Teens across the country are preparing to cast their ballots for the first time during the 2020 election cycle. And in Pennsylvania in particular, the primary system sort of forces first-time voters to solidify a political identity in order to participate. My colleague Julia Terruso went to a town outside of Scranton to talk to high school seniors about how they’ve been forming their political identities.
In other news this morning, Mayor Jim Kenney reacted to a particularly violent weekend in the city, the Supreme Court will hear arguments today about the Bridgegate controversy from 2014, and a former Philadelphia Museum of Art exec has lost his current job after more fallout regarding his alleged behavior with female colleagues.
For young people turning 18 in the months before a major presidential election, registering with a political party is the first time they formally define the political identities many of them have been developing for years. Republicans? Democrats? Something else? Nothing? But in a state such as Pennsylvania, where the primary is closed, you’re sort of forced to join a camp in order to participate.
In Dunmore, a small borough outside Scranton, politics have become more muddled. Historically Democratic, the region has grown more Republican over the years. And at the local high school, the would-be first-time voters are feeling that split.
“A lot of people ... they just see your party and don’t want to listen to what you have to say,” said one student, a Democrat whose mom is a Trump supporter.
Joshua Helmer is “no longer employed at the Erie Art Museum,” according to an unsigned statement posted on the museum’s Facebook page yesterday. The 31-year-old went to Erie after he separated from the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2018 for undisclosed reasons. Pressure for Helmer’s removal grew this past weekend with the circulation of a petition and a New York Times article alleging he entered into relationships with female subordinate museum staffers while dangling possibilities for professional advancement.
Hundreds of current and former Philadelphia museum staff members signed a statement that expressed solidarity with the women who spoke out in the Times article. The statement calls for structural change, and signers say the allegations against Helmer “barely scratch the surface.”
In less than 48 hours, police said, seven people were killed and 12 others were wounded by gunfire. In a 10-hour stretch on Sunday, 10 people were killed or injured in less than 10 hours. The violence spanned neighborhoods across the city.
The outburst pushed the city’s homicide total to 14 homicide victims in 12 days so far in 2020. Police stats show that it’s the most killings this early in the year in five years.
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“For too long, U.S. policy in the Middle East has been addicted to dictators and autocrats, neither of which care for their people. And this gap between the people and their leaders is the main factor driving instability and violence.” — write Brian Katulis and Michael Rubin about U.S. policy in the Middle East. Katulis and Rubin are co-editors of a book that asks what really causes instability in the region.