Good morning.

First: The initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout is in sight. An important federal advisory group has made its recommendations for who should be first in line to get it.

Second: Jobs programs that have proven successful with the city’s deep poverty demographic are determined to get through truly extreme circumstances.

And: Little did the staff at Philly’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping know that the news conference heard ‘round the world would make the place a sensation that endeared them to people everywhere. Meet the people who work there.

O.K. let’s get into it.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

Advisory group targets health workers, nursing home residents for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

A federal advisory committee is responsible for passing down this pandemic’s most influential formal instructions to states: the rough order of which groups should get the vaccine before others.

It was decided Tuesday that medical workers and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities should go first. It’s possible that the first doses could be available as early as later this month.

Others who could get high-priority are essential workers like police and firefighters, food, education, and energy workers. Many of those workers don’t have the luxury to stay at home. Medical reporter Stacey Burling has the story with all the details.

A Philly jobs program lost 6 to a year of violence. Can it still help young people thrive?

The successes of programs like PowerCorps and Mural Arts’ Guild targeting people in deep poverty and other extreme circumstances exist in contrast to that prevalent narrative of poor Black communities that many face as a lived experience.

But this year, one group has lost six people due to devastating pandemic-related realities like arrests in connection with spring’s protests and a surge in gun violence. Keeping all of the skill-building and emotional bonding going isn’t easy, but the city is still committed to reaching this important population.

Staff writer Samantha Melamed talked to the people who run the program about how they’re persevering.

Helpful COVID-19 resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Gotta love when a family member can hold a pose in front of the tree. Thanks for sharing @milliethebluecorgi.

Share Your Photos: 2020 was a year unlike any other — and we want to see what it looked like through your lens. Tag your Instagram photos with #OurPhilly by Friday, Dec. 4 for a chance to be a part of our Year in Pictures. Our photographers will pick their favorites to feature in a community gallery on And as always, tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting


“We can build more ventilators, erect tents, and create extra spaces to treat people in hospitals to face a surge. We cannot do the same for the individuals caring for our families and friends.” — Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Anish K. Agarwal, writes that the Philly-famous grit of health-care workers is being tested like never before and could very well run out, doing long-term mental health damage.

  • Cass Breslin Egan, co-chair of the Hallahan Board of Directors, writes that closing the country’s first-ever all-girls Catholic school is a travesty for educational opportunities.

  • There’s a vacancy to fill following Lee Huang’s resignation from the Philadelphia School Board and how members get a seat at that table is up for discussion. We tapped an educator and a parent to debate. Election or appointment? Do people deserve a say in who oversees school decisions or is the mayor who should be held accountable for school success.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Music

How do you write a score that can tell the breathless story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl championship season?

The 30-year-old who got the composer gig for the documentary Maybe Next Year started with his love of the team. To capture the city’s undying passion, he wrote the harmonica-heavy “Green City” for the film’s drive-by tour’s fans’ homes. (It stays with you.)

The music had to dip and swell with every dramatic turn of the season. His instrumentals are both orchestral and at times, acoustic.

“The Eagles really are the religion of Philadelphia,” he tells us. We talked to him about soundtracking the highest point for the highest order of worship.