Newsletter for Tuesday, May 19
INSTAGRAM OF THE DAY
This one weird thing you have to try today — you won’t believe what happens next. Pic via @greenlimbs on Instagram.
IT IS TIME: GET OUT AND VOTE, PEOPLE
We’ve seen them as characters on The Wire. We’ve looked at the race through the neighborhoods they’ve called home. We’ve turned them into emoji. If you’re still not sure whether Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Milton Street or Anthony Williams is your candidate, we built this last-minute guide to help. Our pals at Philly Mag‘s Citified have pulled together resources to help you sort through races for Council, as well as Judge. And we have this handy resource for finding where to vote, and what to do when you get to the polls. But today, you have until 8 PM to make your choice. Go ahead, push the button. You’ll feel better, and you’ll make the city better, too.
PHILLY DEMS HAVE HAD A NO GOOD, VERY BAD FEW MONTHS
Philly Democrats lost a seat in the state House in late March with a split forming in the Northeast, in a district where the registrations still favor Democrats over Republicans, 2-1. Democratic City Commissioner Stephanie Singer didn’t put together enough valid signatures to get onto the election ballot. The Democratic party isn’t endorsing a mayor, but it did originally endorse for City Council a candidate who allegedly posted racist and anti-gay comments on his Facebook. It also endorsed judges the local bar association disapproves. It’s been a rough few months, but, as local party chair Bob Brady tells Billy Penn, “it’s Philadelphia. It’s a blood sport.”
AN AMTRAK SURVIVOR’S TALE, PART 2: SURVIVING THE MEDIA
Billy Penn Director of Product Beth Davidz was on her way home to Brooklyn on Amtrak 188 when the train crashed. With nothing better to do in the hospital waiting room, she agreed to be one of the first media interviews from the scene — starting a marathon of media appearances that spanned Good Morning America, Fox News and CNN. In her own words, Beth writes about surviving the ratings-driven world of crisis media coverage in the 24-hour news cycle (and how she almost killed Community Manager Shannon McDonald’s cat).
TO DO: DRINK BEER AND WATCH ELECTION RESULTS
WHAT: Billy Penn‘s election night party — play a Philly elections-themed, custom Guess Who?, get your selfie with our candidate emoji, and more.
WHERE: Bru Craft & Wurst, 1316 Chestnut St.
WHEN: 8-11 PM
HOW MUCH: Free (but you should buy a beer, and there are specials)
BILLY PENN LIKES
SQUASH COURTS, FUNERAL HOMES: PHILLY’S FUNNY POLLING PLACES
When Philadelphia heads to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the primary election, they’ll trek to schools, churches, rec centers and libraries. Oh, and also some garages, a couple funeral homes and the squash courts. Philly has some bizarre polling places, people. Some are nursing homes! Others are garages! And others are just kinda awkward, like a golf pro shop. Here are 14 of the most head-scratching polling locations in Philly, courtesy of the City Commissioners Office’s website and Google Maps.
HOW GERRYMANDERED IS PHILLY? VERY.
Gerrymandering has become a time-honored practice in American politics. It’s an issue that hits home here — Pennsylvania is the second-most-gerrymandered state in the country, and Philadelphia’s council districts are some of the most gerrymandered local districts in America. Those drawn lines fueled by what amounts to legal political election-rigging are changing this election, and the new Philadelphia districts with cleaner lines will take effect in January 2016.