After you squeeze ketchup onto your burger bun, but before you set off some fireworks, remember to raise a bottle of suds to the men and women whose sacrifice afforded us this extended weekend. This newsletter will go quiet over the next few days and return on Wednesday. In the meantime, we hope you have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day.
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“Court-assisted terrorism” is described by my colleague David Gambacorta as meritless lawsuits that powerful entities file to stifle their critics or cripple them financially.
The tactic has been around long enough to attract its own acronym — SLAPP, for strategic lawsuits against public participation — and earn the undying enmity of First Amendment advocates across the country.
For the cost of a small filing fee, public figures can use the courts to silence their critics. But a pair of bills, Gambacorta notes, can make a difference in Pennsylvania.
Veteran City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell says she lost her seat this week because developers covet West Philly, and because of gentrification. “It was about them taking control of my district.”
Blackwell, 74, who has represented West Philadelphia’s 3rd District since 1992, and worked for her husband, Lucien, who held the seat before her, called the loss “kind of unbelievable."
To stay, or not to stay, that is the question for this Memorial Day weekend. Luckily, your friends at The Inquirer have you got you covered either way.
Or are you staying in Philly? We’ve got Eastern State Penitentiary’s ghost hunt, a Billy Joel concert, and a whole list of what to do when the city empties out.
We see the light, @hswphilly.
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!
“OK, I know what everyone is asking at this point. Who the hell is this Inslee you’re writing about?” — Columnist Will Bunch totally gets that people may not know much about Jay Inslee. So let him explain, as only he can, why the Washington governor is the terrific presidential candidate that nobody knows.