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Philly changes course on Tubman statue after public outcry
Wesley Wofford’s traveling Harriet Tubman statue stopped at Philadelphia City Hall last winter, and proved so popular the city commissioned a permanent one.
- Instead of a public selection process, officials just awarded the commission to Wofford. Black artists and historians expressed disappointment over the closed-door process that chose a white man.
Now, the city has reversed course, Jordan Levy reports, and will hold an open call for a chance to earn $500k for sculpting the famed civil rights leader.
9 Philly government agencies with jobs that aren’t obvious
Ever wonder about the difference between the Tax Review Board and the Board of Revision of Taxes? Local government can be a maze to navigate.
- Philadelphia has more than 100 offices, boards, bureaus, and commissions. Departments like Parks & Rec or Emergency Management are relatively obvious, but not all the titles are clear.
Asha Prihar takes a look at nine corners of municipal government with confusing names, and explains what their functions actually are.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Pennsylvania has more student debt than most other states, with 64% of grads having outstanding loans. Many of those 1.8 million people will see relief under the federal student loan forgiveness plan announced last week. [Capital-Star/Axios]
- Over a hundred protesters shouting “Save UC Townhomes” and “Stop Penn-trification” cut in on new Penn President Liz Magill’s first major speech during convocation. [Billy Penn/Daily Pennsylvanian]
- Moderna’s new lawsuit against Pfizer and BioNTech over use of mRNA for COVID vaccines has roots in the research at Penn that paved the way for the technology. [Inquirer$/Billy Penn]
- Following Raising Cane’s and the soon-to-open Jollibee (Friday!), another fried chicken chain has its eyes on the Philly region. Hollywood-born Dave’s Hot Chicken is planning eight stores in the area. [Billy Penn x 2/Biz Journal$]
- The Action News theme song’s exceptional staying power has reached a new milestone: It’s now half a century old. [Billy Penn/@Avi_WA]
Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)
We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting at the Community College of Philadelphia.
- Check out pics from the first-ever Credible Messenger Film Festival, held at the Cope House at Awbury Arboretum in Germantown. [PCGVR]
- PBS News Weekend came to Philly for a special on community leaders seeking solutions to combat the city’s homicide surge. [PBS]
- A dozen men marched in West Philly as part of the nationwide Million Fathers March, which encourages dads to walk their kids to school and become more involved with raising them. [WHYY]
- Gun violence disrupts education for everyone: Children who take standardized exams following a homicide on their street test as though they’ve missed two years of schooling, per a Chicago study. [The 74]
- Safety remains an issue on South Street, but some community members are wary of asking police for help. [Billy Penn]
By the numbers in Philadelphia
- 56: Shooting victims recorded last week so far, vs. 53 the week prior. [City Controller via @PCGVR]
- 1,595: Shooting victims this year, up 3% from last year [PCGVR]
- 362: Year-to-date homicides, 2% ahead of last year’s pace and up 76% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
Mayor Kenney joins Superintendent Watlington at Add B. Anderson Elementary in Angora to cut the ribbon on a new schoolyard (10:15 a.m.). Today is International Overdose Awareness and Memorial Day, so the mayor then heads to the plaza outside MSB to open a pop-up Overdose Memorial Garden that’ll offer resources and support through the end of September (12 p.m.).
Kenney then joins the virtual biweekly briefing on the city’s gun violence response (1 p.m.), which focuses on safety plans for this weekend’s Made in America festival. You can listen live on WURD Radio 900 AM/96.1 FM or watch on Facebook.
ON THE CALENDAR
? Banksyland, a touring art exhibit featuring 80 pieces by world famous street artist Banksy, is landing in Philadelphia. Tickets are $29, or $60 for the VIP experience with a poster. (Friday to Monday, Sept. 2-5)
? Say farewell to summer and hello to Oktoberfest season at the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein’s 150th annual Labor Day weekend festival, with music, games, food, and lots to drink. (Saturday to Monday, Sept. 3-5)