RECAP: Looking back on the week that was
• With poll showing tie, time to ‘Meet Your Mayor’
The first independent public poll in the Philadelphia mayor’s race showed 1 in 5 people are undecided, and did little to clarify the outcome on May 16. Rhynhart led Parker by a single percentage point (well within the margin of error), and Gym was close behind, with Domb following, then Brown. It’s anyone’s to win — and as few as 2,000 votes could decide, so each one really matters. Who matches best with your views? Explore our Meet Your Mayor quiz and find out.
[Billy Penn x 2]
• More schools close for asbestos — sadly, as expected
Two more schools closed last week over damaged asbestos, forcing students into virtual learning. That makes six closures since the year started, and more are expected. What gives? Turns out previous inspections had incorrectly classified areas as “non-asbestos containing,” so the district is looking at everything anew. Councilmember Thomas wants to create an independent authority to oversee the process. Meanwhile, some parents are working to build DIY classroom filters to ensure cleaner air.
[6ABC/Phila SD/Chalkbeat/Billy Penn]
• Anti-violence grant program faces questions
Since 2021, Philly has granted $13.5 million to community anti-violence initiatives, and another round is about to begin (deadline to apply is Monday). But the program, which reportedly cost $22M including administration, has faced questions about oversight and management. Some orgs got amounts that far exceeded their initial budgets, and many didn’t have any paid employees or boards. What almost half of awardees did have, per the Inky: letters of support from city or state lawmakers.
• Phillies clubhouse entrance looks like a nightclub
After a disappointing season start, the Phillies seem to be on the up and up. Not only have they won 8 of their last 10, there’s been other positive news. An adorable Labrador pup named Major joined the team, to be trained up as a service dog. The clubhouse entrance was decked out with changing neon lights. And Bryce Harper’s elbow is healing fast; the slugger will travel with the team this week, and likely take batting practice.
P.S. Catch up on everything Phillies with Hittin’ Season, dropping 3x/week wherever you get your podcasts — and come tailgate with us and the crew on Saturday!
VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead
• Procrastinator’s Guide to the Philly election
There’s much more at stake in the May 16 primary than just mayor. We’ve already got a rundown of the City Council contenders — you can meet some of them at a Chamber of Commerce forum Monday night (tix are $20) — and a look at city controller hopefuls. But coming later this week is Billy Penn’s bi-annual Procrastinator’s Guide, with quick and easy summaries of everything from the charter change ballot questions to the dozens of judicial candidates.
[Philly Mayor Quiz/Billy Penn x 2]
• Bike lane ticketing unit expands enforcement
Watch out if you use bike lanes to stash your car in Center City, University City, or South Philly. A new ticketing unit out of the PPA expands enforcement on Monday. It’s not like these tickets weren’t being issued before — there were thousands of violations in 2018, for example — but the dedicated unit was a decade in the making, per the Bicycle Coalition. Between 13k to 15k residents bike to work each day, so the effort hopes to make those commutes safer.
[PhillyVoice/BP 2018/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
• Celebrate AAPI and Jewish American heritage
May is both AAPI Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month, and there are happenings planned throughout the city to celebrate each. The Weitzman kicks off JAHM on Thursday with a Klezmer band and “Kosher gospel” singers, followed by several other events. The Asian American and Pacific Islander celebrations start later; there’s a 5k run fundraiser on May 13, and May 20 brings a day of programming at the Franklin Institute.
[Weitzman x 2/Race Roster/Franklin Inst]
• Will Embiid finally win MVP?
The Sixers will be down a star player on Monday when they meet the Celtics to start the Eastern Conference Semifinals, as Joel Embiid’s knee sprain is now described as more serious than originally thought. Tuesday night could bring a modicum of positivity, though — it’s when the league announces this year’s MVP. After being runner-up for several seasons, Embiid appears poised to finally win the nod.
[Sports Illustrated/NBA/Liberty Ballers]
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