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What's next after historic elections, activists take on cash bail, critics question Halladay's plane | Morning Newsletter

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Democrats took two seats on the Delaware County Council on Tuesday, making inroads in a Republican-controlled county.
Democrats took two seats on the Delaware County Council on Tuesday, making inroads in a Republican-controlled county.Read moreMichaelle Bond

If you thought we were done with election talk for a bit, you were so, so wrong. Now that all the winners have been announced it's time to see what's next and look ahead to 2018. But don't worry, we're talking about Wawa, wailing, and winter weather, too.

If you like what you're reading, it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook.

— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: Trump backlash in the ‘burbs? What election results show

Tuesday's elections were nothing short of historic. In Delaware County, Democrats made history by beating Republicans in a County Council election for the first time ever and in Chester County, Democrats won four countywide row offices for the first time since 1799. Bucks County Democrats won four of five row offices, which hadn't happened in decades.

Pennsylvania also elected an openly transgender person to office for the first time and women swept the statewide judicial races. To top it all off, a woman who ran for office after an Atlantic County Freeholder mocked the Women's March took his place on the board (maybe not historical, per se, but certainly in the Irony Hall of Fame).

But what does it all mean? Well, Republicans in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are worried that a Trump backlash has put their careers in jeopardy — and Democrats agree anti-Trump sentiment helped them win.

» READ MORE: Philly activists take on city’s cash-bail system

The success of Black Mama's Bail-Out Day, a nationwide event that raised funds to bail black women out of jail for last Mother's Day, has inspired a new initiative. Local organizers, some of whom come from groups like Media Mobilizing Project and Black Lives Matter, are launching the Philly Community Bail Fund.

As one activist says, the current system "is affecting the black community in devastating ways." The city has been exploring alternatives (New Jersey, for one, has nearly eliminated cash bail), but in the meantime organizers want to guarantee equal rights for those deemed safe to release but can't afford the cost.

And they'll have a friend in the DA's office soon enough; Larry Krasner has already spoken out against the cash bail system.

» READ MORE: For Philly schools, state control didn’t bring more state money

In announcing the dissolution of the state-controlled School Reform Commission, Mayor Kenney said the state hadn't been holding up its end of the deal to help the district's funding woes. Survey says: he's very, very right.

Data shows that, if funding was distributed according to need, Philly hasn't been receiving its fair share despite getting more money from the state overall. Turns out, the amount received per pupil has actually been declining, and many wealthier districts receive more.

For most of the last three decades, districts received funds based on what they got the year before. When a formula was introduced it was short-lived, and that formula is now being challenged in the state Supreme CourtKenney may not have a clear plan for funding schools just yet, but it seems the city's on the right track.

What you need to know today

  1. Investigators are hoping to understand what happened to former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay's plane the day of his fatal crash as critics question how the sleek model he was flying is marketed to new pilots.

  2. District Attorney-elect Larry Krasner's win may be a coup for progressives, but the voting map shows the city's more divided than ever. Luckily, he and the Fraternal Order of Police seem to be on better terms than last spring.

  3. A new Grammy-powered music program is helping Philly schools study up. They hope to raise $5 million for curriculum improvements, instruments and more. Sounds like music to my ears.

  4. A local nonprofit that focuses on senior health and wellness decided that West Philadelphia's Mantua neighborhood could use a few more benches for passing residents to rest on. How hard could it be? Well, it's been 23 months, and they still don't have those benches.

  5. Philly-trained lawyer Lee Merritt is emerging as a leader in his field, taking on one high-profile police brutality or racial violence case after another. Friends are calling him "this generation's Thurgood Marshall."

  6. Just in time for Veterans Day this Saturday, a new Department of Defense policy will make all honorably discharged Armed Forces vets eligible for online tax-free shoppingfor life—at the primary retailer for U.S. military installations.

  7. Another day, another round of bad climate change news: expect shorter winters, early springs and flooding.

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

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 to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. You'll soon be able to open city garbage cans with a foot pedal. No more awkwardly using your elbow to avoid that mysteriously sticky handle.

  2. Last night a bunch of people gathered outside City Hall to scream at the sky in helpless rage to mark the anniversary of President Trump's election. Of course.

  3. Listen, I thought I loved Wawa, but local comedian Nick Kupsey has studied it, and to hilarious effect in new e-book "The Five People You Meet in Wawa."

  4. Looks like rumors of the Sixers trading Jahlil Okafor have resumed. This time it's the Suns who are interested.

  5. Taking binge-watching to a whole new level: This spring's Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts includes a 24-hour marathon show on the history of pop music hosted by drag queen Taylor Mac. 

  6. The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival launches today, and Drew Lazor knows which films you need to see.

  7. If you're looking for a great place to join the Dungeons & Dragons crowd, reporter Samantha Melamed recommends South Philly's low-key, high-fantasy Black Cat Tavern.


"Yes, this is a "gun situation." And no, it is not too soon to talk about how to stop the carnage. "The Inquirer Editorial Board notes three problems we need to address to end gun violence.
  1. People of faith feel particular pain from hateful violence, author Solomon Jones writes. But his faith has also shown him how that deep hurt can initiate change.

  2. Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, says there are three things Harrisburg could do right now to make Philly streets safer. And none of them are "add more bike lanes."

What we’re reading

  1. Tech companies love the great press they get from accessibility projects, but they don't always put real money behind them, The Outline reports.

  2. Heard of the Museum of Ice Cream? Well it's less of a museum and more of an Instagram playground. Curbed asks whether it's all fun and games or if ticket buyers are just getting played.

  3. Check out this robust timeline tracking how the sports world and the Trump administration have crossed paths in the past year, thanks to Sports Illustrated.

  4. On an alternative timeline, the reigning queen of pop music, Pennsylvania native Taylor Swift has managed to stay apolitical. The Ringer asks if it will hurt her…reputation. (Sorry, had to.)

  5. Speaking of pop domination, remember TRL? MTV's hit video-countdown show almost single-handedly created the boy band boom. I'm enjoying New York Magazine's trip down memory lane.

A Daily Dose of | Robots

Soft robots, specifically. A team from The Haverford School just won a robotics competition for their now-patented design: a gummy-like medical device patients can swallow.