November 13, 2012
THE SHOOTING STARS Fancy Brigade, of which he's a member, is practicing on Sunday in the shadow of the Walt Whitman Bridge, but City Councilman Mark Squilla is with his mother inside the clubhouse on 3rd Street, lighting the Sterno to heat the eggplant parm. A few minutes later, he's behind the bar. He slides a plate of meat and cheese to the end, then takes a call on his cellphone - then another. "Yo," he greets a caller, and reaches for the soda gun. Squilla, 50, can't make Mummers practice because he's helping to launch the Nina Pennachietti Fund, named after his late grandmother, who emigrated from Italy as an orphan when she was 18. The $12,000 raised Sunday will help orphans with high school and college expenses.
September 14, 2012
FOR A NARROW alley in Northern Liberties, Bodine Street is packed with political intrigue. Finnigan's Wake, the politically connected bar and catering hall run by Democratic committeeman Mike Driscoll , sits at the intersection of Bodine and the 200 block of Spring Garden Street. Driscoll has big plans for both streets, and City Council was happy to help make them happen. Mayor Nutter ? Not so much. Nutter on Tuesday vetoed legislation to let Driscoll build decks over the Spring Garden Street sidewalk and put tables and landscaping on Bodine Street City Council on Thursday unanimously overrode Nutter's veto.
July 10, 2012 |
The honeymoon ended fast for City Council's six freshmen members, who were forced to wrestle with one of the most complicated budgets in recent times. Newly elected Council President Darrell Clarke warned them at Council's first session, "To my new colleagues: Guys, you are in for one heck of a ride. " And so they were. Freshmen Council members Mark Squilla, Cindy Bass, Bobby Henon, Kenyatta Johnson, Dennis O'Brien and David Oh have been dubbed "The Serious Six" by Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. for what he considers hard work and a professional approach.
May 19, 2011 |
I did not vote in Philadelphia's primary election this week. I did not register to vote, have any intention of voting, or take the time to learn about the candidates. I apologize for my apathy, but I can afford to be apathetic. It's the candidates running in the election who can't afford to be apathetic. When I opened my front door Tuesday morning to the noise of a truck-mounted loudspeaker blaring, "Vote Vern Anastasio!" I was also greeted by six pamphlets, leaflets, and fliers for Council candidates Anastasio, Mark Squilla, and James Kenney, as well as a ballot backed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98: Squilla and judicial candidates Sean Kennedy, Martin Coleman, and Michael Fanning.
May 18, 2011 |
John Dougherty worked a BlackBerry and a flip phone, gathering intelligence and transmitting orders Tuesday morning as reinforcements filtered into the Edward O'Malley Recreation Center in South Philadelphia. They would be the second wave of Local 98's Democratic primary operation. "Yo, you and Nico, are you in the truck?" Dougherty said. "How far are you? OK. Come back to EOM and grab some of these shirts and hats. " Soon, piles of red shirts and mesh trucker hats advertising First District Council candidate Mark Squilla - and green ones touting at-large Councilman Bill Green - were speeding toward 10th and Dickinson Streets.
May 5, 2011 |
It ain't easy being City Councilman Frank DiCicco, the deft South Philadelphia politician retiring in January after 16 years. But four Democrats will give it a try in the May 17 primary. Running the First District, covering parts of South Philadelphia, Center City, Old City, and the river ward neighborhoods to the north, is no simple task. "It's probably the most complex district in the city," said DiCicco, who opened up a rush to replace him in March when he announced he would not seek reelection.
April 26, 2011
Mayor Nutter, looking to help elect a City Council he can work with, endorsed Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez on Monday evening. Sánchez, in a rematch with former Councilman Danny Savage, was also endorsed by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) and State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) at the Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in Kensington. That puts the city's African American political leadership squarely behind Sánchez in the Seventh District, which stretches from North Philadelphia and Kensington to Rhawnhurst in the Northeast.
April 18, 2011 |
WAKE UP AND smell the electoral politics. In just one month, Philly voters will head to the polls for the most significant City Council elections in a generation. With five members retiring and several more seats competititve, the next Council will have the most new members since 1991, when seven new legislators were elected. All over town, lawyers, community activists and business owners are fighting to capture one of these seats. Up for grabs are the district seats held by retiring Democrats Frank DiCicco, Anna Verna, Joan Krajewski and Donna Reed Miller, as well as the Republican At-Large seat held by retiring Jack Kelly.
March 8, 2011 |
Councilman Frank DiCicco wasn't sure whether to fight on for a fifth term. Mark Squilla, one of his four challengers, wondered if he could win DiCicco's support instead. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady called the two politicians to his West Philly headquarters Saturday evening and brokered a deal - DiCicco would drop out of the race and back Squilla for election. And thus was born an endorsement, bringing together long-warring factions of the city's Democratic Party in South Philly. DiCicco and political ally Councilman Jim Kenney will support Squilla, who also has the backing of John Dougherty, leader of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.