Good morning, everyone. I’m Ashley, and you’ll be hearing from me more often in this newsletter from now on, with Josh Rosenblat still lurking in your inbox from time to time.
Today, we’re launching a yearlong series that will take a closer look at the future of work in Philly. The city is far from the only place to confront a complex road ahead after the pandemic, but deep habits have made the solutions tougher to find here. To start off this series, our architecture critic, Inga Saffron, details how we’ll seek answers to difficult questions about such issues as suburbanization, a lack of school district funding, and a history of systemic racism that has gone unchecked.
In other news, President Donald Trump visits Pennsylvania today as part of his campaign’s pitch to working-class voters who could play a crucial role in the election.
“How did poverty become a defining characteristic of a city that once proudly called itself the Workshop of the World? And what can Philadelphia do to change the situation, especially now that the coronavirus has killed whole job categories and by August swollen our unemployment rate to over 15%?”
Those are some of the questions my colleague Inga Saffron begins to take on with the start of our Future of Work series about Philadelphia. Her story ventures everywhere from the school district to training programs to get closer to what’s being done. We’ll also wrestle with questions about pay and job skills to examine what this city needs to do to survive the changing economy.
It’s looking even more likely that the path to the White House is running deep through Pennsylvania — and the battle for the state is coming down to the wire.
That might explain why President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Johnstown today, more than a week after testing positive for COVID-19. This marks Trump’s return to Pennsylvania after Joe Biden has used the president’s absence to ramp up his presence by hopscotching across the Keystone State. Both candidates are banking on working-class voters who could effectively decide if Trump packs up or gets to stay in the Oval Office for another term. Trump’s mission: grow his base in rural areas. Biden’s: erode it.
All kinds of things can affect how seriously people take the coronavirus, from their livelihoods to just plain fatigue. But recent studies suggest that having a personal connection to the virus can make the difference between how real or abstract this fatal threat feels.
Even though 214,000 have died and 400,000 been hospitalized in the United States, our analysis of the numbers suggests that the average person doesn’t know someone in either of those categories.
What you need to know today
Pennsylvania second lady Gisele Barreto Fetterman talked to us about how she hopes the widely circulated video of a woman calling her the N-word at a grocery store can help her “break the cycle of hate.”
Joe Morgan, a star for the Cincinnati Red and Philadelphia Phillies, died yesterday at 77.
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia’s second-largest employer, will cut 500 positions after enduring steep losses this year.
Here’s why some workers in Philadelphia’s largest municipal union want to unseat their leader who has held the job since 1996.
Philly contact tracers who race against time to tell people they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 tell us how they’re trying to break through suspicion and stigma.
It seems that Republicans have the votes they need to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. That process got underway Monday and continues this week.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
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!
🥛 Is oat milk even milk? As options abound, people debate whether milk from soybeans or oats means you’ve even got milk.
😷 Trump said he was immune to the virus. Here’s what the science says about what immunity is, exactly.
👓 Lasik eye surgery is making a comeback. Why? Endless video conferences are drying out eyes and masks are fogging up glasses enough to make people want to ditch their specs forever.
🏙️ Some people have questions about how the city can push to remove the Christopher Columbus statue in South Philadelphia and still give thousands of city workers a paid holiday on Columbus Day.
🥤 Turns out, the best way to become the ‘Coke’ of CBD brands may be to skip mentioning CBD.
“The responsibility for “fixing the world” cannot — and should not — rest on young people. For one thing, many of us just can’t vote. And while I know referring to youth as the future is well-meaning, I feel resentment and pressure when I hear it. I don’t want, nor do I have the capability, to fix the world’s problems.” — writes Catie Jacobson, a 17-year-old gun violence prevention advocate, about why we should stop calling young people “the future.”
Anuj Gupta, a public space fellow with the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, writes that if we’re going to address any of the major challenges right now, we first have to face the national emergency of being unable to talk to each other.
The Inquirer Editorial Board, a group of journalists who operate separately from our newsroom, issued endorsements for Nina Ahmad, a trained scientist and small-business owner, for the Office of Auditor General and Josh Shapiro for Pennsylvania Attorney General on Monday. On Sunday, the Board endorsed Joe Biden in the presidential race and will be issuing additional endorsements this week.
What we’re reading
Next year, expect 16 new play installations coming throughout Philly that will transform such everyday spaces as sidewalks and offices as part of the Play Everywhere initiative, WHYY reports.
Vulture has gathered 100 sequences that influenced the imaginative art form of animation as we know it.
A mother writes in Philadelphia Magazine about grappling with what her neighbors might think of the yelling going on in her family while they’re housebound in a 1,200-square-foot rowhouse in a pandemic.
Your Daily Dose of | Change
Philadelphia’s East Passyunk neighborhood has announced that it will be retiring its logo. The news comes two years after the district’s executive director, Adam Leiter, said it was “open to furthering the discussion" following criticism that the image was offensively stereotypical and historically inaccurate. (The silhouette appears in a Western Plains headdress, which is out of step with Passyunk’s association with the Lenape people.)
Now, the image will be stripped from all digital and print signage. The district will work on the redesign with local civic associations and welcomes public input.