News

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.

The Fourth of July Thoughts 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

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

How to Support Veterans

More than a dozen ways to give back to those who fought to keep you free — from volunteering to donating to sending care packages

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

Two Years Later, 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

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

How to turn “almost-alums” into college grads

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

10+ Farmers Markets In and Around Philly

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

Is Elon Musk a Free Speech Savior?

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

How To End Our Garbage Deluge

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

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

21 Black-Owned Businesses That Do Good

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

Ideas We Should Steal: More Public Defense Spending

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

Guest Commentary: Yes, We Are Taxadelphia

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

Generation Change Philly: The College Funding Crusader

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

SEPTA for the Win

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

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

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

Building a Better Budget

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

Guest Commentary: We Can Have a Litter-Free Philly

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

Guest Commentary: Pre-K Polling Needs Improvement

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

The Citizen Recommends: Opportunity Summit

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

Generation Change Philly: The Restaurant Mentor

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

Welcome to Fearadelphia

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

Future-Ready: The Key To Economic Growth

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Raising School Funds through Solar Power

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Make College More Affordable

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

Citizens of the Week: Cobbs Creek Park Cleanups

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

The C Word

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

The Citizen Recommends: 35 Doors Project

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

Outdoor Dining in Philadelphia

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

Generation Change Philly: The Senior Savior

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

The Economic Gift That Keeps On Giving

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

How Philly Sees Philly

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

Do We Need a Wealth Tax?

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

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?

Get Involved

Your one-stop-shop for how to get involved in your community so you can be a better, more engaged citizen of your city and the world

Citizen of the Week: Shelah Harper

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

Generation Change Philly: The Philly Booster

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

Forgiving Student Loans… For Public Servants

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

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.

Ideas We Should Steal: How to Embrace (Another Covid?) 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 second Covid winter more bearable?

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

Vet-Owned Businesses in Philly

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

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.

Know Your Constitution

Every educated citizen should understand America’s founding document—for the sake of our republic. In time for Constitution Day, a longtime college president urges its study from pre-K to grad school

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

Philadelphia Mayor’s Race: Pros and Cons of Eight Likely Candidates

What do Allan Domb and Cindy Bass’ call this week for mass vaccinations, Rebecca Rhynhart’s recent critical report on the Kenney administration, and Jeff Brown’s plans to run for mayor all signal? That we’re closer to 2023 than you might think.

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 in 2021

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

Business For Good: Power Home Remodeling

The Chester-based company's commitment to veterans isn't some feel-good photo-op—it's a profitable business model for others to follow

The Citizen Recommends: World Kindness Day 2020

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation is rallying behind Friday’s international day of, well, being a solid human. You should, too

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020: “Things That Matter”

With Hill-Freedman World Academy’s fourth album, students weave the anguish of 2020 into powerful new music

Winning and Losing On Election Night

Who’s up? Who’s down? And is there a path forward for a President Biden to change the tone of our politics?

Citizens of the Week: Philly’s School Nurses

The unsung health heroes of the pandemic have risen to the challenge of new job descriptions

Business for Good: Aardvark Mobile Health

The Conshohocken-based business is fighting the spread of Covid-19 by meeting people where they are

Ideas We Should Steal: Winterizing Outdoor Dining

Chicago invited citizens to come up with solutions to the challenges of outdoor winter dining. Philly should put out the same call.

The Citizen Voter Guide: PA General Election 2020

Election Day is officially November 3—but now is the time to get ready to vote. Here, everything you need to know to cast a ballot

The Color of Coronavirus: Racial Equity Rapid Response Teams

Some cities have deployed dedicated teams to combat the racial disparities exposed and exacerbated by Covid-19.

It’s the Capital, Stupid!

Della Clark, CEO of The Enterprise Center, has become the city’s chief evangelist for a recovery that invests in Black and brown entrepreneurs

Ideas We Should Steal: Mental Health Police Reforms That Work

If we really want to honor Walter Wallace Jr., let's look at and consider implementing some of these successful—systemic—solutions from around the world

Better Civics: Meeting People Where They Are

We hosted a block party during a pandemic, and it was great

The Crisis of Millennial Health

Independence Blue Cross and The Economy League have launched an innovative approach to addressing the surprising health needs of an entire generation

“A True Sankofa Moment”

A who’s who of civic leaders are behind Philadelphia Community Stakeholders’ new—free—pod for local students. The next challenge is scaling it.

Guest Commentary: Tackling Illiteracy

The first-ever virtual Freedom Schools Literacy Academy models liberation education—and gets results

Guest Commentary: Want to Boost Voter Turnout?

A legendary UArts professor of innovation says the advent of the secret ballot fueled voter apathy

Gathering with Dignity

Along with delicious food, a new pop-up food hall at Temple offers an innovative, stigma-free solution to campus hunger

Citizen of the Week: Larry Abrams

The South Jersey teacher and founder of BookSmiles has created a magical book bank, where teachers can load up on books to give to their students. The cost? Free.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable

Well before this summer’s racial awakening, civic leaders in Buffalo came together to not only talk about race, but work on real systemic change. Is it a model for other cities?

Out of the Mouth of Babes

#VoteThatJawn and Fresh Artists tap an army of kiddos to turn out the parent vote

Business for Good: Promptworks

The local software company proves that investing in the well-being of employees and the community can be good for the bottom line, too

The Virus and the City: Big Ideas for Small Business

Drexel’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab director is out with a Marshall Plan-like report for saving small businesses and investing in equity for Black and Brown entrepreneurs

Guest Commentary: Are the polls making the same mistake all over again?

A veteran political consultant warns that by not adjusting for new pandemic voting patterns, pollsters may be missing worrisome drop-offs in Black and Latino voting

Ideas We Should Steal: Citizens’ Assemblies

A growing body of research suggests that the leadership we need right now could—quite literally—be all around us

A Crack in the Permanent Establishment

The ascension of Wharton’s Erika James, IBX’s Gregory Deavens and Comcast’s Dalila Wilson-Scott points to refreshing change among the city’s leadership class

The Citizen Recommends: “Compilation of Love”

A new album featuring Philly musicians is raising money for Women Against Abuse and the survivors of intimate partner violence who rely on the organization’s life-saving services

The Citizen Recommends: New Wharton Lecture Series

Erika H. James, Wharton’s first-ever female and African American leader, will address the pressing issues facing businesses in the States, and around the world

The Citizen Recommends: Art for Social Justice

“Points of Connection”—a collection of 10 portraits by the DA’s first-ever artist-in-residence—offers a moving look at the people impacted by, and impacting, our justice system

Ideas We Should Steal: Swap Columbus Day for an Election Day Holiday

The small city of Sandusky, Ohio, cancelled the out-of-step holiday in favor of one much needed. We should do that in Philly, too.

Larry Krasner’s Inconvenient Truth

It’s nearly three years in. Is there any data to suggest the progressive experiment of D.A. Larry Krasner is or is not working?

Ideas We Should Steal: Reduce Gun Violence with Jobs

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s anti-violence program has helped reduce shootings in Chicago’s South Side by 33 percent—while citywide, violence has spiked. The key? Economic opportunity

The Color of Coronavirus: Bearing Witness

When the pandemic hit Philly, a local photojournalist felt called to chronicle what was happening in his community. His months with the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium revealed heroism in the midst of tragedy

Ideas We Should Steal: 10 ways to fix our garbage mess

State Rep. Jared Solomon spent a day picking up city trash to understand just how bad Philly is at waste. Here, some ways to do better

“You can’t live in a vacuum”

A Lower Merion senior co-founded a student-run foreign policy media outlet that hammers home Gen Z’s commitment to tackling global problems—by finding common ground

What Would Dyson Say?

Catching up with bestselling author, professor, preacher and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson, whose much-anticipated forthcoming book provides a roadmap from racial reckoning to reconciliation

Better Civics: Claim Your Space

Good citizenship can be as simple as meeting neighbors where they are—even during a pandemic. The Better Civics co-founders offer ideas for how to do that

Big Shots

The Sixers may be struggling. But through their support of NBA Math Hoops, Philly-area kids get the all-star treatment for excelling—in the classroom

Business for Good: Jumpstart Germantown

Ken Weinstein’s anti-gentrification training program, with six spin-offs in the city and region, is keeping development local—and bringing women and people of color into the industry

The Color of Coronavirus: A Model For Possibilities

Could the proposed Healthy Town Tioga Project be the solution to the disparities that plague Philly?

Did LeBron Choke?

Missing from the NBA players’ historic wildcat strike last month was a call for bold action on economic justice. If only they’d heard of Philly nonprofit B Lab

What Failed Leadership Looks Like

In an email exchange between Council President Clarke and a constituent, not even a murder epidemic can prompt an empathetic response. This is your tax dollars at work?

Citizen of the Week: Cydney Brown

Philly’s new Youth Poet Laureate doesn’t just write well—she does G.O.O.D.

Future-Ready: Harnessing Local Brain Power

The Future Works Alliance wants to prove to the world that Philly is ready, open and planning for the world of automation. Here’s how you can help.

Better Civics: The Real Truth About Voter Apathy

It’s not that people don’t care, the founders of a new civic engagement nonprofit contend. It’s that our electoral system continuously puts up barriers to voting. Here’s what we all can do about it

Business for Good: OneClick.chat

The four-year-old Philly company—started by a millennial and a boomer—takes on social isolation by providing an easy platform for 50,000 older adults worldwide to connect

Maybe Not an Oxymoron

Can Philly’s Innovation Management group make “bureaucrat” a synonym for “problem-solver” in City Hall, one employee at a time?

55 Shots

Two dead in a Spring Garden playground is just the latest example of a murder epidemic overtaking the city. The mayor and City Council president will hold a press conference today … about Donald Trump

I Want My Jubilee!

Center City venture capitalist and philanthropist Richard Vague has a stimulus plan that will boost the economy and address inequality. Will the political class listen?

Photo Essay: Grow Your Own

With Covid-19 food shortages looming, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society mobilized thousands of gardeners to grow food and feed their neighbors this year—an act that builds community resilience. Here, some gardening photos to inspire your own growing season.

Ideas We Should Steal: The Housing Reform We Really Need

Portland, Oregon, just passed the most revolutionary urban zoning reform in recent history to keep residents from being displaced. In Philly, that could bring housing relief to tens of thousands

Power The Polls

The city needs to recruit another 4,000 people to work the polls to ensure voting goes smoothly on November 3. Here’s why it matters—and some ways we can prevent this last minute scramble in the future

Does Police Reform Include Better Policing?

A virtual panel discussion last week was full of talk of reform. But you wouldn’t have known we’re in the midst of a tragic murder epidemic

Business for Good Update: Dropps

A $10 million investment this year has helped make the eco-friendly local laundry pod business the city’s fastest growing company. The secret? Eliminating the stupid.

Foodizen: Honeysuckle Grows Roots

Thanks to the pandemic, chef and native Philadelphian Omar Tate brought his lauded pop-up home. Now, he’s working on its reinvention: a Mantua food and community center

Guest Commentary: To Pod or Not to Pod?

Innovations like learning pods do not cause inequity. Instead, a Philly dad and schools advocate contends, it’s access to that innovation that is the real problem we need to solve

How to Build Philadelphia Back Better

Two of the country’s most prominent urban thinkers have teamed up to offer Philly a bold plan for inclusive and resilient recovery from Covid-19. Could a $250 million “Philadelphia Regeneration Fund” be in our future?

Answering Rodney

What last week's meeting between Black and Jewish leaders tells us, now that the local head of the NAACP has been jettisoned for an anti-Semitic posting

Free College for All?

Under PA State Treasurer Joe Torsella’s newest plan, Pennsylvania would join 26 other states in offering tuition-free skills training and associates degrees to all residents

Answering the—many—calls

South Philly’s SEAMAAC has fed thousands of people since March, while continuing to push the vote and the census—missions more aligned than you might think

Guest Commentary: A Love Letter to the Post Office

The USPS is in the news these days for its (potential) election-related failings. But a novelist and Penn professor remembers it for its beauty

Save Restaurants, Save Philadelphia

The RESTAURANTS Act—co-sponsored by local Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick—would bail out an industry we all love. If it’s good enough for American Airlines, why are we not backstopping Ellen Yin’s Fork?

Why The Sixers Need Jay Wright

Our dysfunctional pro team’s problems have nothing to do with basketball

Business for Good: Girls Auto Clinic

Patrice Banks has plans for another car repair shop, post-Covid. First, though, she’s launched a program aimed at getting more women of color into the car repair biz.

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

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Security Deposit Alternatives

An option for a security deposit insurance program is helping landlords and tenants fill 400,000 apartments nationwide, including some in Philly. Should it become law here, as it is in Cincinnati?

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

Ideas We Should Steal: Reusable Bag Share

As City Council considers banning plastic bags, Green Philly highlights a Collingswood program that could make going bag-free easier for consumers and businesses

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

Who’s Running for City Council?

Learn about all the candidates running for City Council during the Philadelphia general election on November 5

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

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 asking for your vote on Tuesday. Here, we look at how well he kept his promises from 2015

New Blood: 10th District Candidate Judy Moore

The first-time Council candidate is a true outsider who turned her own life around and now wants to do the same for her native Northeast

Foodizen: Not Cambodia Town

Our series on the nexus of food and culture explores the flavors of the South Philly area around Mifflin Square Park, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city

Stop The Presses—We Had a Debate

Last night’s mayoral debate actually had some substance. Who knew?

Business For Good: iBreastExam

The device, by a Philly-area engineer, is helping poor women around the world check for breast cancer earlier and cheaper. It could save lives here, as well

The Lingering Trauma of MOVE

Thirty-four years ago today, Philadelphia became the only city in American history to bomb itself. Have we recovered?

“Not One Creative Idea”

Former Mayor John Street says that Jim Kenney has let down African-American voters and Philly’s neighborhoods. Why is he so outraged?

Citizens of the Week: 10,000 White Women—Doing the Work

There's no perfect way to talk about race. But four friends are igniting conversations among a group that could use more of them: white women

New Blood: Council Candidate Drew Murray

The newly-minted Republican wants to bring a more conservative nuance to Council. The next in a series asks, Is Philly ready for his brand of politics?

Grow, Philly

The vast amount of vacant land in Philly offers a rare opportunity for the city to be a national leader. Can we become our own bread basket?

Who’s Running for City Council?

The Citizen’s Guide to the many candidates on the ballot May 21

The Citizen 2019 Primary Election Guide

Voting May 21st? Here's what you need to know

Philly’s Voting Machine Fiasco…

...is even worse than you thought. The City wants to buy a costly machine that may be easily-hacked. Is it too late to stop it?

New Blood: Common Pleas Judicial Candidate Kay Yu

The next in an ongoing series finds a first-generation candidate wading into the absurd way we elect judges. Why? Because of where she’s been

Reality Check: Let the Teens Vote

In some towns, Americans as young as 16 can vote. WURD’s afternoon host asks: Why not here?

Ideas We Should Steal: Men’s Sheds

A global nonprofit making its way across the U.S. is fighting loneliness and depression in older men by bringing them together to build things. Could the next shed be here in Philly?

The Citizen Recommends: ImpactPHL’s Total Impact

Among the speakers not to miss at this week’s impact investing conference is Catherine Berman of CNote, a platform that funds women-owned startups

New Blood: City Council Candidate Eryn Santamoor

A former Nutter administration policy nerd has—not surprisingly—drafted an action plan for the city with depth and clarity. The next in an ongoing series wonders, will it matter?

Citizen of the Week: Michelle Angela Ortiz

The South Philly artist activist works to empower immigrants and galvanize the public and lawmakers into action through compassion

Talking Trash

The Mayor’s new street sweeping pilot may cause more pollution in our already polluted city. Is this really a solution worth celebrating?

Foodizen: What’s in Your Glass?

Our series on the nexus of food and culture explores the natural wine trend that has finally caught on in Philly. Will drinking it make you a better person?

Business For Good: FS Investments

By putting employees and community first—and offering elite investment opportunities to the middle class—the Navy Yard company is modeling a new way to think about financial firms

Reality Check: Mayor Kenney’s Black Problem

The Mayor’s office and board appointees are overwhelmingly white. WURD’s afternoon host wonders: Has he delivered on what he promised to Black voters?

Business For Good: Sapient Industries

The Philly startup provides companies the tools to save energy costs—and preserve the planet. So far, 120,000 building clients have signed on

Ideas We Should Steal: Tech for Turnout

Two years after the presidential election galvanized mostly progressive technologists, their innovations brought more voters to the polls in 2018. Expect more of that in Philly, too

Jim Kenney’s Taxadelphia

Property taxes are going up again. Why is it always groundhog day for the middle class Philadelphia taxpayer?

Kenyatta’s Gentrification Blame Game

The Councilman says his opponent is responsible for soaring home prices in South Philly. But as Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, he's the one with the power

The Fix: Corruption Is On The Ballot…In Chicago!

Can the Windy City’s stunning mayoral election results serve as an object lesson for Philly?

“They Can Win”

When their garden project was halted because of lead in their school, students at Furness High School embarked on a different campaign: To clean every toxic school in Philly

Reality Check: Let’s Bail out CCP

In the wake of last week’s union agreement, WURD’s afternoon host offers a fix to our community college’s financial woes. Hint: Look at area higher ed’s endowments

The Shame of the Sheriff’s Race

Two women, both African American, are running to unseat accused sexual harasser Sheriff Jewell Williams this year. Did you even know?

Joe Biden Embraced Me and I Loved It

The VP's handsiness comes from a bygone political tradition. Is it a candidacy-imperiling crisis?

Foodizen: Breaking Bread

The next in a series on the nexus of food and culture explores Philly’s new wave of sustainable, socially-conscious bakeries at the forefront of change

Business For Good: Consumption with a Conscience

Philly-based Wearwell is a clothing delivery service that will have you looking—and doing—good

Reality Check: Raise The Rates

Only 25 percent of Philadelphians have bachelors degrees. WURD’s afternoon host wonders: Why aren’t local universities doing more to change that?

How to Get Better Elections

The City Commissioners are charged with managing elections so more people can vote. Philly 3.0’s engagement director lays out a five-point platform for choosing the best commissioner candidates this year

Ideas We Should Steal: More Young Voters

Districts around the country—including University City in Philly—saw a huge uptick in young voters during the midterms. Harnessing that citywide could sway elections

Business for Good: Live Life Nice

Christian Crosby and Ashley Kane are making kindness cool with a booming social media platform and an apparel line supported by the Sixers Innovation Lab

Foodizen: What’s a Food Hall, Anyway?

Philly is late to the national food trend. The latest in a series on the nexus of food and culture wonders: Will we embrace the Bourse’s new effort?

The Last Outraged Philadelphian

Today State Rep. Jared Solomon is announcing a bill to give voters recall power. Why is he seemingly the only person worked up about Philly’s culture of corruption?

The Citizen Updates: DuckDuckGo

The Paoli-based search engine—whose founder, Gabriel Weinberg, testified before Congress this month— never has and never will track your data. Amen.

New Blood: Jamie Gauthier

It’s been nearly 45 years since someone not named Blackwell has represented Council’s 3rd District. The next in an ongoing series asks: Might that be changing?

Ideas We Should Steal: Voter Turnout Contest

In Cumberland County, NJ, a competition among cities helped to boost 2018 turnout by 13 percent. Could Philly’s competitive spirit be the key to more votes here, too?

Try. Fail. Try Again.

The political consequences of failure keep American cities from engaging in real innovation. Can we change that in Philly?

Reality Check: Why Weed?

As Lt. Governor John Fetterman continues his statewide marijuana tour, WURD’s afternoon host contends there are more pressing issues to consider

Who’s Running for Office?

More than 100 municipal candidates filed petitions to get on the ballot last week. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, that could mean an unusually competitive election season

Budget Games

Mayor Kenney says there’s no alternative to the soda tax to fund pre-K and Rebuild. Guess who disagrees? Candidate Kenney in 2015

The Street Corner Answer

Intensely local investments rescued a Louisville neighborhood from the brink. Could it be a new way to think about economic development?

Citizens of the Week: Erin Kreszl and Christine Kondra

When these local sisters lost their beloved cousin to a ruptured brain aneurysm, they vowed to spare others their heartbreak

Foodizen: Cooking for the Culture

Chef Elijah Milligan’s pop-up dinners showcase the talents of Philly-based African American chefs. It’s a start to equalizing the restaurant industry

The Vacant Land Problem…

...is still a City Council problem. Philly 3.0’s engagement director on a new report that puts Councilmanic Prerogative in the cross hairs

New Blood: Lauren Vidas

The next in an ongoing series looks at the former Council staffer and lobbyist who is challenging Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Her slogan? “Expect more and demand better.”

Ideas We Should Steal: Giving Locally

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

Assessment Hell

Mayor Kenney is replacing his chief property assessor. But will he fix the broken assessment system?

Business for Good: Help for the Helpers

D3 Developers is replicating its teacher-centric Oxford Mills model with housing for another group of city do-gooders: health and wellness workers

Prerogative on the Ballot

A string of bad land deals has put the practice of Councilmanic Prerogative in the headlines. Philly 3.0’s engagement director wonders: Will you vote on it?

What Change Feels Like

Three months out from mayoral and council elections, is Philly’s political establishment heading for a reckoning?

Second (Science) City No More

Could a bold Penn investment strategy jumpstart the makeover our city needs?

Ideas We Should Steal: Art for the Aging

A Portland program is helping senior citizen artists connect more with their community and even make extra money. It could be a boon for Philly’s growing senior population

Reality Check: Voting Green

Why aren’t our elected officials talking more about climate change and pollution? This election, WURD’s afternoon host says, voters should demand it

The War On Growth

The city is banning cashless stores while the state cuts investment in tech startups. Remember when progressives used to believe in creating jobs?

Is Allan Domb Running for Mayor?

And other speculations from the political class as election season revs up

The New Philadelphia Story

The coming age of Artificial Intelligence offers us a chance at reinvention. Will we be bold enough to take it?

“What’s Missing is Boldness”

The City announced its new sexual harassment policies this month, and two state legislators proposed a new way to review harassment claims in Harrisburg. They are a start anyway

How To Fix City Council

Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on two reforms that could make local elections more competitive—and make for better outcomes

New Blood: City Council Candidate Justin DiBerardinis

The next in an ongoing series on the 37-year-old community organizer with a familiar last name who has some big ideas

Foodizen: Georgian On My Mind

The next in a series on the nexus of food and urban culture takes us on a journey—to the heart of Eurasia's Georgian cuisine in the far Northeast

The Citizen Updates: Stepwise

Formerly FixList, the startup has grown in size and scope while remaining true to its mission: to empower anyone with the real estate know-how to make their deal—and our city—thrive

The Threat

In the wake of last week’s Instagram threat against 10 Philly schools, here are some ideas for actually keeping our kids safe

Move the Navy Yard North

It’s unlikely we’ll get a subway extension to the Navy Yard soon. Philly 3.0’s engagement director suggests instead focusing development at the current end of the line

Doc’s Indefensible Defense

The union leader and Councilman Bobby Henon, both indicted, want you to believe they’re the victims. Be wary of that spin

Michael Rubin’s $50 Million Big Bet

The entrepreneur and Meek Mill BFF doesn't do anything half-assed. The parole and probation system might not know what hit it

Foodizen: Satay in the City

The series on the nexus of food and culture looks at satay, a window into Philly’s substantial Indonesian community

Ideas We Should Steal: Turning Blight into Play Spaces

A New Orleans nonprofit transforms vacant land into playgrounds that teach design thinking. Could the same idea help Philly kids thrive in their own neighborhoods?

The Biggest Local 98 Indictment Scandal Is Totally Legal

John Dougherty and Bobby Henon may go to jail for embezzlement and other crimes. But as Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, it’s the rest that should really worry us

The Dougherty Fallout

The reaction to the federal indictment of the union leader and his acolyte, Councilman Bobby Henon, raises two questions: Where’s the outrage? And: Is corruption now on the ballot?

Mayors for President

The Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director on how city leaders can be the national problem-solvers we need

Foodizen: Identity, Reclaimed

The first of a new series on the nexus of food and culture in cities considers next-generation Lao chefs, (tastily) reshaping how Philly thinks about their cuisine

Shining a Light On Land Sales

As the City rethinks how it sells valuable vacant land, Philly 3.0's engagement director suggests something radical: Telling the truth about the process

The Real News On Philly

A spate of national stories might have us feeling good about ourselves (and Gritty). But do they tell the story we should be telling about and to ourselves?

Reality Check: Is this a Philly Jim Crow moment?

After Controller Rebecca Rhynhart’s report showing that properties in poor areas are the most unfairly taxed in the city, WURD’s afternoon host calls for a political reckoning

Business for Good: A pillbox with heart

Philly-based startup Fellow may have created the solution to one of healthcare’s biggest crises

Ideas We Should Steal: StationSoccer

Atlanta nonprofit Soccer in the Streets combines soccer and public transit to bring the sport to neighborhoods that don’t always get to play. Could Philly do something similar?

How Not To Clean A Street

Philly 3.0’s engagement director posits that Mayor Kenney’s street sweeping pilot would make air quality worse—just to avoid tough parking politics

The Fix: Term Limits For City Council?

In Arlington, Texas and across the nation, term limits are gaining steam. Would they make Council more responsive…to us?

Reality Check: More Trees, Less Crime?

Studies show that cleaner and greener neighborhoods lead to lower violence. WURD’s afternoon host urges city leaders to act like it

Ideas We Should Steal: Feeding Your Neighbors

Philly is facing a hunger crisis. An idea from three North Carolina moms could offer a solution we can all take part in

Threading a Future

Could a Baltimore nonprofit hold the answer to turning around the lives of Philly’s most at-risk teens—and our city at-large?

The Citizen Recommends: Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Temple sociologist Sara Goldrick-Rab hosts a town hall this week on college debt. Here she talks about her groundbreaking work—and the hope it brings her

What Are the Soda Tax Facts?

A new, independent study sheds some light on our ongoing political debate. Isn't it time Mayor Kenney started paying attention?

Reality Check: Violent Areas Are Hungry Areas

Violence is often linked to hunger. That’s why we need more—not fewer—supermarkets in Philadelphia

Ideas We Should Steal: Action Civics in Schools

A new Massachusetts law mandates experiential civics learning in school. It’s one way to ensure a better democracy in our children’s future

Think Locally, Invest Locally

The Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director introduces his big idea for 2019: Using local wealth to grow local wealth in cities like Philadelphia

Who’s Running in 2019?

Philly’s primary campaign season kicks off this month. Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director on what we know about the candidates so far

The Tax That Ate Philadelphia

The closing of a grocery in what will now be a food desert due to the soda tax may be a defining moment. Mayor Kenney’s response? A Trump-like personal attack

Reality Check: Philly Has a Violence Problem

And it’s time our leaders start acting like it

“We Are the World Changers”

Young people experiencing poverty from all over the world came to Philly to find solutions to their joint plight. Can they be the answer we’re looking for?

Read, Vote, Play, Be a Better Citizen in 2019

Help Philadelphia soar in 2019. Some ideas to get you started

Ideas We Should Steal: “The Real Possibilities for Change”

Connecticut’s Child FIRST program sends therapists into homes to help families address crippling mental health needs. Could it help the poorest Philadelphians get ahead?

Business For Good: Giving PTSD the Attention it Deserves

Since The Citizen last checked in, local startup NeuroFlow has grown and pivoted‚ but its mission stays the same: Providing help to vets traumatized by war

Buy New Voting Machines Already

Philly Election Commissioners are refusing to have new, reliable machines in place by 2020. As Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director notes, that puts the Presidential election at risk

The Things We Cared About

2018 was quite a year. Can we make 2019 the best one ever in Philly?

Where’s Our Growth Agenda?

In the wake of Council’s passage of Fair Work Week legislation, a panel of civic and business leaders remind us that inclusive economic growth is the real answer to addressing poverty

“It’s Not Just About Housing”

Stephanie Sena’s latest project to help the homeless would create villages of small houses on lots around the city. Is community the solution to one of our biggest ills?

Philly, Let’s Steal An Idea!

We brought together innovators from other cities. Apply by January 18th for $50,000 to steal one of three big ideas for Philly

Reality Check: How “Good Cause” Fails Renters

WURD’s afternoon host on why City Council members should not be celebrating their tepid attempt to reform tenant protections in Philly

The Fix: The Real Problem with Corrupt Land Sales? City Council

As Philly 3.0's engagement director notes, reform is hampered by Council's refusal to grapple with its own worst impulses

New Blood: Ah, The Ghosts of Scandals Past

In the next of an occasional series profiling relative newcomers to the political process, two would-be reformers eye the City Commissioner’s office.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Turnout

November’s midterm saw a higher turnout than any in recent memory. An urban demographer breaks down what that really means

Guest Commentary: Protect pedestrians. It’s Good for the Earth

A clean air advocate calls for better traffic safety measures citywide—as a way to also lessen the effects of climate change

The Fix: Shifting the Blame

In the wake of a land sale scandal, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has tried to take attention off himself. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, that’s part of the problem

Paying Off Our Debt

The Jewish community is always there for the rest of us. Now it’s time to bring them some chicken soup

Citizen of the Week: Tiffany Yau

The Penn alum launched Fulphil to inspire college students to start social impact businesses—and to stay in Philly

Don’t Silence Marc Lamont Hill. Debate Him.

The controversy over the Temple professor’s comments about Israel raises the question: Why is banishment from the public square so often the first choice of the offended?

Guest Commentary: How many people does it take to corrupt a city?

Want to put an end to Councilmanic Prerogative? A good government advocate knows one way: Elect new Councilmembers

Guest Commentary: “Great But Also Good”

Pennsylvania’s Treasurer on the passing of his friend and mentor, George H. W. Bush

The Fix: End Council-sponsored Land Sales

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson directed city land to a campaign contributor—twice. Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls for a City Charter change to outlaw such behavior

“The City That Holds No One Accountable”

How’s that for a new Philly marketing slogan? The latest example: All the high-fiving over our Amazon participation trophy

Keeping It Local

The Economy League has plans to keep millions of dollars in purchases from Penn and other institutions from leaving the city every year. Could it be the answer we’re looking for?

Hire More Lawyers. Save More Money.

A new report raises an unexpected scenario: The city could save taxpayers $45 million a year by providing lawyers for low-income renters at risk of eviction

Guest Commentary: The Key to Student Success? Relationships

A psychologist and former teacher on the benefits of “attachment theory” in schools. Hint: It’s about better learning

Guest Commentary: Bribing Businesses Won’t Boost Philly’s Economy

A free market advocate bemoans the loss of Amazon—but suggests we look to our own for creating real business opportunity in Philly

The Citizen’s (Alternative) Giving Guide

Tis the season to give. But need in Philly extends well beyond the holidays. Here, some ideas for helping Philadelphians who have less—all year round

Ideas We Should Steal: Barbershop Confessions

Black men are among the most traumatized people in the country, and also the least likely to seek help. That’s why an Arkansas man is bringing mental health help to where they are: barbershops

The Politics of Good Intentions

Narberth has banned plastic straws. Cue the cheering. But shouldn’t such an act have at least some impact on curbing marine pollution?

And We’re Off…

Butko is in, Williams is mulling, and there are other rumblings. Will we have a much-needed debate about Philly’s future in a competitive mayor’s race next year?

What Philly Can Learn From A Leaky Roof

We need more transformational thinking in our public life. It’s already happening when it comes to criminal justice reform

Business for Good: Rethink Staffing

A Bryn Mawr entrepreneur plans to offer a living wage, with benefits, for workers at his new call-in center in Kensington. That doesn’t make him a do-gooder

Hold That Champagne, Progressives

The much-anticipated blue wave turned out to be a ripple, but local philanthropist, investor and civic entrepreneur Richard Vague might have the answer for our divided times. It starts with listening

We Will Have Women

And six other takeaways from Tuesday’s midterms

Ideas We Should Steal: Make Voting Easy

In Oregon and 12 other states, voters are automatically registered to vote. In 16, they can register on election day. In several counties and states, voting is done by mail. All have higher turnouts than in PA

Vote. Then Do More.

Make a plan, bring some friends, stay engaged. 23 ways to be a better citizen—starting now

Predicting the Midterms

Philly 3.0’s engagement director games the outcome of tomorrow’s election

The Citizen 2018 General Election Guide

Voting Tuesday? Here’s what you need to know

The War Against Community

What David Adelman’s new Holocaust Memorial can tell us about last week’s horrors in Pittsburgh

Citizen of the Week: Adam Kesselman

The Lafayette Hill resident saw two problems he wanted to address in Philly: Litter and homelessness. He launched City Bright to help with both

The Citizen Updates: Borderwise

The three-year-old startup has helped 80,000 immigrants apply for green cards. For Dreamers, they’ll do it for as little as $1

Ideas We Should Steal: Racial Reconciliation

Chuck Mingo, a Philly native and pastor of an evangelical Cincinnati megachurch, on the groundbreaking program he’ll discuss at November’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival

Ideas We Should Steal: Moving The Needle on Poverty

New York is the only big American city that has cut its poverty rate. Mayor Bloomberg’s former anti-poverty czar talks about making it happen by taking risks

Reality Check: What Blue Wave?

WURD’s afternoon host warns that Pennsylvanians may not comply with those who are hoping for a progressive midterm landslide

Ideas We Should Steal: Teaching Curiosity

At next month’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, the CEO of Brooklyn’s Ascend Charter Schools will talk about turning away from “No Excuses” and toward what may be the key to education: Joy

The Next Silicon Valley Will Be…Philly?

If we want to become a major innovation hub, we’d better embrace a concept that translates roughly into “love of place”

Kenney Zoning vs…. Kenney Planning?

The Mayor’s zoning board is making bad decisions that are counter to the Mayor’s own plans for the city. Philly 3.0’s engagement director paints a picture of an administration at war with itself

Week 7: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Charlotte—on and off the field

The Citizen Recommends: A Public Forum with Adam Foss

The criminal justice reformer—and former prosecutor—is bringing his program to Philadelphia. Later this month, United Way hosts him to talk about poverty and the justice system.

A New Twist on Salvation

A design project seeks to save threatened religious spaces by reimagining their use as community hubs—for neighbors new and old

Guest Commentary: New Collaboration for a New Philly

What happens when public, private and nonprofits work together to develop a neighborhood hub? Everyone benefits

Not A Tale of Two Cities

As the president of Center City District notes, poverty is not fate. But it will remain stubborn as long as the city still lags in jobs and housing.

Hey, Big Spender

The mayor has increased the spending of your taxpayer dollars by a whopping 17 percent since taking office. What is our return on that investment?

Fixing the Problems We Can Fix

A local child welfare agency is proving that youths who struggle after foster care can lead stable lives. And you won't believe how little its intervention costs

Guest Commentary: Abolish Prisons

A lawyer and advocate calls for ending our expensive culture of incarceration—and instead spending money to help prevent many crimes in the first place

The New Politics of Zoning

City Council's new housing bills could provide at least $70 million for affordable housing. Philly 3.0's engagement director asks which neighborhoods will shoulder the responsibility

Week 5: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Minnesota—on and off the field

The Meritocratic Class Con

The problem isn’t the 1 percent. It’s the top 10 percent. Have we forgotten what got us here?

Reality Check: Lose Me The Money

The City has lost or misspent nearly $2 billion in taxpayer money—that we know of—with no consequences to anyone. WURD’s afternoon host wonders when we’re going to demand a full accounting

The Fix: “Integrity Idol”

Nationwide contests in developing countries turn honest public officials into celebrities. Let’s convince the DC-based group behind the project to bring it here

Water is Wet

And trash cans reduce litter, according to a new city report. So when, Philly 3.0’s Engagement Director wonders, is Mayor Kenney going to do something about it?

Week 4: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Tennessee—on and off the field

Black Teachers Are Not Enough

A Mastery principal notes that schools also need support to keep those—and all—teachers in their jobs

Table Talk

The second annual On the Table discussion series is scheduled for November. Can it lead to more than just talk?

Reality Check: Philly can fix its classrooms…

...but, as WURD’s afternoon host notes in the wake of the recent heat wave, it won’t.

The Fix: Councilmanic Prerogative at its Worst

Councilmember Cindy Bass wants to ban new day cares from her district. As Philly 3.0’s engagement director notes, it’s a shameful example of how politics works here

Week 3: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Indianapolis—on and off the field

Kenney In Denial

When it comes to poverty, Philly remains in last place. So why does the Mayor sound like he’s satisfied?

Citizen Engagement 101

The Citizens Planning Institute has launched 500 community activists in neighborhoods around the city by arming them with the tools to make real change

A Tree Ought to Grow in Philly

Trees increase health, safety, and air quality. So why doesn’t the city insist on planting more of them?

Build It So They Will Come

It’s greener and more lucrative to grow cities than suburbs. Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls on Mayor Kenney to make housing policies to reflect that

Week 2: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former All-Pro wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Tampa Bay—on and off the field

Art vs. Art

The Historical Commission on Friday will pick sides in a debate about our past and future cultural heritage. Will they rule for mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar or the Painted Bride Art Center?

Citizen of the Week: Thomas Quinn

The Central High School social studies teacher is on a mission to change the world outside his classroom—by registering to vote every eligible high schooler in the city

Democratizing Food

For the last decade, the Common Market has spread affordable access to locally-sourced nutrient-dense food to the city’s neediest. Now its mission is spreading nationwide

Kenney’s Housing Shortfall

The mayor’s new plan for housing could be a tool for growth. So Philly 3.0's engagement director wonders why is he aiming so low

Larry Krasner Is Right. Just Ask Him.

The district attorney is at the forefront of a social justice movement among prosecutors. He may want to consider adding some humility to his game

Week 1: Mike Quick’s Eagles Civic Season

This week, the Eagles announcer and former wide receiver, with help from a Drexel professor, looks at how Philly stacks up against Atlanta—on and off the field

“These kids are not messing around”

Sick of our politics of bitterness and bile? Take a lesson from a couple 10-year-olds

Ideas We Should Steal: Training teachers like doctors

Could a Michigan experiment to bring medical school-like training to the teaching of teachers make for better-prepared educators—and more successful students?

The Citizen Recommends: Clinica de Migrantes

On Sunday, HBO re-airs a documentary highlighting a volunteer Philly health clinic for immigrants. On September 15th, join area restaurants in supporting the work of Puentes de Salud that is more vital than ever

Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2018: Calling BS

Author Anand Giridharadas discusses his provocative new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, see him at The Citizen's Ideas Fest November 30th

Ideas We Should Steal: Helping Tenants Register to Vote

In St. Paul—where voter turnout is already an enviable 75 percent—landlords must give new tenants voter registration info. Could something similar help get more residents to the polls in Philly too?

Open Wards for All

Want better democracy? Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls for a more democratic decision-making process among the lowest elected bodies in the city

Welcome To Cellicon Valley

A week at Penn Medicine offers a glimpse into an innovation revolution that may not only change Philadelphia, but the world

Reality Check: Kenney’s Community Schools Gap

Following the Mayor’s comments in D.C. last week, WURD’s afternoon host notes that the community schools effort could be a delicious hoagie...once they put the meats in it

Steve Poses Takes On Trump

The chef responsible for Philly’s first restaurant renaissance is back with a plan to use food to turn Pennsylvania blue

Guest Commentary: Dena, Emma, Helen, #MeToo & Me

A high school teacher on the hope and inspiration she finds from the “speak-truth-to-power” generation

The Sanctuary Tragedy

By reacting to Trump like Trump, Mayor Kenney has shed more heat than light in the sanctuary debate. Maybe he should follow Jerry Brown’s lead and look for a solution

Guest Commentary: Getting Past Profit

Elizabeth Warren wants large corporations to change their profit-at-all-costs model. B Lab’s co-founder offers some ways that liberals, conservatives and the private sector might all agree on a new vision for accountable capitalism

Tracking PA’s ‘Blue Wave’ in the House

As part of a series on the upcoming election, an urban demographer looks at how the state house races are likely to play out

Voting While Young

Philly 3.0’s engagement director breaks down Pennsylvania’s surge in youth voter registration

The Citizen Recommends: Barnes Jawn(t)s

By inviting community activists to serve as docents and make up the stories behind its art, the Barnes is disrupting itself—and connecting to its founder’s anti-elitist philosophy

Guest Commentary: Remember Philly

As college students prepare to return to local campuses, a recent Penn alum reflects on how they can—and should—give back to the city that gives them so much

Vets on a Mission

A veterans nonprofit deploys hundreds of volunteers into local schools with a mission taken from their time in uniform: Service

Ideas We Should Steal: Community-Centered Development

A Portland B Corp is pushing a more inclusive process for building up a neighborhood. Can Philly learn a lesson from the most gentrified city in America?

Clean Up, Philly

Philly is the biggest city in the nation with no street cleaning. Instead we have a litter survey. Herein, some actionable ideas

The Passing of Gerry Lenfest

The death of civic hero Gerry Lenfest—like Jeremy Nowak’s passing last week—reminds us that Philly needs more civic dreamers and doers

A Force for Urban Change

In a joint project between The Citizen and The Inquirer, prominent Philadelphians weigh in with lessons culled from the life of civic icon & Citizen chairman Jeremy Nowak

Colby for a Cause

Philly hunger nonprofit Philabundance has launched an innovative program to benefit farmers, retailers, the environment, and the hungry. Its secret weapon? Cheese.

Reality Check: Who Polices 911?

In the wake of unwarranted arrests at Starbucks and the Zoo, WURD’s afternoon host says it’s time the city and state made it clear that racially-motivated 911 calls will not be tolerated

A Man—and Mind—of the People

The Citizen co-founder reflects on what made our late chairman, Jeremy Nowak, a rare gem

He Will Not Rest

The passing of civic icon and Citizen Chairman Jeremy Nowak leaves a void for those who loved him and for the city he loved

The Fix: When The Empire Strikes Back

An attack on Controller Rebecca Rhynhart by the Mayor’s allies is straight from a familiar Philly playbook

The Abatement Debate

In the first of a deep-dive series, a well-respected economist notes that two-thirds of houses bought with a 10 year tax break are still owned by their original purchaser. This is—maybe—good news for the city

Citizen of the Week: Evan Ehlers

Two years ago, the Drexel student donated 50 uneaten dining hall meals to the homeless. Now he’s started a company to share college food excess citywide

As Goes Philly, So Goes the Guv

An urban demographer lays out how the city’s votes in the upcoming race for Governor can sway the election—assuming, of course, the city votes

The Most Woke Billionaire On Earth

Main Line entrepreneur and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin’s eyes were opened to the criminal injustice system through his friend Meek Mill. Now he’s on the case.

Citizen of the Week: George Boyd

The Plymouth Meeting retiree read about the plight of a Puerto Rican hurricane evacuee family. Then he stepped up to help

What #MeToo in PA?

The state legislature failed to act on more than a dozen sexual harassment bills to protect workers across Pennsylvania. Here’s what that means for women

Guest Commentary: A Trust for the People

A year after a landmark state Supreme Court decision, a state politics watcher says we are on the cusp of broad environmental reform—funded by Marcellus Shale

The Cost of Parking

In the wake of a new report that found 640,000 more spots than residents, Philly 3.0’s engagement director calls for real changes to how we manage parking in Philly

The Problem With Being A Philly Progressive

Do you have to accept a whole lotta bad stuff in order to live your values here?

Ideas We Should Steal: Minister of Loneliness

Britain appointed the world’s first official to combat an epidemic of loneliness. A similar post here could save lives

Giving Well

Geneva Global, a certified B Corp, brings a business mindset to big money philanthropy to spread change around the globe

Reality Check: Why Aren’t We Talking About Our Water Bills?

Last week’s water main break is evidence of Philly’s infrastructure problem. But WURD’s afternoon host wonders why higher fees are again the city’s only solution

All the Right Moves

While other cultural organizations struggle to stay relevant, Christine Cox’s BalletX keeps growing, spreading the joy of dance to more people

The Revolution Must be Financed

Sundial brands built a $700 million company on the strength of its “community commerce” model. The company’s chief community officer will talk about spreading its success around the globe at next week's Citizen event

Purpose and Profit

At our event next week, Berwyn’s Jay Coen Gilbert, who helped found the international B Corp movement, will show why doing good is also good for business

17 Ways to Save America

Finding it hard to celebrate America this week? Here are some ways to make it the place you love again

The Fix

Introducing a new series, in which we delve into the city’s transactional culture of influence—and look at strategies for promoting public integrity

Beyond the Books

Fairhill’s Lillian Marrero library branch brings the poorest Philadelphians services that expand the definition of literacy far beyond the stacks. It’s a model for the future of libraries

Meet the Disruptor: Gridless

The NJ-based startup makes getting power easier and greener in the areas where it matters most: disaster sites, high risk situations and, of course, food trucks

The Art of Fair Pay

The ICA is the first museum in the country to pledge fair pay to the artists whose work it shows. Could it be at the vanguard of a movement?

Ideas We Should Steal: Democracy NYC

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has a 10-point plan for increasing civic engagement across the city. We need the same in Philly

Reality Check: Don’t ‘Philly Shrug’ This

Philly gun violence is rising at an alarming rate. Are you paying attention, Larry Krasner?

The B.S. Task Force

Do we really need a reconciliation task force to get to the bottom of the city’s accounting horrors? Or is the Mayor trying to look like he’s taking action?

Meet The Disruptor: Jared Cannon

The chef/entrepreneur’s Simply Good Jars vending machines are combating food waste while promoting healthy eating and local sourcing

Landing on Your Feet

Local nonprofit PAR-Recycle Works teaches those recently released from prison to break down electronics—and sells the resulting scrap metal

Notes from a Committee Person: How I Ran for Office—and Barely Won

In the first of a series, a young Philadelphian takes the political plunge for civic engagement—and bouncy houses

Tax Addiction

Mayor Kenney seems more committed to the soda tax than to the programs it was meant to fund. Why?

The Bike Warrior

Stuart Leon is a colorful, crusading bicycle crash lawyer whose latest case over bike lane safety takes on City Council

Citizen Of The Week: Nasihah Thompson-King

As her Mastery-Shoemaker principal attests, the high schooler benched from basketball because of her hijab is a freedom fighter for our times

Meet the Disruptors: Lia Diagnostics

Founders Bethany Edwards and Anna Couturier-Simpson have created the first FDA-approved, biodegradable pregnancy test that protects the environment and women’s privacy

Council To The Rescue?

By defying a tax-happy mayor, our august legislative body has stepped up. But that doesn’t mean Council President Darrell Clarke has found a new moral center

Ideas We Should Steal: Giving Food Waste to the Hungry

A French requirement that groceries donate surplus food has provided millions of healthy meals. Would it work here?

Trump v. The Media

Feeling anxious with every headline from D.C.? On Tuesday, join a panel of journalists from the frontlines to talk about why a free press matters

Citizen of the Week: Stephanie Sena

The Villanova professor has operated a volunteer-run winter homeless shelter with her students for several years. Now they want to open the first permanent one that welcomes pets and the disabled.

Guest Commentary: Why Immigrants Are Good for the Economy

A high school econ teacher did the math. While there may be reasons to curb immigration—money isn’t one of them

Educating While Black

The co-founder of The Fellowship for Black Male Educators on how—and why—he became a teacher

Simon’s Heart—and Ryan’s

Dad Darren Sudman and coach Gabe Infante are both intimately familiar with the pain of losing a young person to heart failure. Now they’re teaming up to support coaches across the country who share their common bond

Growing Out Of Poverty

An Inquirer op-ed by Paul Levy reminds us that doing the same thing again and again will likely yield the same old results

Philly’s Union Diversity Problem

Forty-five percent of the workers on Rebuild projects are supposed to be women or minorities. Is that attainable? A deep dive into our paucity of data about union membership

Reality Check: Brainstorming Better Turnout

This month’s primary saw an even lower number of voters than the lows of late. WURD’s afternoon host offers ways to fix our broken democracy

The Citizen Recommends: Steven Brill at The Free Library

His new book, Tailspin, may be the most important explanation yet of just how we got here

How Not To Watch Your Money

In this week’s saga of the city’s missing millions, a troubling reveal about the firm hired—at $500,000—to fix the mess. Meantime, more radio silence from the Mayor

Guest Commentary: Ditch the car

Want to encourage Philadelphians to get rid of their car? Pay them

Ideas We Should Steal: Tracing Illegal Guns

Thousands of illegal guns from Pennsylvania are used in violent crimes every year. Why don’t we track them like they do in New York?

Finally, A Business Leader Steps Up…

…In Los Angeles. But a new face on the Philly school board provides hope that private sector expertise might be on its way

Ideas We Should Steal: Transit Oriented Development

The Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland has brought many of the benefits associated with gentrification—but few of the negatives

Jim Kenney’s Bad Day

Did the election results tell us something about the state of the Mayor’s popularity?

Citizen of the Week: Scott Blunk

The volunteer at W.B. Saul High School’s on-campus farm is taking what was once seen as troublesome and expensive animal waste and transforming it from poo to profit

What Did They Know? When Did They Know It?

The city’s missing millions is turning into a full-blown scandal. The finance director and treasurer need to do the right thing

Why Philly Should Bring Back the Rooming House

L&I head David Perri is right—co-living may be the best way to create affordable housing in a city that desperately needs it

The Citizen 2018 Primary Election Guide

Voting Tuesday? Here’s what you need to know

Ah, Nostalgia

Philly native Pat Cunnane’s Obama White House memoir takes us back to what feels like decades ago

The Year of the Woman?

Madeleine Dean is among a spate of women and newcomers hoping to ride an anti-Trump wave into office. Will the same old PA politics stop them?

The Magic Garden

A student-led effort for a multi-generational garden aims to break ground this spring behind a South Philly high school near Cambodia Town, where growing food meets cultural preservation

Ideas We Should Steal: Buying Better Food

The LA-based Center for Good Food Purchasing helps districts and governments lead the way in buying healthy food. Can we get Philly schools on board?

The Case of the Missing Millions

The City misplaced $27 million of your money, didn’t reconcile its bank accounts for 7 years, and now wants to raise taxes again. Where does the buck stop?

Tracking the Election

An urban demographer wants to count your vote in real time on May 15th. Could it be the key to getting out more votes?

Our Electric Vehicle Gap

Philly lags behind other cities in putting city-owned electric cars on the street. Might SEPTA, of all places, be the model for how to turn that around?

Reality Check: The Looming Public Housing Fiasco

In the wake of HUD chief Ben Carson’s proposal to triple public housing rent, WURD’s afternoon host calls on the City to find a real solution to our rental woes

The Meek Mill Conundrum

The rapper isn’t exactly Nelson Mandela. But can his story lead to reform? And can he actually make our city safer?

The First Cosby Accuser

Author, preacher and former Penn prof Michael Eric Dyson on the fall of Bill Cosby, the rise of Meek Mill, and the meaning of Starbucks

Not Gonna Happen

Philly 3.0’s executive director takes the City Commissioners to task for refusing to upgrade city voting machines before the 2020 election—i.e. doing their jobs

Meet the Disruptor: Suzie Welsh

The entrepreneur's Birchbox-esque subscription company BINTO personalizes women’s health to meet the demands of the 21st century

“We Can’t Waste This Moment”

Finally, a business leader has a plan to bring jobs to Philadelphia. Is anyone going to follow Jerry Sweeney’s lead?

19 ways to go green in Philly

It should be Earth Day everyday. Here’s how you can do your part to make Philly cleaner, greener and healthier for everyone

Saving Dad

In an emotional personal memoir, a former city official and gun violence survivor explores the collateral impact of gun violence in our communities

Get to Work

The jobs are in the suburbs, but many Philadelphians have no way to get there. The Philadelphia Unemployment Project has the answer: Car pooling

Now Comes The Hard Part

By appointing his first school board, Mayor Kenney has taken responsibility for schools. How can we know if he’s succeeded?

Guest Commentary: Blame The Cops, Not Starbucks

A former Human Relations Commission director says the cops did little right in the arrest of two black men for the act of sitting at a cafe last weekend

The Dangers of Disruption

In a cautionary tale, a Philly entrepreneur with big dreams runs afoul of the Philadelphia Water Department

The Krasner Warning Signs

The DA’s first three months have revealed incompetency. But is there something more troubling at play?

Ideas We Should Steal: The Posse Foundation

The 29-year-old organization sends promising high school grads in groups to 56 colleges across the nation. How about getting Philly in on that pipeline?

Citizen of the Week: Charito Morales

After her brother died of an overdose in front of her at a North Philly drug encampment, the nurse put action to his last words: Maybe you can help these other guys.

Business for Good: Kensington Avenue Storefront Challenge

Shift Capital launched a contest to bring nine new businesses to the neighborhood’s main strip. Is this what smart development looks like?

Reality Check: The Rent is Too High

In the wake of the deadly North Philly fire, WURD’s afternoon host says we have an affordable living, rather than an affordable housing, crisis.

Meet the Disruptor: Paige Price

Philadelphia Theater Company's new artistic director came in and did the unthinkable: Cancelled everything. Tonight, she launches a second act

CitizenCast:Your City Defined—Cash Bail

The city has ended the practice of charging bail for many offenses. But what does that even mean?

“I Am Renata”

As part of a partnership with Buzz Bissinger and Penn’s Kelly Writers House, a young writer chronicles a young restaurant couple’s journey from devastating fire to starting over

What does a school turnaround look like?

The principal of a public school lays out the hard, slow work of improvement—and what it takes to turn schools around

What We Know About The 2018 City Elections

Dozens of first-time candidates are running for committee person. The engagement director of Philly 3.0 breaks down what that looks like

The Opposite of Gentrification

Jumpstart Germantown, brainchild of developer Ken Weinstein, trains local residents to be their own community developers

Biking Into The Future

Other cities are adopting dockless bike share. But will it work for Philly’s diverse ridership?

Citizen of the Week: Angela Val

The Point Breeze resident could have just cleaned the litter on her small block. Instead, she launched a community effort for the whole neighborhood.

I’ve Known Gun Violence

A Mastery high school principal who is both a gun owner and gunshot victim on why guns in schools makes kids less safe

What’s the Plan?

The Kenney administration and City Council are good at taxing. But why not be like other cities and tell us what our return on investment will be?

Ideas We Should Steal: Threat Assessment Teams

The best way to stop a school shooting has nothing to do with guns, or locks, or school police. It’s to prevent them from happening beforehand

Good Guy With A Gun Misses The Mark

As the city prepares for the student-led March for Our Lives, a former city official and gun violence survivor calls for real gun sense—not arming teachers

Planting a Future

West Philly’s landscaping nonprofit Green City Works trains and hires local residents to beautify their neighborhood—and gain the skills to get ahead

Reality Check: A Tax on Poor Kids

WURD’s afternoon host on how the Mayor’s proposed property tax increase to fund schools is actually bad for city kids

Rage Against The Voting Machines

Officials will tell you Pennsylvania elections are secure because our machines aren’t connected to the internet. They’re wrong.

Ideas We Should Steal: Children’s Cabinet

Mayors around the country are launching city-wide efforts to get all stakeholders thinking about what’s best for kids. Can it work here?

What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Collection

The city is owed hundreds of millions in delinquent real estate taxes. With the proposal of yet another tax hike, why are some on Council standing in the way of collection?

Guest Commentary: We Are Black Women, Hear Us Roar

WURD’s CEO reflects on the privilege and responsibility of running a female-led, Black-owned radio station in America

Citizens of the Week: Student Gun Reform Activists

Thousands of high schoolers from around the region will walk out of school Wednesday to protest inaction on gun control. And we should thank them

More than just Bloomsday

The Rosenbach is working to shed its quiet “hidden gem” rep and become the energizing hub of our city’s intellectual life

Guest Commentary: Why We Raise Taxes

A good government advocate argues that our leaders raise taxes on the poor city because they run the city poorly

The Beast

La Colombe’s Todd Carmichael has become one of the nation’s most politically outspoken CEOs. A visit inside his world reveals he’s just getting started

Reality Check: Seriously? Another Tax Hike?

WURD’s afternoon host says the Mayor’s “lazy” tax increase proposal hurts average Philadelphians. Is there a smarter way to fund our schools?

Why is this controversial?

A veteran high school teacher says holding educators accountable should be something we all agree on. Why don’t we?

Questions for the School Board

Mayor Kenney is set to choose his new school board from 27 candidates. Here are four things we need to know from them

Local Action!

The city has tried—and failed—twice before to pass local gun control. Is now the time to test the courts and state legislature and try again?

Champions of the Vote

A group of Fairhill residents are launching an effort to bring voters to the polls in May. Turns out, they’re the change they’ve been waiting for

Saving The Future, One Kid At A Time

An innovative Juvenile Justice Hub proposed by two Philly cops is a finalist for a Bloomberg Philanthropies grant. It’s time, they say, for smarter policing

Inside Philly Trump Country

Jim Kenney may have grown up in South Philly, but one ward there is all about the president

Where’s the Love in LOVE Park?

What was once an example of organic, messy urban life now feels like a graceless plane. Is that the sort of city we want?

Is This What Progress Looks Like?

Partisans like civil rights icon Ryan Costello might disagree, but the PA Supreme Court’s redrawn congressional map may be a rarity: A solution

Welcome To Oz

Ed Rendell calls BS on the legend of NRA power

Judy Wicks’ Not-Shark Tank

The legendary Philly restaurateur and activist has coralled her baby boomer friends to help new entrepreneurs get ahead. It’s her way of creating the city she wants to live in

Trust and Citizenship in the Trump Era

A new program by the Welcoming Center teaches new immigrants to be civically-engaged—so they can become citizens who make a difference

Reality Check: Where’s the real Amazon conversation?

Philly’s on the top 20 list for Amazon’s HQ2, but without the right preparation, could the results be disastrous? WURD’s afternoon host has more

Yo, Vince Fenerty: Time’s Up!

He’s an accused sexual harasser. So why is he still a ward leader?

Ideas We Should Steal: Extreme Risk Protection Orders

In the wake of the latest school shooting, there is a common measure on the books in four states that acts as a temporary restraining order, but for guns. Can we at least agree on that?

Guest Commentary: A Temple Stadium Can Spur Growth

A former Wharton prof, now head of the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, says college stadiums can benefit communities—if done right

Those Who Left

Hurricane Maria has created a hidden evacuee crisis in Philadelphia. A Puerto Rican writer living here launches a project with The Citizen to tell the stories of those forced to flee

Guest Commentary: Faith-Based Football

In his Sunday sermon last week, a prominent reverend deconstructs the Eagles’ pronouncements of faith…and finds something that can transform the city

The New Philadelphia Story

After the Amazon pitch and Super Bowl win, now’s the time to tell a new story about who we are. Maybe Doug Pederson can help

Butko’s Mic Drop

The Mayor hasn’t listened to soda tax critiques because of politics. But, given a report from the last Controller, can he afford to do that with pre-K?

Reality Check: Hey Eagles, can you do North Philly a solid?

WURD’s afternoon host urges the socially-good NFL champs to make its stadium affordable—so Temple doesn’t have to build a new one

He Rocked The World

Larry Magid’s Electric Factory turns 50 this month…and he’s celebrating by giving away $4 million

The Eagles Are Philadelphia

The key to the game is the same as the key to our city’s future: Our team’s grit

Bob Brady’s Nixon to China Move

With his announcement that he won’t seek reelection, will Bob Brady surprise us by being an agent of change at home?

Reality Check: Will Water Bills Drown Philly’s Poor?

WURD’s afternoon host wonders if a new bill assistance program can keep the water on and cover aging system costs

Rx Green

Raw food saved Groothie founder Lisa Maguire from a lifetime of pain. Now she sells her green drink at Saxbys and—soon—at a grocer near you

How The Eagles Defy Trumpism

In case you needed another reason to root for our team

What to do about a problem like Pat Meehan

PA’s 7th District is up for grabs—but not that kind of grabbing. Can we elect a woman, please?

Tomorrow’s Storytellers Today

Legendary journalist Buzz Bissinger and Penn’s Kelly Writers House partner with The Citizen to give voice to a new generation of writers

Lessons From The High Line

Philly’s ambitious Rail Park project breaks ground in the spring. Can we learn from New York’s experience and use it to help build affordable housing?

Desperate for Help

A Philadelphia principal points to an increasingly familiar culprit in the struggle to teach hard-to-reach students: Mental health issues

Turning Resistance Into Action

A year after Trumpocalypse, protests in Philly are down...but action is up

Ideas We Should Steal: Tracking The Air We Breathe

A program to monitor inhaler use among Louisville asthma patients led to health-minded policy changes. Would it work in Philly, where asthma rates are sky high?

Special Report: The Perils of the Mariner East Pipeline

Sunoco’s recently-halted project gives a glimpse of who’s looking out for our safety. Hint: The answer might just be no one

Gerrymandering’s Day in Court

Last week, a panel of North Carolina judges ordered Congressional districts redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering. Will the PA Supreme Court do the same thing?

The Pivot

With programs like Bankwork$, the 50-year-old Opportunities Industrialization Center—the brainchild of Rev. Leon Sullivan—plots a comeback

Ideas We Should Steal: Public Montessori Schools

In Puerto Rico, an experiment in alternative education is getting results in a district with struggling schools and high poverty. Could it work here?

Reality Check: Is Philly In Denial About Its Jobs Problem?

WURD’s afternoon host contends unemployment is worse than officials want you to know

Playoff Edition: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

In his final column this season, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety lays out his wish list for 2018

The Opposite of Welfare Reform

GOP-sponsored state legislation aimed at reducing welfare costs may just end up costing you more

The Letdown of the Political Memoir

Michael Nutter has written a book that raises an important question: Why?

Philly’s Middle Class Housing Problem

Why is the city so complacent about affordable homes for its middle income residents?

Citizen Of The Week: Chris Banks

A Philly native’s “Banksgiving” program gives area kids something they desperately need to raise themselves out of poverty: Financial literacy training

Thank God For Charlie Dent

Catching up with the Republican congressman from the Lehigh Valley who has become the most reasonable man in politics

Week 17: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety profiles nonprofit advocacy group Mothers In Charge

The Stigma

Members of 12-step recovery groups often stigmatize those taking medication to treat opioid addiction. Inside a Kensington support group that embraces all who show up

Where is Home?

A Penn student’s program for African immigrant children explores what it means to have a home in two worlds—and what language to say it in

Reality Check: Where is the real outrage over parking?

WURD’s afternoon host decries what’s missing from PPA conversations: The targeting of poor neighborhoods

Week 16: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety profiles Frontline Dads, which is fighting to make Philadelphia safer and more just

Divide and Rule, Philly-Style

Whether it’s legislation targeting Korean delis or street drummers, are progressives playing into Trump’s hands?

Meet the Disruptors: The One Health Company

Married duo Benjamin Lewis and Christina Lopes are revolutionizing animal testing to benefit both pets and people

Citizen Of The Week: Meagan Corrado

The Penn grad started Storiez, a narrative therapeutic tool used by hundreds of people who work with traumatized youth

Back to PPA Business As Usual

Has the Parking Authority era of reform ended before it could really begin?

Reality Check: Beyond Stop-and-Go

Councilwoman Bass’ controversial Stop-and-Go bill is an opportunity to repair the relationship between customers and owners in neighborhood corner markets

Week 15: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety profiles two organizations on the frontline of reentry

Meet the Disruptor: KickUp

The Philly startup helps school districts teach teachers better, so they can teach students better

Can Jobs Solve Philly’s Housing Problem?

Yes, the rent is too damn high, but it's because the pay is too damn low

A Year of Writing Dangerously

With freedom to say what they feel, daughters tell it like it is

Reality Check: Who cares about bullying in Philly?

WURD’s afternoon host calls on the school district to heed the call for better anti-bullying practices—before it’s too late

The Eagles Have Already Won The Super Bowl…

…of social impact. Why is this team the most aware, active and community-minded in pro sports?

Ideas We Should Steal: Friends of the Children

The 25-year-old Portland nonprofit has a proven method for ending the cycle of poverty for children—a 12.5 year mentorship

Challah for Hunger

A 13-year-old hunger-fighting group with 10,000 student volunteers turns it attention to a crisis in its midst: campus hunger

Cops And Their Feelings

Upper Darby’s police force is training to be racially and emotionally sensitive at the behest of its shockingly-woke superintendent

Special Edition: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

The Eagles safety on why he decided to stop protesting the anthem while continuing to lobby for criminal justice reform

Week 13: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice season

This week, the Eagles’ All-Pro safety profiles MenzFit, which helps low-income and formerly-incarcerated men become self-sufficient

Meet The Disruptor: Antoinette Marie Johnson

The founder and CEO of creative agency Cohere works to build a better city through the power of placemaking

Ideas We Should Steal: Participatory Defense

The program that tries to even the playing field for poor defendants has collectively reduced prison sentences by 3,350 years. Now it may come to Philly.

Reading Lesson No 1—Teach the Teachers

How can all students learn to read by 4th grade if so many teachers struggle with teaching reading?

Reality Check: Riding SEPTA While Elderly

WURD’s afternoon host admonishes the transit agency and City Council for their attitude to Philly’s seniors

Week 12: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the All-Pro safety is inspired by West Philly’s Jubilee School and its focus on social activism

Shop Your Conscience

The founder of a social impact tracking platform offers suggestions on how to be an ethical consumer this holiday season

Mapping To The Rescue

An app that tracks overdoses is helping police predict the spread of dangerous opioids. Could it help turn the tide on the epidemic?

Reality Check: How Do We Pay for Local Control of the Schools?

With the SRC disbanding, WURD’s afternoon host offers two ideas to avoid raising taxes

Week 11: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice season

This week, the Pro Bowl safety highlights the work of the Philly-based Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project

Meet The Disruptor: Communally

The Philadelphia-based “anti-poverty technology B Corp” has provided more than a million people with financial services normally reserved for the well-off

Is Tax Reform an Attack on Cities?

If the Republican tax plan becomes law, it could mean the end to urban development as we know it

Meet the Disruptor: Lorenzo Buffa

His South Philly-based Analog Watch Company makes “the opposite of an Apple watch”

Reality Check: Who Really Won This Election?

As WURD’s afternoon host notes, it wasn’t voters, despite our celebration of 20 percent turnout

Making Philadelphia Safe (From A Rapper)

What does the judge who sent Meek Mill to prison have in common with Larry Krasner?

The Citizen Recommends: Walk In My Shoes

Cops and community members share the stage to bare their souls in a new Theater of Witness production

How Not to Get Voting Reform

The farcical special election last spring in the 197th District shows just how much local Democracy is on life support

A Smarter Smart City

Could the fix for what ails Philly lay in the Kenney administration’s approach to urban technology?

What DA Race?

Tomorrow, the city will elect a new District Attorney. It would have been nice to have had a campaign that talked about keeping Philadelphians safe

Week 9: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

The Eagles All-Pro safety goes to prison

Voting Tuesday? Here’s what you need to know

The Citizen 2017 General Election Guide

Matchmaking In The Northeast

A night on Roosevelt Boulevard with State Rep. Jared Solomon and the Pennsylvania Ballet

The Ghost of Reformers Past

As the Feds raise the temperature on party boss Bob Brady, could he use it as an opportunity for reform?

Reality Check: How does the Parking Authority spend its revenue?

Not on the schools, that’s for sure. WURD’s afternoon host calls for a PPA reckoning

Week 8: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

Just hours after the Eagles’ Monday Night Football win this week, the Eagles safety was in Harrisburg, urging legislators to do the right thing

Code for Cancer

In a rebuke to the closed world of scientific research, a group of volunteer coders helped a Penn lab take on cancer

Reality Check: Four Reasons Krasner May Lose the DA’s Race

WURD’s afternoon host says the progressive candidate makes too many assumptions about Philly voters—perhaps to his peril

Week 7: Malcolm Jenkins Criminal Justice Season

The Eagles All Pro safety preps for next week's trip to Harrisburg and releases a video calling for ending cash bail

22 Ways to Help Puerto Rico

Wondering what to do after Hurricane Maria? One of the 135,000 Puerto Ricans living in Philly has some ideas

“Stop the Bleeding”

At the school district’s newest high school, students will also get an associates degree. Will that ensure they succeed in college?

The Future of Schools is Green

Can a school district program make Philly a national leader in environmental education?

Meet The Disruptor: Mike Maher

The CEO and co-founder of Houwzer is challenging traditional home buying practices—while seeking to do good

Week 6: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles safety argues for cash bail reform

Guest Commentary: The Pending Supreme Court Bombshell

A state politics watcher suggests the court is headed towards a revolutionary finding that children’s zip codes shouldn’t dictate the kind of education they get

Training For A Better Life

New Leash on Life teaches inmates to train unadoptable dogs, giving both a better future

Legally Corrupt

When the head of the local NAACP is secretly part of the Mayor’s pro-soda tax team, it proves that our most insidious corruption is perfectly legal

Reality Check: Are guns the new tobacco?

Rep. Dwight Evans tells WURD’s afternoon host that the states’ settlement with Big Tobacco should be the model for a war on guns

Week 5: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles safety shares what he has learned on police ride-alongs and issues a call for better police/community relations

Tech for Philly

Startup guru Bob Moul has turned his attention to pushing computer science education in Philly schools. Is he the evangelist we need?

Hey, Donald! Listen up!

A locally-based, nationally renowned executive coach takes us into the boardroom and reveals what it really takes to lead

Citizen Of The Week: Cheryl Rice’s You Matter Marathon

You Matter started as a local woman’s simple message of appreciation for her neighbors. Now it's making its way around the globe

Meet the Disruptor: The GREEN Program

Melissa Lee founded her study abroad eco program when she was an undergrad. Seven years later, she’s launching careers in the city’s growing sustainability industry

Reality Check: Go Vote, Please!

WURD’s afternoon host urges anyone who cares about Philly to do more than register. It’s voting that matters

Week 4: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, the Eagles safety goes on CNN to talk about his efforts to make America better

Is the National Anthem Stupid?

Why do we sing it before sporting events, anyway?

Hunting History

A local program has brought history to life for 15,000 students—and teaches citizenship, too

Guest Commentary: Go ride the bus!

An environmental activist urges Philadelphians to fight climate change in the most political way: By using SEPTA

Reality Check: The Real Parking Wars

WURD’s afternoon host on how the PPA punishes Philly’s poor

Week 3: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, Eagles All-Pro safety Malcolm Jenkins talks to NFL officials about criminal justice, and revives a call to pass the Clean Slate Act

The Amazon Follies

Is the Kenney administration creative enough to make the sale?

Ideas We Should Steal: Debit ID Cards

Philly’s long-delayed municipal ID program may have stalled again. That gives us a chance to do it better

“Tastes Like Someone Cares”

During a day in the life of a Vetri school kitchen, a bestselling novelist and founder of SafeKidsStories discovers the secret ingredient behind healthy lunches

REALITY CHECK: PROTEST WITHOUT END

Reflecting on last week’s City Council disruptions, WURD’s afternoon host calls for protests with purpose—to make real change

Week 2: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

This week, Eagles' All-Pro safety Malcolm Jenkins argues for the Clean Slate Act—so former offenders don't become reoffenders

Meet the Disruptor: Techgirlz

Through free tech classes to middle school girls in Philly, the nonprofit hopes to shape the technology industry into a more equitable place for everyone

The Citizen Recommends: Michael Smerconish’s “Divided We Stand”

The Sirius XM talk show host, CNN pundit and Inquirer columnist has posted a speech that is the best explanation yet for how Trumpism came to be

The best reason to bring Amazon to Philly

Bringing the retail giant here could be a great experiment in equitable economic development

The Case For a Gentrification Dividend

Sending neighbors a check whenever a nearby building goes up would send the message that everyone should benefit from growth

What to do about a problem like SEPTA?

The transit agency is finally sounding the alarm. It may be too little, too late

Week 1: Malcolm Jenkins’ Criminal Justice Season

In the first of a season series, Eagles' All-Pro safety Malcolm Jenkins tells how he became a reform-minded civic activist

Straight Outta Central Casting

A novice Chester County congressional candidate is a military vet, entrepreneur and engineer who seeks to be the change she wants to see in the world

Meet the Disruptor: Quaker City Coffee

A Federal Donuts owner and a former inmate partner up to pair your coffee with something much needed: Jobs for the recently incarcerated

Malcolm Jenkins’ September Surprise

Last week, the All-Pro