The return of outdoor dining in Philly has been welcomed by many people as a small step forward after being cooped up for months at home — not to mention the restaurants that were feeling the financial pinch of the pandemic. But for people with disabilities, it’s added yet another challenge to getting around the city.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia police union president issued a more forceful condemnation of the alt-right group the Proud Boys after photos surfaced of officers openly mingling with the group’s members outside a union-sponsored fund-raiser late last week. That appears to have struck a nerve with the Proud Boys.

Restaurants are using sidewalks, parking lots, and other public spaces to expand their outdoor dining to reopen their businesses while keeping tables six feet apart. This has created major barriers for people with disabilities who are struggling to navigate city sidewalks, and advocates say it is making long-standing accessibility issues in the city even worse.

As one person put it, “it sends a message that disabled people are not welcomed in this reopening.”

One day after my colleagues published a story about how police officers openly mingled with members of an alt-right group at a fund-raiser hosted at the FOP lodge, police union president John McNesby took a more forceful position on the Proud Boys party crashers.

He said he was unaware that the men — one of whom was carrying a Proud Boys flag while others donned baseball caps embroidered with the organization’s name — were even at the after-party for Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance. In a Twitter post, John McNesby said that FOP leadership and members “condemn their hateful and discriminatory speech in any form.”

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party and a group of 15 politicians of color filed a lawsuit that seeks to preserve mail-in voting. The lawsuit would extend the mail ballot deadline and require counties to contact voters if they turn in a ballot with errors, among other changes.

The state court lawsuit comes less than two weeks after the RNC and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign sued Pennsylvania to block the use of mail ballot drop boxes, calling them unconstitutional.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

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Opinions

Roger stoned
Signe Wilkinson
Roger stoned

“The only problem with this choice is its implication that the franchise would capture the country’s attention intensely for a brief period of time, then get really strange, then be completely forgotten. Just like Robert Griffin III.” Columnist Mike Sielski with a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the Washington NFL team change its name to the Washington Tiger Kings.

What we’re reading

  • Just more than three weeks ago, Pittsburgh celebrated its first day without a new coronavirus case. Now, cases are suddenly surging. The New York Times studies how the outbreak happened.
  • A rare flower will bloom soon at Longwood Gardens. The 5-foot-tall “corpse flower” — named because the mature plants are said to stink like rotting flesh — will be fully visible for only one to two days. You can spare your nose and watch the garden’s livestream, PhillyVoice says.
  • A six-story building that formerly housed a daily paper in Memphis, Tenn., has been converted into an overflow hospital for COVID-19 patients. An employee of the Commercial Appeal writes about the transformation for Editor & Publisher Magazine.

Your Daily Dose of | Charity

La Comunidad Hispana was among the grant recipients for the PHL COVID-19 fund.
courtesy: La Comunidad Hispana
La Comunidad Hispana was among the grant recipients for the PHL COVID-19 fund.

8,500 individual and corporate donors pitched in over the last four months to raise $17.5 million for the PHL COVID-19 Fund. Nonprofit La Communidad Hispana said that its $50,000 grant drastically affected its ability to provide health care for people who cannot afford health insurance.