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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

Every Friday from now until the primary (that’s May 19!) we’ll take a look at the past week to update you on who’s up, who’s down and what you absolutely need to know about the election.

This week for the mayoral candidates was all about working the crowds — namely, teachers and the millennials. Meanwhile, the candidates are busy looking to garner 1,000 signatures on their petitions and fundraising efforts are in full swing. Let’s get into this week’s recap.

(Want up-to-the-minute updates on the mayor’s race as it evolves? Follow our story, and we’ll send you an email when news happens.)

Stock Watch

Lynne Abraham: 

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Abraham made a play for the college students this week by visiting the Penn Democrats for a chat, and while there, she addressed why she flip-flopped her stance on pot, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. The former district attorney was at one time against the decriminalization of marijuana, but has since changed her mind. She basically told the college Democrats that she’s not going to waste her breath on changing Philadelphia’s laws on pot — “Of all the things facing Philadelphia, [marijuana decriminalization] is not a big problem.”

Nelson Diaz: 

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No one can say Nelson Diaz isn’t a man with a plan. The former judge sat down with PlanPhilly this week to talk about how he plans to tackle issues like affordable housing and transportation. SEPTA to Trenton? Cool. Expand the Broad Street Line to the Navy Yard? Let’s do it.

Jim Kenney: 

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Jim Kenney had a good week. While all the candidates had the opportunities to pitch to the teachers’ union and a group of politically-connected millennials, Kenny won over the hearts of both. Signs point toward a PFT endorsement for the former councilman, and his progressive ideas make him accessible to us young’ins.

Doug Oliver: 

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Doug Oliver was questioned this week during a Philly Mag event and came across as energetic and charming (like Ed Rendell said he was), but got knocked for being extremely vague about his plans for the city. When asked what his biggest idea for the city is, he said “I don’t know what it is.” BUT! He had someone who plays an on-screen drug dealer campaigning with him. Yes, Tray Chaney, who plays Poot on The Wire, did a night of poetry and entertainment Thursday with Dougie O. (But we still think Oliver is Stringer Bell.)

Milton Street: 

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Who knows what Milton Street even does. Last week he was basically just in the news for signing another candidate’s petition. Because Milton Street.

Anthony Williams: 

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Tony Williams gets mad props for doing a *literal* mic drop at a petition pitch event for millennials, but loses points for forgetting to write in his PFT questionnaire that he actually cares about education. More about that later.

Biggest news

You can argue about how much endorsements actually matter, but garnering one from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is meaningful, especially here, where education takes center stage. Five Democratic mayoral candidates (not including Milton Street) made their pitches to 300 union members Wednesday night ISO of the endorsement. The meeting was closed to reporters, but candidates said after that most of them talked about working to develop a fair funding formula for city schools. Here’s what each candidate said. 

Best tweet

You ready to fight the Philly shrug¯\_(ツ)_/¯? Let’s get to work! https://t.co/GjYdOSQ9x6 #Kenney4Philly

— Jim Kenney (@JimFKenney) February 25, 2015

We <3 that faux-moticon.

Who messed up

When you’re pitching to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers — one of the most powerful unions in the city — it’s probably advisable to make them believe you think education is priority. Not so, Anthony Williams! The Inquirer reports the mayoral candidate wrote on his PFT questionnaire that his top three legislative priorities were: mandating annual inspections for day care facilities, reforming the Department of Licenses and Inspections and increase funding for the Streets Department. His excuse? “I can’t tell you I necessarily reflected on those.” Good.


“Signatures on a petition mean nothing more than a person’s ability to be on the ballot.”

Milton Street said those immortal words after people rightfully wondered why he signed Jim Kenney’s petition. Apparently it’s nbd.

Cool story

Shameless self-promotion time: This week Billy Penn published our Neighborhood Index: Mayoral edition in which we traced where each mayoral candidate is from (all over the city!) and looked at everything from demographics of their ‘hood to how involved they are with their respective civic associations.

What people are pissed about

A pleather couch. Seriously. A couch. Because there’s nothing that our city’s leaders have to worry about other than furniture in City Hall, our elected officials are busy arguing over where a couch belongs. Apparently, say three reporters from Philly.com, Councilman Ed Neilson pounced on a couch from now-retired Councilman (and mayoral candidate) Jim Kenney’s office. Everyone is mad.


There ARE Republicans! Here’s the party’s plans for a Philadelphia youth movement.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.