Happy New Year, Philly. Whether you’re already back to the grind or headed back to reality soon, don’t miss my colleague Cassie Owens’ seven tips for easing your post-holiday transition and implementing positive change in your 2020 routine.

Calls for change are already afoot at City Hall, where leaders are demanding lasting solutions to the annual outrage sparked by offensive performances at the Mummers Parade. This year, at least two marchers were spotted wearing blackface on New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, change is proving difficult for Philadelphia’s big business interests in city politics.

Last year, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia announced plans to foster “real change and a focus on growth.”

Real change happened, but not the kind the chamber wanted. Instead, Working Families Party candidate Kendra Brooks beat back the chamber’s last-minute attempt to stop her from winning one of two Council at-large seats, becoming the only third-party politician to hold a Council seat in at least a century.

Reporters Chris Brennan and Sean Collins Walsh unpack the struggles of Philadelphia’s big business interests to influence increasingly left city politics.

Following another New Year’s Day Mummers Parade marred by controversy after at least two marchers in the Froggy Carr Wench Brigade were spotted wearing blackface, Philadelphia city leaders are calling for lasting change.

But it’s unclear what can be done to prevent future incidents of blackface or other offensive performances.

Some say the efforts must start from within the Mummers, some say the individuals who misbehave should be punished, and some say that without reform, the 120-year-old parade should end.

Froggy Carr leadership told The Inquirer that it’s not a racist club, and that the brigade’s 550 marchers should not be condemned for the actions of a few.

Still, said Council President Darrell L. Clarke, there’s “nothing funny” about the brigade’s actions.

“At some point, there needs to be a conversation about whether or not this particular portion of the parade should be allowed in the city of Philadelphia if people can’t police themselves,” he said.

About a month before Wawa disclosed a data breach exposing its customers’ credit and debit card information, Visa warned the Delaware County-based convenience store chain and other the gas station operators that hackers were targeting them to steal payment card numbers.

Specifically, Visa’s report cautioned that gas stations still using magnetic-stripe readers to accept payment were at risk. Wawa has since said it plans to implement chip technology this year.

Malware compromised Wawa customer credit and debit card information at potentially all store locations between March 4 and Dec. 12, 2019. If you think you may have been affected by the data breach, here’s what to do.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

A New Year’s Day sunrise: the perfect time to reflect. 🌅Thanks for the photo, @paulenereneephotography.

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


New Years Day by Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT
Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT
New Years Day by Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

“Black people are tired of being mocked by those who would engage in the age-old minstrelsy that is blackface. We are tired of those who hate us hiding behind paint, behind hoods, behind excuses and ultimately, behind a government that would dare to fund open bigotry with our tax dollars.” — Columnist Solomon Jones on why the city should stop using tax dollars from black Philadelphians to support the Mummers.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Didgeridoo

JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer

Want to learn to play an unusual instrument in the new year? From the autoharp to the accordion, here’s where you can try your hand at some of the less-celebrated musicianship in Philly.