Broad Street Brief: Mayor Parker Addresses Chamber of Commerce 

February 29, 2024

City Hall

Mayor Parker Address Chamber of Commerce, Appoints Business-Focused Staff

During her first address to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Mayor Cherelle Parker urged Philadelphia businesses to bring remote employees back to in-person work. Ahead of her speech, Mayor Parker announced four business-related, senior-level staff appointments, including the creation of a new position dedicated to preparing for several significant events scheduled for 2026.

Mayor Parker May Tackle City’s Civil Service Rules to Diversify Municipal Workforce

On her first day in office, Mayor Parker signed an executive order to remove college degree requirements for certain City jobs, part of a broader effort to reshape hiring practices to promote diversity and address existing inequities in the municipal workforce. Her next step may be to reform the City’s civil service requirements.

City Council Establishes Tax Reform Commission; Vows to Investigate Consumer Fraud, “Streetery” Regulations

During Thursday’s meeting, City Council passed a resolution to establish a new Tax Reform Commission, renewing efforts to reform Philadelphia's tax structure. Other legislation was introduced to empower the city's Law Department to investigate consumer fraud complaints, and discussions were held regarding regulations for sidewalk cafes that became popular during the pandemic, widely known as "streeteries." 

City Council to Consider Tightening Rules Governing RCOs

City Councilmember Cindy Bass (District 8) has proposed legislation that would require leaders of Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) to reside in the neighborhoods they serve. Currently, there is a patchwork system of zoning rules for different Council districts and neighborhoods across the city.

PPD Deputy Commissioner Expresses Support for Proposed Kensington Curfew

During a public hearing last Friday, Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) Deputy Commissioner Francis Healy expressed support for City Council legislation that would force many Kensington businesses to close nightly between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. as a means to address crime. 

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar year. Watch here.

  • A Committee on Legislative Oversight hearing on Monday, March 4 at 11 a.m. will include testimony regarding the City’s progress on its carbon neutrality goals.
  • A Committee on Streets and Services hearing on Tuesday, March 5 at 10 a.m. will include testimony regarding parking regulations, traffic calming measures, and street vending in certain neighborhoods.

Around Town

Comcast Spectacor Proposes $2.5B Stadium District Transformation

Comcast Spectacor unveiled plans to transform South Philadelphia's stadium district into a vibrant sports and entertainment complex featuring hotels, residences, restaurants, shops, and a 5,500-seat performance stage over the next decade.

SEPTA Appoints Ken Lawrence Jr. New Board Chair

Last week, Ken Lawrence Jr. became SEPTA’s first new board chair in more than two decades, as well as the first Black person and first Democrat to lead the agency. He acknowledged the challenges SEPTA currently faces and outlined several priorities, including improving labor relations, advocating for increased funding, enforcing transit regulations, and leveraging his political and transit-riding experience.

School District, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

The Philadelphia School District and its largest union, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, have reached a tentative one-year contract extension, with a 5% raise and $1,200 bonus to its 13,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, secretaries, and other workers.

Popcorn for the People Production Facility Opens in Center City

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles, Wawa, Popcorn for the People, and chemicals leader Nouryon opened a new Center City popcorn production facility, which will employ neurodiverse individuals. Proceeds from the store will support the Eagles Autism Foundation.

New Apartment Boom in Center City Accompanied by Corresponding Population Increase

Center City’s residential population growth matches a similar surge in new apartments in the neighborhood, bucking citywide trends with 7,429 units built since 2021 and reaching a five-year high in 2023.

How Philadelphia Is Trying to Close Its Racial Wealth Gap

Philadelphia's racial wealth gap is wider today than it was in 1960, prompting initiatives like the City’s Turn the Key Program and the Philly 5000 campaign to address disparities through homeownership and investment opportunities, as well as proposed property tax reforms.

Philadelphia VC Activity Slows; Region Demonstrates Resilience

Despite a nationwide slowdown in venture capital (VC) activity, Philadelphia's market demonstrated resilience in 2023, with 403 deals totaling $2.4 billion raised, showcasing particular strength in early-stage investments and a diverse range of sectors, according to an annual report released by the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology.

Election Update

New DNC Billboards Allege Trump Connection to Alabama IVF Ruling

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) erected a billboard in Philadelphia — as well as Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and other critical battleground states — linking former President Donald Trump's role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade to the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent ruling that threatens access to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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Joseph Hill

Managing Director, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(215) 665-2065

Brianna A. Westbrooks

Government Relations Associate, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies

(215) 665-4757

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