Bellevue Bulletin 05/23/2019: Election Recap, PA Finances, and Philly’s Safe Streets Project
Welcome back to your weekly update with Bellevue!
The Philadelphia Primary Election just passed, and we’ve got a breakdown on what happened right here. Here are a couple of things we know:
- With the vast majority of votes counted, turnout on Tuesday surpassed the 2017 primary and general elections, as well as the 2018 primary election.
- Two millennial challengers have joined three incumbents in taking the top five spots in the crowded City Council At-Large race. Isaiah Thomas, 34, and Kathy Gilmore Richardson, 35, join incumbent Helen Gym, Allan Domb, and Derek Green in the top five.
- Incumbent City Commissioner Lisa Deeley and Omar Sabir get a victory, but with it comes a loss for advocates for hand-marked paper ballots. Both winners, and incumbent Republican Al Schmidt, endorse new touch–screen voting machines.
- Philadelphia voters approved four proposed charter amendments on the ballot on Tuesday, including the creation of a new class of law officer dedicated to traffic enforcement; the use of gender-neutral language for City Council and its members; making permanent the Office of Immigrant Affairs; and urging legislature to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.
- According to Philly.Com, the primary concerns that voters found were influencing their choices were: soda tax, safe injection sites, and urban planning.
In other news unrelated to the primary election, speed cameras have been approved for Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the deadliest stretches of thruway in the city, accounting for nearly 8% of all crashes. Last year alone, 21 people died on a mile and a half stretch of the road. The cameras are expected to be up and running by the end of the year, and will incite tiered fines with the smallest being $100 for traveling 11 mph to 20 mph over the speed limit (which is 45 mph on most of the Boulevard). Going 31 mph or more over the speed limit would result in a $150 ticket. Read more about the city’s new technology advancements here!
Budget season in Pennsylvania is in full swing, and PA’s fiscal watchdog is reporting a “healthy revenue projection for the next fiscal year”, according to the Penn Capital Star. The Independent Fiscal Office, a nonpartisan agency that prepares revenue projections and analyzes economic trends for lawmakers, predicts that Pennsylvania’s general fund revenues will grow at a rate of almost 3 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year, to a total of $35.8 billion. Wolf’s proposed budget comes with a price tag of $34.1 billion. There are a few significant points to know about PA’s fiscal situation, including a stagnant wage tax, a potentially volatile labor market, and a large internet sales tax. Want to know more? Click here.
Philadelphia City Council was a flurry of activity this Thursday after the election. Councilman tomb kicked off the day with a presentation recognizing the DEA Philadelphia’s 360 Strategy, a three-pronged approach to combating heroin/opioid use through Law Enforcement, Diversion, and Community Outreach. Councilman Curtis Jones and Councilman Johnson lead a presentation on behalf of Council President Clarke honoring the 138th Convention of the United Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Free Masonry, Prince Hall Affiliation. Most notably, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell put forth a resolution honoring Bishop Mary Floyd Palmer on her appointment as the first female President of the Philadelphia Council of Clergy.
That’s all for this week folks! Check in next week for more news, and in the meantime, follow us @PhillyAdvocates on Twitter for updates.