Oh, the weather outside is — well, maybe not so frightful after all. Despite earlier reports of potentially disastrous winter storms, Philly’s skies are now expected to be clear and snow-free for the rest of the week. And under a new interim program from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office, low-level drug charges against those who are addicted to drugs may be cleared, too.

In other news, Philly’s real-estate developers are scrambling to minimize any financial damage they may face from proposed changes to the city’s 10-year tax abatement on new construction.

— Oona Goodin-Smith (@oonagoodinsmith, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Inside Philly DA Larry Krasner’s new plan to drop low-level drug charges in favor of addiction treatment

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has long argued that people should not be in prison for drug addiction, but now he’s putting that philosophy into action.

His office has quietly launched an unprecedented interim “diversion” program, where prosecutors withdraw charges for those who show proof they’re in drug treatment. Under the initiative, only those who refuse to go into treatment would face prosecution.

Expected to affect an estimated 230 people each month who are arrested for possessing drugs, the effort is low-tech and a radical departure from Philadelphia’s past attempts at diversion.

A rush to change Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement stuck real estate developers with a tough choice

Philadelphia’s tax abatement, adopted almost 20 years ago to spur growth in the city, has become a lightning rod for controversy in recent years.

Now, a proposed bill — to be discussed in a City Council hearing today — would cut the value of the 10-year abatement for residential construction almost in half. In response, developers have scrambled to lock down a deal to minimize any financial hit they may face under new legislation.

'Post-it posse:’ It might sound cute, but is this New Jersey woman already swaying elections?

Inspired by the Pantsuit Nation Facebook groups that sprung up around Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in 2016, a New Jersey woman has created a statewide “Post-It Posse” campaign to give New Jersey voters a neighborly nudge to vote by mail.

Armed with postcards, Post-Its, and steely resolve, the group is seeing results.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Things are looking merry and bright at the Philadelphia Zoo. ✨Thanks for the photo, @amyjani.

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 must realize that the suppression impulse of the powerful is a manifestation of vindictive hatred. Recognize that if Altman were a black woman or man, the brutality would have been far worse.”Ronsha Dickerson, community advocate and co-founder of Camden Parent Union, on the forceful removal of Camden activist Sue Altman from a New Jersey tax break hearing.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Decking the Hall

On Wednesday, hundreds will gather for the annual holiday tree lighting at City Hall. But getting the enormous fir into place is a far more calculated process than it appears, involving a road trip to New York, a drone, six days of decorating, more than 3,000 lights, and a 130-pound Liberty Bell topper.