July 9, 2013 |
Eulogies for William H. Gray III, the minister and former congressman who died last Monday, will pay tribute to his fight against apartheid, his rise to majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, his service as head of the United Negro College Fund. But in the Philadelphia political world, Gray may be best memorialized as the pillar of a group of independent black activists who emerged from outside the Democratic Party structure to gain unprecedented power and spawned a generation of political and civic leaders.
February 28, 2011
There's an unseemly rush by the city Board of Ethics - with ample prodding from City Council - to get new rules in place that would free city workers from the decades-old ban on political activity. No matter what the timing, it's a bad idea that risks even more politics in the day-to-day operations of City Hall. With his passion for ridding the city of its pay-to-play political culture, Mayor Nutter should be in the forefront opposing such a backward step. With no credible opposition to his own reelection, it's even more troubling that the mayor is just going along.
October 31, 2015 |
Philadelphia's 12 Democratic members of City Council endorsed Common Pleas Court Judge Kevin Dougherty for the state Supreme Court on Thursday, The event was a final push to drum up interest in one of the most competitive races in an election that could see dismal turnout numbers. The judge thanked the Council members and quoted Maya Angelou, saying, "'I'm sustained by the love of family,' but when I look around this room and I see the people who are standing behind me, I can share with you that Philadelphia truly is the city that loves you back.
March 22, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA City Council passed an ordinance Thursday that bars city officers and employees from receiving cash from anyone seeking business or official action, while allowing receipt of non-monetary gifts worth up to $99 per donor per year. The vote was unanimous. The bill amends the existing gifts ordinance with language that is easier to enforce, and some say stricter, than is on the books now. Mayor Nutter is expected to sign the bill into law. The city code now prohibits gifts of "substantial economic value," but leaves the term undefined.
May 21, 2015 |
Two Philadelphia City Council incumbents, including 15-year veteran W. Wilson Goode Jr., failed to win the Democratic Party's endorsement Tuesday, guaranteeing there will be four new members on the 17-seat legislative body next year. Goode and Councilman Ed Neilson, both at-large members, were outpolled by three newcomers - Derek Green, former aide to retiring Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco; Allan Domb, a developer known as the city's "condo king"; and education activist Helen Gym - who were seeking to become among the party's five at-large nominees.
March 20, 2015 |
As their names were called, the candidates approached the lectern, reached into an old coffee can, and pulled out a bingo ball with a number on it. In the crowded City Hall courtroom, rival candidates and campaign managers watched eagerly, some marking down the results of a different kind of March Madness. In Philadelphia, regardless of how many signatures candidates get or what their qualifications may be, the bingo balls in the Horn & Hardart coffee tin dictate where their names appear on election day. It can be a boost or a blow.
January 8, 2014 |
City Council wants to hire a consultant to explore whether there is a "higher and better use" for the Philadelphia Gas Works than privatizing it. Council last week issued a request for proposals from experts to analyze potential uses for PGW in light of new discoveries of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The deadline for the proposals is Jan. 29. The consultant specifically would look at whether the city could get more use out of its liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) plant in Port Richmond, where gas is stored in liquid form for use on peak winter days.
April 11, 2015 |
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams wanted to make one thing clear: The eight politicians he had gathered outside on a gusty, drizzly Thursday were not there because of James F. Kenney. Williams, a Democrat running for mayor, insisted he was not reacting to the news Monday that fellow candidate Kenney had been endorsed by a group of prominent African American elected officials and ward leaders known as the Northwest Coalition. Kenney, who resigned from City Council in January to run in the May 19 Democratic primary election for mayor, is white.
November 16, 2014 |
An exasperated Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission signaled there may be serious repercussions as a consequence of City Council's failure to consider a proposed $1.86 billion privatization of Philadelphia Gas Works. Two PUC members suggested the commission, the state body responsible for setting rates, could force the city to give up the $18 million annual fee it now receives from PGW and spend the money instead on speeding up gas-main replacement. PUC Commissioner James H. Cawley also suggested the legislature should consider removing City Council and its gas agency from any regulatory oversight of the municipal utility, eliminating a vexing jurisdictional overlap.
May 22, 1991 |
Two City Council members apparently have been dumped, a third was barely hanging on and another got a scare last night in the Democratic primary. Councilman-at-large Francis Rafferty was running eighth and apparently out of the picture for five nominations. Councilman David Cohen led for the final nomination by a little more than 500 votes with 90 percent of the vote counted. In the 4th Council District, newcomer Michael Nutter, who was backed by U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III, appeared to have knocked off incumbent Councilwoman Ann Land.