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Can Jeff Brown be a good mayor with no political experience?
Jeff Brown wants to be Philadelphia’s next mayor despite a lack of any political experience. It’s a feat no one has accomplished in recent memory.
- Candidates often tout outsider status as a positive. That comes across in a Brown campaign ad — he calls out Council, from where several challengers hail — but observers say there could be stumbling blocks.
It worked in NYC for Bloomberg, Meir Rinde reports, but the closest to win here was insurance exec Tom Knox, who slid behind Nutter in the 2007 primary.
Fighting rare leukemia, Martha Graham Cracker seeks help
After 17 years of popular rock-and-roll drag cabarets in Philly and around the world, the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret has gone quiet.
- Performer Dito van Reigersberg, the group’s namesake and lead singer, has leukemia. It’s one of the rarer forms, and he needs a peripheral blood stem cell transplant.
Want to help? There’s a donor drive through Be the Match, band manager Victor Fiorillo writes for BP, and a fundraiser party tonight at Bob & Barbara’s.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- SEPTA is getting $56 million in federal funding to install ramps and elevators and improve accessibility at six BSL and MFL stations. [SmartCitiesDive/@SEPTAPhilly]
- For the U.S. semiquincentennial, Philadelphia250 is awarding $250k to each of three “Leave a Legacy” projects: “Our Market” by Michelle Angela Ortiz, “Revolutionary Action Figures” by Smith Memorial Playground, and “Cities of Inclusion” by Special Olympics Pa. [PHL250/WHYY]
- The three gaping lots on Walnut Street in Rittenhouse, where historic buildings were destroyed by fire in the May 2020 chaos, have been purchased for $15 million by a New York developer. [Hidden City/BP 2020/Rising Real Estate]
- Tonight is Jim Gardner’s last Action News broadcast. Prepare with a look back at highlights of his four-decade career — or head to the Target near City Avenue, where fans will be tailgating the momentous event. [Billy Penn/@MikoWitYaMoney]
- The Union League, which recently courted controversy with its DeSantis dinner, is building a rooftop restaurant. Hidden from street view and constructed with lots of glass, it’ll have a more relaxed dress code. [Billy Penn/Inquirer$/Vimeo]
Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)
- After spiking when COVID hit, big city shootings are trending down. However, while many places are seeing a clear decline, counts in Philly (and Cincinnati) are holding steady just below the pandemic peak. [@Crimealytics/Jeff Asher]
- Among other initiatives, Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Outlaw yesterday outlined a plan to redeploy at least 100 officers to the four areas experiencing the city’s highest rates of gun violence. [Phila Gov/Metro]
- The Civic Coalition to Save Lives’ first executive director will be Estelle Richman, a former Philadelphia managing director and health commissioner. [Tribune$]
- Gun violence recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children, with most homicides involving Black children. [NYT$/@JimMacMillan]
- Philly police say the officer shortage is holding back community policing initiatives. The number of PPD officers out with injured-on-duty claims has dropped 31% since an Inquirer investigation found 650 were taking advantage of the program. [WHYY/Inquirer$]
By the numbers in Philadelphia
- 20: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 33 the week prior. [City Controller via @PCGVR]
- 2,230: Shooting victims this year, 2% down from last year’s pace. [PCGVR]
- 500: Year-to-date homicides, 7% down from last year’s pace; up 64% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
On National Homeless Persons Awareness Day, Mayor Kenney joins Project Home and others at Paine Plaza to remember Philadelphians who died having experienced homelessness (4 p.m.).
ON THE CALENDAR
? Calling all Harry Potter fanatics: the “Hogwarts Express” lineup is bringing a marathon of all eight of the movies to the Philadelphia Film Center at Broad and Chestnut. Tickets are $14. (Monday-Saturday, Dec. 26-31)
? Unique Christmas Day activity — a bit pricey, but it’s the holidays: For $95, you can learn how to make your own pot stickers at the Philadelphia Dumpling Academy. (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 25)