2020: When conservative became alt in Philly

Mayor Jim Kenney with googly eyes
An alternative voice isn’t what it was when we first started in 1971. Today, those fed up with an inept City Hall and a city ravaged by crime need a voice. We think now is the right time to leave the echo chamber give that voice to the voiceless. We’d love to know what you think. | Illustration: John Montesano

Alternative journalism is in Philadelphia Weekly’s DNA.

But today, “alt” in Philly isn’t what it used to be. We want to reflect that change and continue to be a voice for the voiceless, but we need to know if you support such a move.

In 1971, we opened our doors as the Welcomat. Frank Rizzo was lording over City Hall and the LGBT crowd, punks and people of color kicked around by his police force needed a voice. It was us. Twenty years later, another Democrat promising to clean up Philly was in City Hall, and we became Philadelphia Weekly — a platform to push back against the city’s transformation into Ed Rendell’s gubernatorial campaign. For the people who called Philly home and didn’t have a voice – against City Hall, against whomever – we were there.

Then something happened in Philly: Alt became mainstream. We elected a district attorney who is anti-cop and doesn’t want to prosecute crimes. We elected a mayor who protects homeless encampments instead of local residents. We elected “leaders” who cater to special interests, while ignoring the needs of hard-working, taxpaying Philadelphians. The alternative voices we spoke to aren’t the alternative today – they’re in power.

Whose voice is ignored today? Who’s “alt” in Philly in 2020?


People enraged by an inept and ineffectual city government. Those who oppose socialist and intrusive government programs and public policy. Those who see their neighborhoods ravaged by senseless violence and rampant drug use – while their elected leaders refuse to help under the guise of social justice.

We believe a conservative voice is the new alternative in progressive Philadelphia. Do you? If so, we could really use your support of our Kickstarter campaign.

Being “alt” in Philly today means being a voice for people who are fed up and ready for those in power to hear what this city needs to be. We want to write about a district attorney who is anti-cop and a mayor who effectively sanctions ongoing homeless encampments, while at the same time tells Eagles fans they can’t tailgate. We want to advocate for those who are fed up with nonsensical public health policies that defy science and crush local businesses. We want to be – once again – a voice for those who are truly voiceless in this city.

For us to speak up in this way and make this shift, we need to know that you care and that our new approach will be sustainable. By October 15, we are asking Philadelphians to step up and pledge $5,900 toward funding this journalism — toward funding a conservative voice to cut through the progressive echo chamber that is Philadelphia media. We’ll say thanks by giving you some great swag but more importantly, by recasting our publication to be the pragmatic conservative voice so lacking in this city.

Do you want to help make this happen? Support PW’s Kickstarter campaign.

So, Philly, what do you think? Should Philadelphia Weekly continue to be a voice for the people in the city who are ignored by politicians and mainstream media – even if those people aren’t the same ones we’ve fought for in the past? Let us know.

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