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A ‘grave injustice’ in West Philly | Morning Newsletter

And, meet our new newsletter editor

Welcome to The Inquirer Morning Newsletter! I’m Kerith Gabriel, and today is my first day as editor of our flagship email.

As a lifelong Philadelphian who grew up chasing Mister Softee trucks in Hunting Park and later burning my tongue on after-school slices from Bella Italia in Ardmore, being able to deliver the news that matters to the region that raised me is a privilege.

I want this newsletter to be a conversation between you and me every day. My mission: Make this interactive, and offer insight not just into the stories, but also the journalists telling them.

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I appreciate your starting your day with me and The Inquirer.

— Kerith Gabriel | @sprtswtr,

Those were the words IBID Associates LP used to describe plans to assist the 69 households within a West Philly subsidized townhouse complex that must leave by July.

Looking to cash in on rising property values and the upcoming expiration of a federal contract it had with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, IBID’s decision shines the latest spotlight on West Philly’s development and subsequent gentrification that’s left many residents displaced — particularly those who benefit from housing assistance.

“If we lose these units, we will not get them back,” said City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, who has championed affordable housing in her rapidly developing district. “Eradicating affordable housing on this site would be a grave injustice.”

With hundreds of similar contracts also scheduled to expire if not renewed, thousands of residents across the 11,000-plus HUD-subsidized units in the city could face a similar, grave situation in the years to come.

Our real estate reporter Michaelle Bond delivers this story on the vulnerability of affordable housing.

Our next story reads like the script for a Terminator movie — minus the violence, death, and cheesy Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners. Inside a new Amazon facility in Delaware, robots outnumber human workers 10-1, doing everything from storage to delivery of goods to human workers.

“I call these very large plants the ‘motherships,’” said Brittain Ladd, a former Amazon logistics executive turned automation consultant.

Our columnist Joseph N. DiStefano takes us inside this facility and the future of AI in supply-chain automation.

What you need to know today

  1. Hundreds of Pennsylvania voters are contacting state authorities and local elections officials to voice concern about the safety of their personal information if Harrisburg Republicans successfully subpoena voter records for their review of the 2020 election.

  2. The Hindu American Foundation has asked for a federal investigation into the University of Pennsylvania’s treatment of students and faculty of Indian and Hindu descent. This follows an event that the organization’s Philly-based co-founder called a “one-sided conference about India and Hindus that promoted negative stereotypes, slurs, and distorted facts.”

  3. While some crave the collaboration and socialization of being in an office, COVID-19 has shed light on the need for companies to consider remote work or at least some form of it as a post-pandemic mainstay.

Through our eyes | #OurPhilly

I really like all the colors in this shot from @honeylens_215. What do you think? Let me know at

That’s interesting

🏀 Ben Simmons worked out in a full practice with the Sixers yesterday, and this was the vibe. And to get the top sports stories from our sports editors every weekday morning, sign up for our free Inquirer Sports Daily newsletter.

🎞️ The Philadelphia Film Festival returns Wednesday to celebrate 30 years in cinema with in-person screenings of Oscar favorites and an early look at Will Smith playing the dad of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.


“No matter what the redrawn map looks like, every Philadelphian deserves a chance to weigh in,” The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently from our newsroom, writes of the need for public input on Philly’s redistricting plan.

  1. It was unrealistic to expect President Joe Biden to give us normalcy, columnist Will Bunch writes.

  2. And it’s Pro/Con time. The Ben Simmons drama put tens of millions of dollars at stake. Writers Jeff Neiburg and Christian Red debate whether pro athletes are overpaid.

What we are...

🤔 Considering: One or more of these wineries that our reporter Nick Vadala highly suggests is worth the trip.

😲 Pondering: This piece in Philly Mag that reports Bucks County parents describing mask-wearing as everything from “mind control” to a “satanic ritual.” It’s quite the Venn diagram of opinions.

Photo of the Day

Excited to be the one giving your day a jump start, Philly. I’ll get at you tomorrow.