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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.

A scene from one of mayoral candidate Jeff Brown’s TV ads, the first in the race Credit: Jeff Brown for Mayor

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.

The author (on piano) and Dito van Reigersberg (on the floor) performing at L’Etage as the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret Credit: Courtesy Victor Fiorillo

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

Ice skating at the Rothman Rink outside City Hall in Dilworth Park Credit: Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)

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

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.).


? 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)