And discussions over Philadelphia’s new budget are likely to continue this week. Mayor Jim Kenney and city lawmakers have until July to decide what it looks like. If you live or work in Philly, this process affects you.
The week ahead
All adults in Philly are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine now. The city had planned this change for Monday originally, but officials announced the wider eligibility a few days early on Friday to make sure more people could get appointments.
Yesterday, two protests were held in Philly in solidarity with Black men who have lost their lives at the hands of police, specifically for Daunte Wright. He was fatally shot by police in Minnesota last week.
A resolution has been reached between a North Philly landlord and his tenants who were facing eviction. More than 25 tenants say they were scammed out of their rent money by the apartment complex’s former property manager.
Philly Mayor Jim Kenney kicked off city budget discussions with his proposal last week. Here are 6 takeaways, and what it all means.
There are now more than 50 Amazon warehouses that encircle the Philly region.
This week’s most popular stories
Behind the story with Michaelle Bond
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with reporter Michaelle Bond, who covers how people live in their homes, how the market directs choices, and how policies shape communities.
Can you describe your approach to covering homeownership and the housing market?
I’ve focused on describing the ways in which COVID-19 has affected homeownership and the housing market. And I’ll continue to do that. Overall, I try to include a wide range of price points and housing situations in my reporting.
How did you get the story on single women buying homes in the region? Can you describe the process?
I’d been hearing anecdotally for a while about single women buying homes, so it was in the back of my mind. Then a few studies about women home owners came out last month for Women’s History Month, so I got to see some data behind what I’d been hearing. But I knew the most powerful part of the story would be hearing from single women themselves about their motivations and experiences, so I spent most of my reporting time talking with them.
What’s something you learned through your reporting?
While reporting this story, I learned how many more single women are homeowners than single men in Philadelphia, and that it’s not a brand new phenomenon. Single women have outpaced single men here in each of the last 15 years.
What trends are you keeping an eye on in the near future?
I’ll continue to monitor how the pandemic is affecting the housing market and buyer and seller behavior. Some real estate professionals are saying everyone is moving out of the city to the suburban counties because of the pandemic, but anecdotes aren’t data, and I don’t think we have enough data yet to say for sure. So I’m going to keep an eye on that.
What are a few recent stories you’ve worked on that you’re proud of?
I’m proud of my story about single women home buyers. I also wrote an important story this month about how unclear ownership of homes threatens families’ intergenerational wealth. And I took a look last month at the development boom in Roxborough and how its growth is outpacing that of the city as a whole.
What do you do for fun in your free time? What are you looking forward to this year?
Before the pandemic, I liked to go to concerts, so I’m hoping I can do that again soon. I’m most looking forward to spending time with family and friends as we all get vaccinated.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
You get your steps in and a great view when you climb the Rocky steps. Thanks for sharing, @justjo1002!
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!
How to get to Philly’s mass vaccination clinics
Philadelphia has two FEMA-run mass vaccination clinics, one in Center City and one in North Philly. You can get to both of these on foot, with public transit, driving and rideshare, too. Be sure to sign up for an appointment before you show up. And then, make a plan for how to get there with our guide.
Question of the week
This week, we mixed things up a little and asked our Instagram followers for their questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what a few people wondered about:
✅ Are the vaccines FDA approved?
Yes. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved by the FDA for emergency use. And both are highly effective against the coronavirus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also approved for emergency use, but has been put in a pause due to a handful of rare cases of blood clots.
🚗 Can I go to MontCo to get the vaccine if I live in Philly?
You’re not required to get the vaccine where you live. But be sure to preregister online where you are so you can be notified of appointment availability. Vaccines, and therefore appointments, are limited, so some patience will be required. Check out how to sign up for a vaccine across the Philly region here.
🦠 I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I need both vaccine shots?
Yep. A coronavirus infection generates weaker, shorter immune responses than a vaccination. So, COVID-19 survivors should still be vaccinated. Public health officials at all levels have stressed that people who recover from the virus should still get both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to ensure full protection.
There are recent studies that suggest COVID-19 survivors could only need one dose, but that’s not recommended by public health officials right now.
Your Daily Dose of | Music
This former composer and his wife invite viewers to “Stump the Maestro” on Facebook. Name a show tune, jazz standard, or movie score, and chances are 91-year-old Peter Fuchs can not only hum it, but play it from memory on his keyboard. He takes requests on Facebook Live, which began last March when the pandemic locked the Fuchs in their one-bedroom apartment.