Hello, dedicated readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: The Philly DA’s race is a durability test for the progressive movement, which lifted Larry Krasner to the office he now holds. We checked in to see what his backers are saying now.

Then: Where the Awbury Arboretum board sees a welcoming visitors’ center, neighbors see a battle against a development they don’t want.

And: An outstanding West Philly high school senior who overcame extreme circumstances has been accepted by more than 50 colleges. Fifty.

P.S.: Here’s your guide to the Pa. primary, which is just a week away — from who’s on your ballot to how you can make your voice heard and how to vote by mail.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

A progressive movement propelled Larry Krasner to the Philly DA’s office. Can it sustain the energy four years later?

The progressive activists who got Philly DA Larry Krasner elected in 2017 are determined to get him elected again.

Now Krasner’s reputation as a reformer has been burnished both in Philly and in the national movement for criminal justice reform. But 2017 was 2017, and this is 2021. It’s a complex moment, and one in which Krasner — who described himself as “unelectable” years ago — is the incumbent on defense against former prosecutor Carlos Vega.

That’s a novel position for his supporters, who have mostly mobilized against establishment candidates over the last five years. What happens a week from today will be a high-stakes test. How formidable are the progressive forces amid the current surge in gun violence? Is this base as fired up to reelect him as it once was?

Reporters Anna Orso and Sean Collins Walsh talked to officials and organizers to bring you our story on what Krasner’s backers are saying about this high-stakes election.

  • Also, the only Republican candidate for Philly district attorney, Chuck Peruto, is drawing criticism for his comments. His campaign website on particular has stirred controversy.

Philadelphia’s Awbury Arboretum wants to build a welcome center. Neighbors are fighting the plan.

Turns out, the plan for the new welcome center isn’t so welcome.

The Awbury Arboretum was proposing to clear the meadow in Germantown, Haines Field, for a new 5,000-square-foot Discovery Center and parking lot.

Talk of the new development brought 40 mostly Black residents to the arboretum’s Cope House recently for a contentious community meeting that touched on issues of race and class. Members of the Awbury Neighbors Association say the arboretum board of directors was planning to develop the property behind homes on Haines Street without talking first to the people who live there.

They say the development could rob them of green space and clog traffic, potentially costing them a good night’s sleep. The arboretum board says the plan will now be postponed after it learned of residents’ strong objections. What the chairperson of the board says is about drawing more people to the community, some of the members of that community say comes with a loaded message.

Read on for reporter Valerie Russ’ story on the neighbors’ objections to the plan.

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

🆕: The Pfizer vaccine has been cleared for use for the young ones, so here’s our guide to safety and side effects of the vaccine for kids and teens. We told you last week how the young people we spoke with have been ready to get into the race.

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, common cold, and allergies can overlap. How to tell the difference.

Here’s when you need to wear a mask, according to CDC guidance. We broke it down with our expert-informed guide, whether or not you’re vaccinated.

This is what we know about rare “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections in vaccinated people.

Here’s what you need to know about taking allergy medicines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Side effects mean your COVID-19 vaccine is working. But what if you don’t have a reaction?

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This magic moment. Thank you for sharing.

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


The Inquirer’s Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, vetted candidates in key races across the state to help you decide whom to vote for. This is the 2021 Primary Election Endorsement guide.

  • “The recent increase in gun violence is disturbing, but doubling down on a broken system is not the answer,” Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, writes.

  • Bioarchaeologist Tisa Loewen writes that it’s time for anthropologists to reassess their roles in light of Philly’s reckoning with the remains of two children of MOVE members.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Destiny

Out of more than 50 colleges that want the extracurricular-activity star, Destiny Jackson has picked one — and fund-raising efforts are underway. Perhaps she got here because she has “the secret sauce of being able to live with obstacles in the present, but still somehow be able to drive toward the future that she envisions for herself,” as the former director of Youth Emergency Services put it.