Philly Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw spent most of her first day on the job in meetings after taking some time to visit with officers in various districts. Also yesterday, the city School District recognized the schools that were the best and most improved, according to the district’s annual report cards. We also have stories on the Phillies (pitchers and catchers report to spring training today), how Philly progressives are taking advantage of the same campaign finance laws they decried a decade ago, and Pennsylvania’s lawsuit against an e-cigarette maker.

A decade ago, progressive politicians decried the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that helped open the floodgates for an unprecedented amount of political spending. They claimed it would be a step toward an oligarchic system dominated by the super-wealthy. But, in the years following, Philly’s progressive left has capitalized on the new Wild West in campaign finance.

In Philly, liberals have been beating establishment Democrats with the help of outside groups that often end up outspending the candidates themselves. As a result, campaign finance reform hasn’t been the rallying cry it once was. For example, District Attorney Larry Krasner’s 2017 victory was boosted by almost $1.5 million from liberal philanthropist George Soros.

Philly’s new police commissioner arrived before dawn yesterday, walking into Police Headquarters about 5:45 a.m. She told reporters that she was excited to go visit officers and spent most of her day in a series of meetings. Outlaw, 43, is the former chief in Portland, Ore., and a 20-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department before that.

“Just some face time," she said of her plans for her first morning on duty. “Get an opportunity ... to know who’s out here, to know who’s out here getting the work done, and for them to have an opportunity to see me.”

The Philadelphia School District recognized schools yesterday as the top and most improved in the city. The news came as the district released its annual report cards for 216 traditional public and 87 charter schools.

Schools land in one of four tiers, with the highest being model schools, finishing with scores of 75 to 100 on the School Progress Report. The highest-scoring school this year was Penn Alexander Elementary in West Philly.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Shout out to you, @jbake_photography! Great job trying something new. Here’s some advice from one of my photojournalist colleagues: “Keep shooting! Practice makes perfect. Everyone can and should always be learning and willing to improve in their craft.”

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That’s interesting


“This is not the first time we have seen SEPTA hiding the condition of their vehicles. ... The public expects better. The public expects SEPTA to be more transparent about its issues, especially problems that can impact its ability to serve its riders.” — writes Daniel Trubman and Michael Noda of 5th Square’s Transit Committee about issues on the Market-Frankford Line.

  • Amanda Gilson, a nurse at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, writes about how the recent purchase of the hospital by Tower Health and Drexel has changed employees’ benefits. She writes that her fellow nurses deserve parental leave and safe staffing.
  • With the impeachment trial over, the Inquirer Editorial Board writes that gun control can help unite Congress.

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Your Daily Dose of | Cheat Death (x3)

Shannon Turner spent a good deal of her 20s in and out of the hospital, struggling with autoimmune diseases. In 2012, she was in a coma, and after she woke up, she was told that she died three times before stabilizing. Two years after she was told she’d likely never walk unassisted again, she was back on stage. And in 2019, Philadephia Magazine awarded her and her accompanist “Best Cabaret Act."