Uber the Unfinable

City Councilman and Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) board member Al Taubenberger said Uber clients last year mistook him for an Uber driver. They hopped into his car, parked outside City Hall. Taubenberger concluded a January PPA hearing with this story.

New transparency regulations on legal defense for low-income people

Philadelphia City Council this morning unanimously voted to enact Bill 150001: a new transparency measure dealing with how the Mayor’s Office funds the legal defense of low-income people. Passing 150001, Council made its consent necessary before the City awards certain legal defense contracts worth more than $100,000. The Bill also requires that the City make the terms of those contracts Read More …

Why the Keystone Opportunity Zone Program still exists though it’s an abject failure

“Benign mercantilist” is its own taxable category as part of Pennsylvania’s Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) Program. It costs the city and the school district about $27 million in revenue a year. Philadelphia has foregone a total of $384 million in revenue through the KOZ Program between 1998 and 2012, according to the Controller’s Office. To understand the initiative’s rationale, imagine Read More …

1 in 20 Philadelphia homicides by cops, yet police oversight here’s some of the weakest nationwide

The number of deaths by Philadelphia police gunfire between 2011 and 2013 equates to over 5% of all Philadelphia homicides by firearm during that period. Newly released FBI data shows that, nationwide, the number of justifiable homicides by law officers equates to about 1% of all homicides by firearm in that same three-year span. Despite the relatively high ratio of Read More …

Are you there Philly? It’s me, Jack. Get rid of the VPRC.

The Land Bank has promised to simplify, publicize and expedite the process by which the City of Philadelphia acquires vacant property from speculators, cadavers and slumlords. As originally proposed, the Bank enjoyed a good deal of autonomy. But last minute changes to its legislation instead subordinate it to the Vacant Property Review Committee (VPRC) and Read More …