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Philadelphia Budget Shows Skilled Hands at Work

Philadelphia Budget Shows Skilled Hands at Work

by Tony West How often does the City of Philadelphia draw international attention for the swift and daring completion of its annual budget? Welcome to 2016. Mayor Jim Kenney’s Sugary Drinks Tax initiative (which wound up as a Sugary/Sweetened Drinks Tax) caught the eye of the world. But the rest of the budget process – […]

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Pt. Breeze Agency Is Model For Mayor’s Community Schools

by Tony West Mayor Jim Kenney based his winning campaign last year on a bright new proposal for “family service centers” where children’s educational needs can be met while his family learns to cope with many other challenges. If you want to know what these centers might look like – check out Diversified Community Services, […]

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Asian American Philadelphia: THREE LEADERS

Nina Ahmad by Eldon Graham Dr. Nina Ahmad has made Philadelphia her home. Now she has embarked on a mission to strengthen the bonds between all its communities. Dr. Ahmad is from Bangladesh. She left her native country and moved to the US, attending the Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich. Then she moved to […]

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County Commissioners Association Warn Of Impacts With Budget

As the General Assembly and Administration begin to advance a budget vehicle for FY 2016-2017, Pennsylvania counties are eyeing the calendar anxiously, recognizing that the start of the new Commonwealth fiscal year is now less than two months away. Their worries are well-founded; a recent survey by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania showed counties […]

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Taubenberger: We Can Be Vertical Farming Hub

Philadelphia City Councilman at Large Al Taubenberger – joined by Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding, Council President Darrell C. Clarke, and other members of City Council – has introduced two farming-related resolutions. The first calls for greater support of vertical farming, with the goal of establishing the City of Philadelphia as the world’s […]

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Pa. Has Worst Charter-School Law!

by State Rep. James Roebuck Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently said our state has the nation’s worst charter-school law. As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I agree. I have introduced legislation to reform this nearly 20-year-old law and bring much-needed accountability in performance and finances to these tax-funded, privately run schools. The […]

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HEARD ON THE HILL / IN CITY HALL

Metcalfe Again Seeks Pa. E-Verify Legislation Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Majority Chairman, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), has reintroduced his legislation to require all employers and government entities in the Commonwealth to enroll in the federal government’s free E-Verify program to confirm the validity of Social Security numbers for prospective employees. Modeled after the […]

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2016 PUBLIC SERVANT OF THE YEAR: Darrell Clarke, Master Of The Policy Shop

by Tony West Darrell Clarke came of age in a neighborhood with problems, in a city with problems, in an age of problems. Born in 1952 in Strawberry Mansion, Clarke saw the ravages of racism, poverty, injustice and conflict in North Philadelphia. Politics was in the air and on the streets in the 1960s and […]

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OUR OPINION: Soda Tax Promises Food Fight In Phila. City Council

Community leaders, small-business owners, labor leaders and citizens have banded together to fight a 3-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages like soda, teas and juice drinks. They charge a 12-pack of soda’s cost would nearly double – to more than $8 – due to the tax; $2.04 tax on a 2-liter bottle would be more than […]

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Can Pa. Constitutional Amendment Bring Jobs Back To Philly?

by Tony West A broad-based coalition announced Friday it will push legislation in Harrisburg to give Philadelphia the power to tax commercial real estate more heavily than homeowners’ real estate. If it succeeds, it will change the Pennsylvania Constitution and make history. The legislation would modify the Commonwealth’s uniformity clause to enable Philadelphia to enact […]

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