Broke in Philly

What should we ask political candidates about Philly’s poverty problem — and their solutions?

Send us your questions for people running for mayor and City Council.

People line up for a January 2019 food giveaway in North Philly

People line up for a January 2019 food giveaway in North Philly


Billy Penn is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at or follow at @BrokeInPhilly.

In the poorest big city in the nation, politicians are all but required to tout themselves as warriors against economic injustice. Once they get into office, however, their actions don’t always bear out their words.

How can Philadelphians tell the preachers from the practitioners?

This year’s municipal elections are the perfect opportunity to press the city’s future leaders for answers — and publish them. It’s a way to hold officials accountable to their campaign messaging once elected.

But what should we ask? Along with other newsrooms in the Broke in Philly collaborative, we’re asking readers to submit suggestions for questions to ask five mayoral contenders and 50-plus candidates for City Council.

All inquiries having to do with finances are welcome — about earning, spending or organizing money in Philadelphia, whether it’s yours or the city’s.

That includes questions about housing as well as healthcare. Schools as well as street cleaning. Maybe it’s something you struggle with every day. What’s your plan to increase affordable daycare options? Maybe it’s a policy question. Where do you stand on tax breaks to big corporations who promise to bring jobs to the city? It could even be a grander philosophical question. How do you view income inequality? What are your views on capitalism?

Submit your questions using the form below. We’ll work with our Broke in Philly partners to create a list and get them answered.

(If you have trouble accessing the embedded form, here’s a direct link.)

Want some more? Explore other Broke in Philly stories.

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Poverty, Politics