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    • City Council President Darrell Clarke. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

How City Council President Darrell Clarke stopped housing from rising on a vacant city lot and helped his landlord

Do politically connected developers get a do-over when they lose out on a city land sale? The days when City Council members simply steered public land to chosen developers are supposed…

    • Lauren Vidas (left) ran as a challenger to incumbent Kenyatta Johnson (right)

In race spotlighting South Philly gentrification, Kenyatta Johnson wins

Call it the urbanist reality check. Urban planning policy generally doesn’t make the cut for election season banter. Candidates run on education, safety, crime, jobs — not development policy. This primary…

    • Voters line up outside the polls on Election Day  in 2016. (WHYY)
Eyes on the Street

Living a block from the polls makes you 28% more likely to vote

Fewer than one in three Philadelphians voted in the last mayoral primary, and that was for an open seat. Even if we’re very lucky on Tuesday, turnout in the primary election…

    • Iron workers help build the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Lawsuit seeks to break Building Trades’ hold on city construction contracts

A lawsuit filed in federal court is challenging Philadelphia’s long-held tradition of reserving city construction work for certain labor unions. But the suit comes from a surprising source: Rival union contractors,…

    • Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon wears a Local 98 T-shirt at the Labor Day parade in 2016. Henon's office at City Council was searched by the FBI a month before. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Indicted Bobby Henon pushes for more L&I inspectors, dominates budget hearing

Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections met with rapturous praise at its Wednesday budget hearing, as City Council members suggested that the agency ask for far more funding than officials planned…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Philadelphia council introduces bill to phase out soda tax

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney just got handed a new and potentially dire challenge to the city’s soda tax — the signature achievement of his first term. A bill introduced by City…

    • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, left, shakes hands with members of City Council at City Hall on Nov. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

7 takeaways from Mayor Jim Kenney's $5 billion spending plan

Mayor Jim Kenney’s fourth budget address will put forward a modest agenda focused on improving government services in the final year of what he hopes is his first term. Previous budget…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Lobbying war over Philly soda tax still waged by the millions

Campaigns related to Philadelphia’s controversial sweetened beverage tax accounted for 40 cents on every dollar spent to influence Philadelphia legislation in 2018, according to a WHYY analysis of lobbying disclosures. Special…

    • Jannie Blackwell | Emma Lee/WHYY

Protests target West Philadelphia Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell

Sheriff’s deputies arrested an activist in Philadelphia City Hall after the Brown and Black Workers Cooperative disrupted a City Council meeting. The group interrupted the Thursday meeting with demands to end…

    • Allan Domb | Emma Lee/WHYY

Councilman Domb drops $32,000 on poll as 2019 mayors race heats up

It’s been rumored for some time that real estate magnate and Philadelphia City Councilman Allan Domb has been eying a run for mayor this year. Domb has been on the outs…

    • Philadelphia City Hall (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Developers, unions fill City Council war chests ahead of 2019 elections

Who runs Philadelphia City Council? If campaign spending is any indication, the answer is labor unions and the real estate industry. With 2019 reelections just around the bend, campaign finance reports…

    • Bobby Henon | Emma Lee/WHYY

Henon pleads not guilty to federal corruption charges

Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon pleaded “not guilty” Thursday to a string of criminal charges outlined in a sweeping federal indictment, including bribery, conspiracy, and fraud. He was released on $50,000…

    • Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon wears a Local 98 T-shirt at the Labor Day parade in 2016. Henon's office at City Council was searched by the FBI a month before. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Eyes on the Street

Power abuse: Doc, Henon and the public trust

Wednesday’s indictment of electricians union boss John Dougherty, Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon, and six others, laid out 116 counts of theft, bribery, and embezzlement. Somehow even more astounding is the…

    • A file photo of former ZBA chair James Moylan

Feds: Former ZBA head embezzled from nonprofits

James Moylan, a Pennsport chiropractor and former head of Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, was indicted Tuesday by federal authorities on charges that he embezzled money from two nonprofits he organized.…

    • Jamie Gauthier stands in Fairmount Park.

Fairmount Park Conservancy leader to challenge Blackwell for Philly Council seat

Former Fairmount Park Conservancy executive director Jamie Gauthier will challenge longtime City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell for control of West Philadelphia’s 3rd District. Gauthier took the reins at the conservancy, a fundraising…

    • A Philadelphia judge owned this rowhome at 1514 N. Hollywood St. bought the adjacent vacant lots from the city to use as sideyards. He then sold all three properties. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philly judge makes $135,000 gaming city land sales

A Philadelphia judge played the city’s land sale process to flip a publicly owned lot for a windfall, again calling into question city’s process for appraising and selling its land. The…

    • GROCERIES

Shutdown: SNAP funded through February but outage glitch unfixed

It wasn’t until Colleen Goodwyn got to the front of the line at Aldi that the cashier told her EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) wasn’t working. That meant the store couldn’t accept…

    • Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philly DA Krasner wants to personally try cases in 2019

Supporters of Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner voted him into office to be something of an anti-prosecutor — a former defense attorney with deep criminal justice reform bona fides. But during an…

    • Philadelphia Police Detective Lawrence Greene bought 2931 Waterloo Street, center, in an auction of property seized by the District Attorney.

Inside the Philadelphia DA’s side hustle — selling seized homes to speculators and cops

Maleny Vazquez remembers when the police came and took the house across the street. Vazquez has only lived on this block of Waterloo Street for a few years, but in this…

    • Councilman Kenyatta Johnson responds to report on racial disparities in Philadelphia home loans. Emma Lee/WHYY

City Councilmen respond to land-flip scandal with an offer of reform

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill on Thursday that they say creates new safeguards against corrupt land dealing in City Hall. Introduced on the tail…

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