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Gun control now key issue for Democrats, how much does Airbnb pay in taxes? | Morning Newsletter

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Chrissy Houlahan (left), Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, walks with campaign volunteer Dylan Ward, 17, a senior at Conestoga High School, while canvassing in Malvern.
Chrissy Houlahan (left), Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, walks with campaign volunteer Dylan Ward, 17, a senior at Conestoga High School, while canvassing in Malvern.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

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

This morning is one of hot-button issues: gun control, taxes, juvenile justice, immigration, civil rights, and more. As the midterms creep closer, my colleague Justine McDaniel has zeroed in on how gun control, a once-untouchable topic for candidates, is shaping Democratic campaigns in our region. It's a really fascinating shift. Another interesting shift: how Airbnb's popularity has slowly but surely been followed by state and city taxes, including in Pennsylvania. And don't forget to look farther afield this morning towards national news, as a major change to LGBT civil rights could be on the horizon.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

Think gun control has become an even hotter topic this election season? You’re not alone.

Once considered a "third rail" in American politics, gun control is now a key issue in races across the country, politicians and advocates say.

Democrats especially are embracing the once-taboo issue, including candidates in Bucks, Montgomery, and Dauphin Counties and even in conservative-leaning western Pennsylvania.

As Airbnb’s popularity has grown, so have sales and hotel taxes in many cities and states looking to benefit from the platform’s success.

So how much are they pitching in? Philly has received $7.6 million from Airbnb since July 2015, and Pennsylvania has received even more but it's a drop in the bucket compared to revenue from the lodging industry.

New Jersey is getting in on the action, too, with a new law the company estimates will generate more than $10 million per year in state and local taxes.

Prosecutors have agreed to drop all charges against a 13-year-old Grays Ferry boy who spent three days in jail after allegedly shooting the son of a Philadelphia police officer with a toy gun.

Defense lawyers say Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told them the mother of the alleged victim is "a police officer who did not call 911 but called up some buddies" to arrest the boy.

The boy and his mother maintained he did nothing wrong as the case raised some still-unanswered questions about the investigation, his arrest, and the juvenile court process.

What you need to know today

  1. LGBT leaders, communities, and allies across the country are outraged at reports that the Trump administration is considering adopting a new definition of gender that would effectively deny civil rights protections to transgender Americans. The memo proposes gender be defined by a person's sex organs at birth.

  2. Thousands of Central American migrants are continuing their trek towards the U.S. border, many fleeing violence and poverty. The migrant caravan began more than a week ago and has over 1,000 miles to walk before reaching the U.S.

  3. Over the weekend President Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the withdrawal would "make the world a more dangerous place."

  4. The 206-year-old Headquarters Road Bridge across Tinicum Creek in Bucks County has been closed to traffic for years. Now a new battle is brewing over plans for its replacement.

  5. A compound derived from marijuana, called CBD, is showing up in everything from ice cream to acne treatments. But experts say consumers could be wasting their money on CBD products.

  6. The local grocery delivery market just got a little more crowded: Walmart's online service is expanding to Philly and some surrounding suburbs.

Join us for The Polling Project: An Evening with the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday, Oct. 29 at the Museum of the American Revolution. Take a deep dive into the 2018 midterm elections with journalists from both world-class newsrooms. Tickets are free but space is limited. Register here.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

You know, you're not wrong, @studio7phl. 🎀

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!

That’s Interesting

  1. Parx Casino in Bensalem got quite a surprise over the weekend as Elton John showed up Saturday for an unannounced show. Sadly for the legend's adoring public, it was a private event.

  2. If you're feeling as lucky as those Elton John fans, you could try your hand at the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot everyone is talking about. Or you could try for the Powerball prize, a measly $620 million. Either way, the odds of winning are long, to say the least.

  3. If there's any silver lining to Sunday's Eagles loss, it's that coach Doug Pederson is leaning on a familiar, underdog-like refrain to rev up the Super Bowl champs: "They've kind of written us off."

  4. Uh-oh: Sixers star Ben Simmons is officially listed as questionable for Tuesday's game in Detroit after leaving Saturday night's game with lower back tightness and missing practice Monday.

  5. Attention Hamilton fans: the hit musical's prop master is talking stage secrets tonight at the Museum of the American Revolution.

  6. Philly rockers The War on Drugs are planning a very special holiday surprise. They're hosting three December shows in the Philadelphia area, all at mystery venues, and proceeds will benefit the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.


"At a time when our outdoor spaces, particularly those in and around urban areas, are increasingly threatened by development, Congress should be exploring ways to promote access to the outdoors not threatening it."
— Gabby Perez, former intern at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, on how Congressional neglect is putting Pennsylvania’s outdoor spaces at risk.
  1. The second annual On the Table Philly event, which aims to bring Philadelphians together to talk about the topics that matter to them, is in just a few weeks and Pedro A. Ramos, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, wants you to be there.

  2. The Inquirer Editorial Board's latest endorsements go to Democrat Andy Kim for Congress in New Jersey's Third District and Democrat Sen. Jeff Van Drew in the Second District.

What we’re reading

  1. Joel Embiid has graced GQ's first "digital cover," which essentially means the story on the charming Sixers star includes lots of boomerang-like GIFs of him in stylish outfits.

  2. Podcast fans, listen up: Billy Penn went behind the scenes with Kevin Chemidlin, the creator of "Philly Who?," to talk about how it got so popular he quit his day job.

  3. Wondering what's happening to the Red Bell Brewery building in Brewerytown? Curbed Philly has new details, including the fate of some of its graffiti.

  4. Where does your neighborhood land on the walkability scale? PlanPhilly took a dive into a new online tool to find out where Philly is easiest to navigate.

  5. If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you'll find a kindred spirit in the Washington Post's lovable profile on the king of grumpiness, Oscar the Grouch.

Your Daily Dose of | Creativity

I guarantee* you will win every Halloween costume contest you enter with reporter Bethany Ao’s homemade Gritty outfit. (*Of course I can’t guarantee that, but just know I would vote for you.)