

The Virus and the City: Big Ideas for Small Business

Drexel’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab director is out with a Marshall Plan-like report for saving small businesses and investing in equity for Black and Brown entrepreneurs

Guest Commentary: Are the polls making the same mistake all over again?

A veteran political consultant warns that by not adjusting for new pandemic voting patterns, pollsters may be missing worrisome drop-offs in Black and Latino voting

Ideas We Should Steal: Citizens’ Assemblies

A growing body of research suggests that the leadership we need right now could—quite literally—be all around us

A Crack in the Permanent Establishment

The ascension of Wharton’s Erika James, IBX’s Gregory Deavens and Comcast’s Dalila Wilson-Scott points to refreshing change among the city’s leadership class

The Citizen Recommends: “Compilation of Love”

A new album featuring Philly musicians is raising money for Women Against Abuse and the survivors of intimate partner violence who rely on the organization’s life-saving services

The Citizen Recommends: New Wharton Lecture Series

Erika H. James, Wharton’s first-ever female and African American leader, will address the pressing issues facing businesses in the States, and around the world

The Citizen Recommends: Art for Social Justice

“Points of Connection”—a collection of 10 portraits by the DA’s first-ever artist-in-residence—offers a moving look at the people impacted by, and impacting, our justice system

Ideas We Should Steal: Swap Columbus Day for an Election Day Holiday

The small city of Sandusky, Ohio, cancelled the out-of-step holiday in favor of one much needed. We should do that in Philly, too.

Larry Krasner’s Inconvenient Truth

It’s nearly three years in. Is there any data to suggest the progressive experiment of D.A. Larry Krasner is or is not working?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence with Jobs

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s anti-violence program has helped reduce shootings in Chicago’s South Side by 33 percent—while citywide, violence has spiked. The key? Economic opportunity

The Color of Coronavirus: Bearing Witness

When the pandemic hit Philly, a local photojournalist felt called to chronicle what was happening in his community. His months with the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium revealed heroism in the midst of tragedy

Ideas We Should Steal: 10 ways to fix our garbage mess

State Rep. Jared Solomon spent a day picking up city trash to understand just how bad Philly is at waste. Here, some ways to do better

“You can’t live in a vacuum”

A Lower Merion senior co-founded a student-run foreign policy media outlet that hammers home Gen Z’s commitment to tackling global problems—by finding common ground

What Would Dyson Say?

Catching up with bestselling author, professor, preacher and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson, whose much-anticipated forthcoming book provides a roadmap from racial reckoning to reconciliation

Better Civics: Claim Your Space

Good citizenship can be as simple as meeting neighbors where they are—even during a pandemic. The Better Civics co-founders offer ideas for how to do that

Big Shots

The Sixers may be struggling. But through their support of NBA Math Hoops, Philly-area kids get the all-star treatment for excelling—in the classroom

Business for Good: Jumpstart Germantown

Ken Weinstein’s anti-gentrification training program, with six spin-offs in the city and region, is keeping development local—and bringing women and people of color into the industry

The Color of Coronavirus: A Model For Possibilities

Could the proposed Healthy Town Tioga Project be the solution to the disparities that plague Philly?

Did LeBron Choke?

Missing from the NBA players’ historic wildcat strike last month was a call for bold action on economic justice. If only they’d heard of Philly nonprofit B Lab

What Failed Leadership Looks Like

In an email exchange between Council President Clarke and a constituent, not even a murder epidemic can prompt an empathetic response. This is your tax dollars at work?

Citizen of the Week: Cydney Brown

Philly’s new Youth Poet Laureate doesn’t just write well—she does G.O.O.D.

Future-Ready: Harnessing Local Brain Power

The Future Works Alliance wants to prove to the world that Philly is ready, open and planning for the world of automation. Here’s how you can help.

Better Civics: The Real Truth About Voter Apathy

It’s not that people don’t care, the founders of a new civic engagement nonprofit contend. It’s that our electoral system continuously puts up barriers to voting. Here’s what we all can do about it

Business for Good:

The four-year-old Philly company—started by a millennial and a boomer—takes on social isolation by providing an easy platform for 50,000 older adults worldwide to connect

Maybe Not an Oxymoron

Can Philly’s Innovation Management group make “bureaucrat” a synonym for “problem-solver” in City Hall, one employee at a time?

55 Shots

Two dead in a Spring Garden playground is just the latest example of a murder epidemic overtaking the city. The mayor and City Council president will hold a press conference today … about Donald Trump

I Want My Jubilee!

Center City venture capitalist and philanthropist Richard Vague has a stimulus plan that will boost the economy and address inequality. Will the political class listen?

Photo Essay: Grow Your Own

With Covid-19 food shortages looming, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society mobilized thousands of gardeners to grow food and feed their neighbors this year—an act that builds community resilience. Here, some gardening photos to inspire your own growing season.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Housing Reform We Really Need

Portland, Oregon, just passed the most revolutionary urban zoning reform in recent history to keep residents from being displaced. In Philly, that could bring housing relief to tens of thousands

Power The Polls

The city needs to recruit another 4,000 people to work the polls to ensure voting goes smoothly on November 3. Here’s why it matters—and some ways we can prevent this last minute scramble in the future

Does Police Reform Include Better Policing?

A virtual panel discussion last week was full of talk of reform. But you wouldn’t have known we’re in the midst of a tragic murder epidemic

Business for Good Update: Dropps

A $10 million investment this year has helped make the eco-friendly local laundry pod business the city’s fastest growing company. The secret? Eliminating the stupid.

Foodizen: Honeysuckle Grows Roots

Thanks to the pandemic, chef and native Philadelphian Omar Tate brought his lauded pop-up home. Now, he’s working on its reinvention: a Mantua food and community center

Guest Commentary: To Pod or Not to Pod?

Innovations like learning pods do not cause inequity. Instead, a Philly dad and schools advocate contends, it’s access to that innovation that is the real problem we need to solve

How to Build Philadelphia Back Better

Two of the country’s most prominent urban thinkers have teamed up to offer Philly a bold plan for inclusive and resilient recovery from Covid-19. Could a $250 million “Philadelphia Regeneration Fund” be in our future?

Answering Rodney

What last week's meeting between Black and Jewish leaders tells us, now that the local head of the NAACP has been jettisoned for an anti-Semitic posting

Free College for All?

Under PA State Treasurer Joe Torsella’s newest plan, Pennsylvania would join 26 other states in offering tuition-free skills training and associates degrees to all residents

Answering the—many—calls

South Philly’s SEAMAAC has fed thousands of people since March, while continuing to push the vote and the census—missions more aligned than you might think

Guest Commentary: A Love Letter to the Post Office

The USPS is in the news these days for its (potential) election-related failings. But a novelist and Penn professor remembers it for its beauty

Save Restaurants, Save Philadelphia

The RESTAURANTS Act—co-sponsored by local Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick—would bail out an industry we all love. If it’s good enough for American Airlines, why are we not backstopping Ellen Yin’s Fork?

Why The Sixers Need Jay Wright

Our dysfunctional pro team’s problems have nothing to do with basketball

Business for Good: Girls Auto Clinic

Patrice Banks has plans for another car repair shop, post-Covid. First, though, she’s launched a program aimed at getting more women of color into the car repair biz.

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.

Making Contact

The City’s 100 contact tracers spend their days delivering scary news and advice. How they do it can mean the difference between life and death.

Seriously? Now the Post Office is Dramatic?

Catching up with the Philly lawyer who used to chair the Postal Service’s board of governors. How did we get here?

The Possibilities of “If”

Meegan Denenberg and Tayyib Smith’s new incubator, co-working and networking space aims to boost Black businesses in Philly

“Actors Have to Work On Their Craft”

The Covid-19 recession has hit theater—and those who work in it—hard. A virtual networking support group is helping them stay connected

Citizens of the Week: Welcome Bread

The volunteer peanut butter and jelly brigade is helping to feed thousands of people throughout the region during the pandemic

Where’s The Beef?

It’s great that Columbus and Rizzo statues are coming down and Lady Antebellum is now Lady A, but how about agitating for substantive systemic reform?

Business for Good: The Kitchen Garden Series

A former costume designer is now working to upend the textiles industry and revive an old Philly tradition by producing local linen

The Hook is Sports

Give and Go Athletics uses sports to give kids in Brewerytown the confidence to be who they want to be

How to Fix Philly’s Trash Problem

As garbage piles up all over town, the city’s former Waste and Litter Czar shares what he’s learned about how to clean it up. Hint: It requires good leadership.

Ideas We Should Steal: Ambitious Mental Health Training for Cops

Basic mental health first aid training is de rigueur in many police forces. Tucson, Arizona, takes its approach further.

Philly’s Doomsday Election Night Scenario

A longtime political mad genius has an answer to Trump’s challenge to the legitimacy of November’s election. Oh yeah, and he just got out of prison.

Color of Coronavirus: What’s Behind Black Conspiracism?

A deep dive into understanding the rise of Covid-19 conspiracy thinking in the Black community. Ever hear of the "King Alfred Plan"?

Full-Circle Support

The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle supports Black-led, Black-serving nonprofits while disrupting the field of philanthropy

“Build Your Own Brand”

Could the key to turning around Philly schools come down to human connection? Robeson High School Principal Richard Gordon IV thinks so—and he has the outcomes to prove it

Future-Ready: Building A Tech Talent System

Other cities are capitalizing on the disruptions caused by the pandemic to rebrand themselves as innovation hubs. Can Philly do the same?

Citizens of the Week: Crescent Foundation

As people with sickle cell disease live longer, they need more and different support. A group of young patients in Philly is here to give it to them.

Breaking Down Barriers

Can Sunflower Philly, a community space in Kensington run by local artists and funded by local developers, forge a connection between new and longtime residents?

An Argument For Funding The Police

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw on her crime fighting plan, which is full of state-of-the-art reforms. So here’s a novel thought…why not fund it?

“Roll Up Your Sleeves and Get To Work”

An update on professor and activist Stephanie Sena, who is still working to uplift Philadelphians in need of food, shelter and dignity

“How Do You Make Sure People Still Get Food?”

New Philabundance CEO Loree Jones started her job in the midst of a pandemic and racial protests that roiled the city. She is exactly where she wants to be.

Reality Check: Beating the Heat

New York and Baltimore are handing out free air conditioners to low-income seniors most at risk of heat-related illness and Covid-19. Why, WURD's midday host wonders, isn’t Philly doing the same?

Recognizing Unsung City Heroes

Who are the city workers helping to keep Philadelphians clean, cool and safe during this hot summer of Covid? Nominate them for Integrity Icon.

Citizens of the Week: Mask On! Philly

Melissa Lamarre and Leon Caldwell call themselves “solutionists.” Their latest endeavor provides learning, volunteering and better health for their community.

How Jim Kenney Lost The City

Murders raging. Trash piling up. Police both running amok and turning a blind eye to enforcing laws. How’d we get here?

Business For Good: Lilu

As a Latinx woman in tech, Adriana C. Vázquez has faced uphill odds in transforming the $1.4 billion breast pump market. The Philly startup she co-founded just might do it anyway.

The Virus and the City: Now is a Great Time to Start a Business

A federal self-employment fund used by five states—but shut down by Pennsylvania—can help would-be entrepreneurs make a go of it. How about it, Congress?

The 13 Best Philly Books to Read Now

Local bookstore owners shared their favorite Philly reads at the moment—from the silly to the serious.

Ideas We Should Steal: Treat Homelessness as a Health Issue

While the City and advocates continue negotiations over the homeless encampment on the Parkway, Denver and New Jersey demonstrate some much-needed new thinking

“Recovery Doesn’t Happen by Accident”

In Chicago, Lori Lightfoot is out with a visionary post-Covid plan. A group of Philly civic leaders are working on doing the same. Here’s hoping it’s a first step.

The Color of Coronavirus: Black Mental Health Aftershocks

Black Philadelphians already suffered from trauma before the pandemic. Do we need a new approach to therapy?

Ideas We Should Steal: Police as Guardians Not Warriors

Critical thinking, empathy and kindness are saving lives from Scotland to Florida. Why not in Philly?

Guest Commentary: An Open Letter To Malcolm Jenkins

What the NFL star (and former Citizen columnist) doesn’t get about DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts

Future-Ready: Calling all CEOs

An expert on the Future of Work discusses the steps employers can take to create opportunities for Philadelphians in the post-Covid economy

Oy Vey, DeSean!

The reaction to the NFL star’s anti-Semitic postings flips the usual script … and may just offer a constructive way forward in Black / Jewish relations

Home Schooling

The ParentChild+ program has boosted high school graduation among Philly’s most vulnerable children—by showing up at their homes

Business for Good: Mosaic Development Partners

The Black-owned real estate company provides affordable housing and wealth-generating opportunities for oft-overlooked Philadelphians

Who’s your Philly hero?

Philly has some serious challenges. Let’s celebrate those public servants rising to meet them.

Business for Good: Black and Mobile

The Caviar for black-owned restaurants is having its busiest season yet—and this month, it’s relaunching with a new app to be more competitive in cities around the country

Business For Good: SustainVC

The Radnor-based firm invests in companies that address inequity, like Reconnect, whose interview with Rayshard Brooks was released just after his death at the hands of Atlanta police

Photo Essay: “You Wear The Mask For Me”

As Covid-19 cases rise in Philly, the act of wearing a mask has come to mean more than just health. It’s good citizenship

Reality Check: Cracking The Youth Voter Code

Want to get more young protesters casting a vote? WURD's midday hose urges that we start by taking them seriously

Guest Commentary: On Rizzo, Columbus, and the Confederacy

As the statues fall, a Princeton grad and local resident warns that honestly confronting our past helps us reckon with the present

Ideas We Should Steal: RIP Medical Debt

A third of Americans have medical bills they cannot pay. A New York nonprofit has helped eliminate $2 billion of that debt for the poorest of them

Guest Commentary: Teaching Black Children is a Revolutionary Act

The director of a Black teacher training program pens an open letter to new educators for their “subversive act of hope”

The Virus and the City: How To Grow Black Businesses

Post-Covid economic recovery requires providing opportunities for Black businesses to thrive. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director lays out a plan to do that

Of Newsrooms and Race

Recent events at The Inquirer and The New York Times raise questions both about racial hierarchy and the commitment to open discourse

Yesterday’s Protests, Today

In 1967, thousands of students marched to protest inadequate schooling for Black Philadelphians. In this new moment of racial uprising, a group of high schoolers won the right to honor them.

Guest Commentary: Philly’s Hot Weather Health Crisis

Heat and Covid-19 could make this the most dangerous summer on record. Two urban environmentalists with ways to make a more sustainable, resilient and just city .

Future-Ready: 5 Future-Proof FAQs

Wondering what the Future of Work is all about? A former director in the Philadelphia's Office of Workforce Development has answers.

Reality Check: In Policing, Prevention is the Best Medicine

How about we keep murderous cops off the force to begin with? WURD’s midday host lays out a plan to do that

Defund the FOP

Less police funding wouldn’t have spared George Floyd’s life or upended systemic racism. But real reform of police unions might

The Color of Coronavirus: Our Mournful Undertaking

The first in a series exploring Covid-19’s effects on Black Philadelphians asks: What else is lost when someone dies?

Green-Lighting Change

Poverty-fighting programs have spent millions in Philly—but the numbers of poor people remain high. GreenLight Fund supports data-based programs that have proven to make a real difference

Citizen of the Week: Kenneth Walker Jr.

The North Philly native turned a former campaign office into The Unity Center, a twice-weekly food distribution site whose clients have tripled since Covid-19

Foodizen: Revolutionizing Your Meat

While national suppliers come up short during the pandemic, Philly’s Primal Supply Meats is keeping fridges stocked and local farmers afloat. That’s good for our diets—and our economy

Ideas We Should Steal: Open Checkbook

Cities like New York and Pittsburgh allow the public to view every local government expenditure online. City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart wants to make that happen here, too

Ali Velshi, From The Frontlines

The MSNBC anchor and Citizen board member on covering the protests, getting shot by a so-called rubber bullet, and whether the First Amendment is in peril

How To Speed Up The Vote Count

It’s taken nearly two weeks to count ballots from the June 2 primary. Philly 3.0’s engagement director with ways to avoid democracy-threatening delays for the general election

Business For Good: Ed Satell’s Latest $1 Million CEO Challenge

The veteran entrepreneur and founder of the Satell Institute is going all out to help nonprofits during Covid-19

CHOP and the Virus

The hospital’s PolicyLab has made news with its innovative tool to track Covid-19 outbreak

Reality Check: Reinventing the Police Advisory Commission Wheel

Three years ago, Mayor Kenney “reestablished” the department’s civilian oversight board. So, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, what’s so different this time?

Ideas We Should Steal: Fighting Domestic Abuse During Covid-19

The pandemic has survivors of domestic violence trapped at home with their abusers. France, Spain and others have figured out how to reach them

Future-Ready: Why I’m Obsessed with the Future of Work

A former director in Philly’s Office of Workforce Development on what needs to happen to keep Philadelphia working

Where things stand in the 2020 primary

Last week we had the weirdest, most chaotic primary in recent history. Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down what we know so far.

Guest Commentary: Now It’s Time to Rebuild

The president of a West Philly group representing 3,000 local businesses reflects on the devastation to his community—and the work needed to move forward

Hooray! We’ve Disappeared The Frank Rizzo Statue…

… which helps precisely zero black lives today. Remember the civil rights-era admonition to keep our eyes on the prize?

Ideas We Should Steal: Ethical Policing

The New Orleans Police Department has been remade thanks to an innovative peer intervention program. Can the Philly PD undergo a similar culture change?

Guest Commentary: “No One Will Mistake Me For the Valet”

A white Temple professor acknowledges what she cannot know about racism in America—but what she must take responsibility for

The Slow Death of Black Americans

The Citizen’s new columnist reflects on what today’s media coverage glosses over: the long, wrenching story of black people in this country

Guest Commentary: Where are you, Mr. Mayor?

A Philadelphian wanted answers to why—after so many days of violent protests across the country—the City was unprepared for the looting. So he wrote to Mayor Kenney.

Citizen of the Week: Patty Bassett

The Delco mom pairs families experiencing hunger in the face of Covid-19 with those who can give—right in their own backyards

Guest Commentary: Calling Out White Noise

A white father of three young black men pens an open letter to white people

What Can We Do?

The horrendous police killing of George Floyd—on the heels of two other high-profile killings of African Americans this year—makes clear once again that we cannot stand by. Here, 13 ways all of us can start making change.

Guest Commentary: Lessons From The Locker Room

A former Eagle and community activist reacts to the killing of George Floyd by sharing lessons on diversity and common cause

Guest Commentary: George Floyd’s Ghost Is In Your Mirror

A white suburban father of three young black men on whom is really responsible for the injustice of our criminal justice system

New Blood: Just Another Socialist Revolutionary, Policy Nerd, Organizer…and Would-Be Pol

Catching up with Nikil Saval during the homestretch of his primary challenge to State Senator Larry Farnese

The Virus and the City: Wake Up, Feds!

With talk of “blue state bailouts,” the Senate has dithered in its response to Covid-19. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director urges the Federal Reserve Bank to jump in with an emergency fiscal task force

Business For Good: $3,000 Covid-19 Forgivable Loans

A group of bold-face name Philly business leaders are funding loans to small businesses left out of PPP and, in the process, providing all of us with an object lesson

Guest Commentary: Social Equity and Climate Resilience Are Economic Drivers

The director of Philly’s Sustainable Business Network offers a blueprint to creating a fairer and stronger economic ecosystem during our recovery

Citizen of the Week: Kelli Wyatt

The middle school teacher started a Facebook group that has connected 600 high school seniors with “adopters” to help them celebrate their graduation—and raise money for college expenses

Putting Money to Work

Women’s Way is set to expand a financial coaching program that has already helped 250 low- and moderate-income women save $115,000. Could it be the key to getting them through the pandemic?

The Disappearing Generation — Thanking a World War II Veteran

Thousands of the Greatest Generation have died from Covid-19 this spring. This Memorial Day, we catch up with—and thank—a local 95-year-old World War II vet

The Fix: Is Now The Time to Go Softer On Public Corruption?

A ballot question amends the charter’s ban on political activity. Is there evidence that, left to their own devices, our political players will make good government choices?

The Virus and the City: Cory Booker’s $50 Billion Bet

Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director worked with Senator Booker on his RELIEF for Main Street Act—a lifeline to small and minority-owned businesses supported by 100 mayors. Will Congress pass it?

A Green Stimulus for Philly

Penn’s resident climate wonk co-wrote a letter urging Congress to green its pandemic response. Could the public investments he supports help solve Philly’s poverty epidemic, too?

Guest Commentary: Test. Open. Recover.

A soon-to-be Princeton grad and local resident calls on Gov. Wolf to use his powers to make testing more widely available. The state depends on it

A Tamal To Feed Them All

A Philly chef makes and sells tamales with out-of-work immigrant cooks hit hard by the pandemic—and ineligible for unemployment

Guest Commentary: Fund Housing. Save Lives.

Mayor Kenney has proposed slashing the Housing Trust Fund. A longtime affordable housing advocate on why that could mean disaster—for all of us

Can We Talk This Over?

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart released an alternative to Mayor Kenney’s revised tax-and-cut budget. Will City Council listen?

Who is—And Who Isn’t—Distributing PPP Loans

Community development financial institutions like North Philly’s Beech Business Bank invest in inner city mom-and-pop businesses. So why weren’t they giving out federal Paycheck Protection Program funds?

Ideas We Should Steal: Mailing Ballots to Every Voter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered ballots be sent to all his state’s registered voters for the general election. Why don’t we do that here?

How to Remake Schools

Eight questions to consider as we look to reopening schools in Philly

The Virus and the City: Introducing Main Street Regenerators

Covid-19 has decimated small businesses. Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab Director proposes an entity to help rescue neighborhood mom and pops entrepreneurs

35 Years Later…Healing?

The anniversary of MOVE should call for more than an apology. A forthcoming documentary points the way toward true reconciliation

Guest Commentary: We Need The Arts, Now More Than Ever

Mayor Kenney has proposed cutting almost all the City’s arts funding. A local theater professional explains why that’s a bad idea, for all of us

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on who stands to gain—and who doesn’t—from Mayor Kenney’s post-Covid budget plan

Tackling the Covid Slide

Keeping students from falling behind may be simpler than we think

The Incredible Shrinking Mayor

Compared to other cities, does Jim Kenney’s budget redo qualify as a plan for recovery?

Feeding Peacetown

The pandemic hasn’t kept North Philly Peace Park from getting healthy food to their neighbors—and building a self-reliant community for the future

The Citizen Voter Guide: PA Primary Election 2020

Voting by mail in Pennsylvania or heading to the polls in Philly on June 2? Here's everything you need to know.

Ideas We Should Steal: Help for Renters and Landlords

A New Jersey landlord waived the rent for his tenants over the next three months—something most property owners probably can’t afford. How can both sides get relief?

“The Endurance Race is On”

Checking back in with an anonymous ER doctor, on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic

Reality Check: Even a pandemic can’t stop the murders

Philly’s homicide rate continues to rise, even during the quarantine. Where, WURD’s mid-day host wonders, is Danielle Outlaw in all this?

11 Mother’s Day Gifts That Give Back

Covid-19 is not canceling mom’s special day. This year, gift her something that supports Philadelphia businesses and relief efforts

The Kids Are (Mostly) Alright

Online school is ramping up this week—but as the students will tell you, it’s not the same. Here’s how some are coping with life during the pandemic

Michael Rubin’s Challenge

Catching up with the billionaire who has raised in excess of $26 million to combat food insecurity during the pandemic. Now, about those ABCs…

Disaster Optimism

Covid-19 is a catastrophe. Here, six ways to turn it into an opportunity for Philadelphia

Business(es) For Good: The Pandemic Edition

Covid-19 has hit almost everyone hard. But these local companies are stepping up to help more than just their bottom line

Business For Good: Cohere

The creative agency pushes clients to thrive and do good. That’s just what Philly needs to come out of Covid-19 stronger than ever

Citizen of the Week: Shawn “Frogg” Banks

The nonprofit leader spent his youth being part of the problem in his North Philly neighborhood. Over two decades later, he’s a safe space for other kids—day, night or pandemic

The Covid-19 Budget Tsunami

This week, Mayor Kenney, promising pain, will announce a revamped budget. Are you confident it will include a vision for smart recovery?

Guest Commentary: How Not to Help Small Businesses

Congress’s plan to save the country’s businesses during the Covid-19 shutdown was a failure, a former Philly official says. Here’s how it could be done better

Reality Check: Get The Kids Connected Already

It’s nearly 50 days into the pandemic and thousands of school kids still aren’t able to access online learning. WURD’s midday host wonders, why can’t we be more like Detroit?

The Virus and the City: Reopening…Smartly

Downtowns are key to the revival of cities post-Covid-19. Drexel’s Metro Finance Director with five ways to rethink how we use Center City

The Citizen Recommends: City Nature Challenge

This Earth Day weekend, boost your mood during Covid-19 by enjoying the nature around you—and helping science while you’re at it

The Other Crisis We Can’t Ignore

What we can learn about fighting climate change from our fight against the coronavirus.

Guest Commentary: Best Game Ever

A Philadelphia father recreates a birthday trip to Citizens Bank Park for his baseball-crazy 10-year-old

Reality Check: Unprecedented Doesn’t Mean Unexpected

The City, like the country, was unprepared for Covid-19, WURD’s midday host contends. How do we do better now?

Ideas We Should Steal: Dumplings Against Hate

The grassroots campaign raises funds for businesses in New York's Chinatowns and fights coronavirus-related racism. A local activist hopes to bring it here.

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

Poverty Navigator

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

#VoteThatJawn 2020

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

Guest Commentary: Behind the Masks

A Philadelphia mother reflects on the hidden lives we cannot know in this time of coronavirus crisis

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.

Community Cure

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

Who Is Philly’s Integrity Icon?

Help us name the city worker who does the best to help Philadelphians. Prove what we know is true: Integrity is something we care about.

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.

The Citizen Updates: Our Closet

The nonprofit continues to provide clothing—and dignity—for Philadelphians from all walks of life

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?

Reality Check: Black History Month Isn’t Working

It was supposed to be a way to make black people equal and free of the legacies of racism. Instead, WURD’s midday radio host contends, it’s little more than a “cultural birthday party”

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.

Reality Check: Not All Speed Cameras Are Created Equal

The City installed speed cameras along a deadly stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard this week. Is it Black and Brown Philadelphians, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, who will pay for them?

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

Life, Death, Democracy and … Pins?

How Elkins Park-based Common Practice is at the forefront of a revolution

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.

Business for Good: Everyday Philanthropists

Entrepreneur Keith Leaphart’s new app, Philanthropi, aims to give everyday donors and nonprofits better access to their most powerful tool: each other.

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?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reducing Gun Violence With Ceasefire

Oakland cut its gun violence rate in half by using a version of programs Philly abandoned in 2015. With shootings on the rise, isn’t it time we embraced Ceasefire?

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.

How Do You Heal?

A group of Drexel doctors have launched a social media campaign to learn, and share, stories about healing from trauma. It’s something we need now more than ever

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

The Citizen Updates: Women’s Community Revitalization Project

One year after the death of Jeremy Nowak—The Citizen’s visionary founding chairman—we check in with the first-ever grantee of the award named in his honor

Saving Capitalism From Itself

Philly Congressman Brendan Boyle has signed onto Elizabeth Warren’s plan to make capitalism accountable again

Reality Check: Why are We Surprised by Unchecked Gun Violence?

Most homicide victims are black, from black neighborhoods the City has long ignored. WURD’s afternoon host has some ideas to change that

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

Hahnemann Hypocrisy

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

Guest Commentary: Who’s the culprit for Philly’s murder rate?

It’s not, a former public defender argues, criminal justice reformers. One thing that would help? Solving crimes

Seriously? Busing?

The flare-up between Joe Biden—Philly’s third senator—and Kamala Harris is a window into why people hate politics

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

Don’t-Blame-Me Policing

While Mayor Kenney hides and Police Commissioner Richard Ross and DA Krasner point fingers, the chalk outlines accumulate

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

Who Comes First in Affordable Housing?

As Philly 3.0’s engagement director makes clear, our city must do more to help those who most need homes

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Reducing Poverty—Together

In Canada, communities lifted more than 200,000 families out of poverty in seven years. Why don’t we do what they did?

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?

The Citizen Updates: A Hub for Justice

Philly won $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies for a Juvenile Justice Hub proposed by city cops. Could it become a national model of reform?

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?

Election Blues

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 askin