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What is the Union League — and why is it honoring DeSantis?

The Union League of Philadelphia’s first ever gold medal was given to Abraham Lincoln. This year, it goes to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

  • Some members are upset over the choice, citing DeSantis’s politics as antithetical to the club’s mission. It dates to the Civil War, part of a network of leagues supporting the Union effort.

Jordan Levy breaks down the Union League’s history and the kerfuffle over next week’s dinner — a sign of how the club has recently begun to change.

Union League of Philadelphia on South Broad Street
Union League of Philadelphia on South Broad Street Credit: Wikimedia Commons

SEPTA proposes major bus system update for faster service

Philadelphia’s buses are getting a major overhaul for the first time since SEPTA was created in the 1960s, per The Inquirer.

  • Faster, more frequent service that doesn’t revolve around outdated “peak” commuting times are tenets of the latest draft of the agency’s Bus Revolution plan, released this week.

The number of lines would drop from 125 to 99, with half aiming for service every 15 mins. You can weigh in online or at public meetings this month.

Credit: Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

Flowers laid in Gorgas Park in memory of Nicolas Elizalde, 14, killed in the shooting Credit: Cory Sharber / WHYY

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

We publish this report each week in partnership with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

  • Nick Elizalde, the 14-year-old fatally shot near Roxborough High, saw the world “with gentleness and unwavering love.” His corneas were donated and used to save the vision of two people, his mother said. [Billy Penn/Inquirer$]
  • At practice this week, the Roxborough varsity and JV football teams helped one another process the trauma of the post-scrimmage shooting and losing a teammate. [Chalkbeat]
  • Less than a week after Mayor Kenney made an executive order to ban weapons from city parks and rec centers, a Philadelphia judge struck it down. [WHYY]
  • Homicide clearance rates — the % of cases that get solved — continue to drop in Philadelphia, and it’s much lower when victims are Black. PPD Commissioner Outlaw said when she got to Philly, the homicide department was technologically challenged. [CBS3]
  • Some City Council members are renewing their call for Kenney to declare a state of emergency over the gun violence crisis. Like last year, the mayor’s office doesn’t believe it will help. [6ABC/BP 2021]

By the numbers in Philadelphia

  • 56: Shooting victims recorded last week so far, vs. 39 the week prior. [City Controller via @PCGVR]
  • 1,830: Shooting victims this year, up 1% from last year [PCGVR]
  • 411: Year-to-date homicides, 2% below last year’s pace and up 75% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]


At the Firefighter & EMS Providers of the Year ceremony at the Fireman’s Hall Museum, Mayor Kenney (whose dad was a firefighter) today declares Oct. 9-15 to be Fire Prevention Week in Philadelphia (11 a.m.).


? FDR Park’s Loop is going car for one evening only, starting with group bike rides, guided ~hot person~ walks, and plenty of nature activities for the kiddos. (3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7).

? Billy Penn contributor Alisha Miranda partners with Visit Philly to celebrate the city’s top Latine bartenders at The Franklin Bar. Drinks are pay as you go. (8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10)