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.
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!
“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.”
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.)