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$555K for women- and minority-owned business | Morning Newsletter

And the Johnny Doc trial by the numbers

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

It looks to be another really nice fall day throughout the region, with temperatures in the mid-60s.

Another bit of good news is today’s top story about a little-known initiative to award more city contracts to women- and minority-owned businesses. Rebuild Ready has the city providing the training and the support these businesses need to win contracts they might not have been able to before.

And you’ll notice that today’s newsletter looks a bit different. A lot of you helped shape our new format through a survey over the summer. We’ll be bringing more of the stories you should know about higher in the email, playing with different ways of presenting them, and inviting you to share your Philly perspective with us and each other.

Please click here to fill out a short, anonymous survey about our new format, and thanks for starting your day with us.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

In an effort to get more minority- and women-owned businesses a shot at city contracts, Philly has quietly been teaching select businesses how to navigate the bureaucracy.

Part of Mayor Jim Kenney’s $425 million Rebuild Philly public works program, the training helps businesses bid on upcoming projects, obtain the right certifications, navigate bonds and insurance, and more.

So far, 92 companies have completed the training, with almost 90% owned by people of color. And 13 participating companies have won city contracts, a number that is expected to grow.

Through our Future of Work series and in collaboration with WHYY, reporter Taylor Allen delivers an inside look at the program — and its future.

What you should know today

  1. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the statewide school mask mandate is expected to end in January.

  2. Lawyers for Sean Parnell, Pennsylvania Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, pushed back against allegations that he abused his wife.

  3. The Philadelphia School District is proposing a new media policy, which one board member referred to as a “gag order.”

  4. Supermarket company Giant opened a massive e-commerce warehouse in Southwest Philly. The site has 125 employees — and 69 robots.

  5. Brooklyn Bowl came to Fishtown, but that doesn’t mean Philly is suddenly cool with New York cultural exports.

  6. And Sixers star Joel Embiid was placed on the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol, making him the fourth Sixers player on the list.

  7. Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

With the federal bribery trial of union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon expected to wrap up as early as this week, we take a look at some numbers that stand out from weeks of proceedings and testimony.

  1. 2+: The hours prosecutors took to present closing arguments yesterday.

  2. 12: The number of jurors; four men and eight women.

  3. 20: The number of days the trial lasted at the federal courthouse on Market Street.

  4. 20: The maximum number of years both Dougherty and Henon could face if convicted.

  5. 20+: The number of witnesses who took the stand during the trial for both the prosecution and the defense, with the latter fielding character witnesses including a youth sports coach, elected officials, and a priest.

Our reporters Jeremy Roebuck and Oona Goodin-Smith have the latest as the trial comes to a close.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

When SEPTA averted a strike by its transit workers union last week, it staved off what could have been a devastating blow for a city still in economic recovery.

Do you know what year the transit authority last saw a strike? This throwback article not only provides your answer, but looks at the hysteria city residents escaped this time around.

Photo of the day

Enjoy today, Philly. 👋🏾