Voices | Jan. 9-16

Jim Kenney in a street sweeper
From announcing a new top cop to proclaiming street sweeping for all, Mayor Jim Kenney had quite the week. | Design: John Montesano


“From improving our education system and providing quality pre-K to our children, to tackling the opioid epidemic, we’ve accomplished so much because we’ve worked together.”

— Reflections from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney regarding his first of now two terms in office. 

Your turn: Do you agree with the mayor that as a city “we’ve accomplished so much?” What’s left to be accomplished? Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com

Mayor Jim Kenney recently appointed Danielle Outlaw as the city’s police commissioner. | Image: Samantha Madera/City of Philadelphia

Hail to the chief

Danielle Outlaw is both the new Philadelphia police commissioner and the former top cop in Portland, Oregon. Her recent appointment to lead the city’s 6,500-member police force position got folks talking – both here and in her former city. Here are a few of their thoughts:

Outlaw: “Modern policing is data-driven, but the paramount factor is not so easily quantified: trust – the trust residents have that their police force will keep them safe and treat them with respect. I am convinced that trust can be restored, here and across the nation. I am convinced community-police relations can be rebuilt and fortified through dialogue, transparency, and accountability.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: “While I have tremendous respect for our officers, the Philadelphia Police Department needs reform. I am appointing Danielle Outlaw because I am convinced she has the conviction, courage, and compassion needed to bring long-overdue reform to the Department. After meeting and speaking with her at length, I came away confident that Danielle Outlaw possesses the strength, integrity, and empathy vital to the tasks ahead.”

District attorney Larry Krasner: “Welcome to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, Police Commissioner Outlaw. As an outsider to Philadelphia, you are well-positioned to act during a time of needed reform on the ideals you have expressed. We are hopeful that your deeds will match your words and you will push for justice because we all know that justice makes us safer. You have championed 21st century policing, reconciliation between police and the communities they serve, equal treatment for all, and compassion for those who suffer from mental illness, addiction, and homelessness. I look forward to working with you, Mayor Kenney, and your Department to make criminal justice reform in Philadelphia a reality.”

State Rep. Jason Dawkins, on behalf of the House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation: “The appointment of Danielle Outlaw is welcome news for our great city. Her credentials as an experienced officer and chief, along with her impeccable character, make her well suited to lead and reform a department that has been plagued with issues of racial and gender discrimination and sexual harassment. “It is long past time that a woman, notably a woman of color, be given the opportunity to lead the law enforcement actions and efforts of Philadelphia and work toward the reforms that are most needed.” 

Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler of POWER Live Free campaign: “We celebrate the historic appointment of Commissioner Danielle Outlaw as the first African American woman to lead the Philadelphia Police Department. We look forward to learning about the challenges she faced in Portland and Oakland, and how her perspective can be a part of informing the challenges we face in Philadelphia. We are looking forward to meeting with incoming Commissioner Outlaw and helping to explain to her to the many struggles in our neighborhoods, and the opportunities that can come from listening to and partnering with our communities as they face poverty, racism, divestment, and other root causes of violence and harm.  We look forward to supporting her leadership as she pushes for the transparency and accountability we need to transform Philadelphia policing for the better.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler: “I’d like to congratulate Chief Outlaw for landing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We thank her for her service to the City of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), where she helped make a positive difference. She came to Portland exceedingly qualified for the position of police chief, and leaves more prepared than ever for her new position in Philadelphia.”

Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: “Over the last two years I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Danielle Outlaw while she served as Portland’s Police Chief. Her job was not an easy one, but it is a vital one for our city. As an outsider, being asked to change the culture of the Portland Police Bureau required a herculean effort, as well as a support team which I fear she never found.” 

Do you think Philly’s new top cop will create any change? Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com.

If you’re a lawyer and you’re reading this…

PLEASE HELP!!! I’ve been trying to contact Steve Volk or Julie Christie [writers of your story on evictions called] House Rules. That story is me! I’m currently facing imminent eviction from a slumlord. I discovered on [Dec. 27] that after I signed the lease the owner/landlord changed the terms, altered the lease, forged my signature, then submitted that fake to Court to win an eviction order against me. I filed criminal charges against them as soon as I discovered this crime. I need help so I don’t get evicted in 10 days!

– Bud Weiser | Philadelphia

Despite the pen name, we view this as a very serious letter. Can you help? Email us at voices@philadelphiweekly.com and we’ll put you in contact.

This hit on Eagles QB Carson Wentz by Seahawks defender Jadeveon Clowney caused quite the stir on Twitter, and rightfully so by the looks of it. | Image: YouTube screenshot


Last Sunday, Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney joined the list of the piece of shit players Eagles fans will now love to hate after his cheap shot on QB Carson Wentz took Wentz out of the game and ended his season via concussion. 

The Seahawks went on to win the NFC Wild Card game, 17-9 and after the game, it was widely reported that Clowney referred to Eagles Nation as “the worst fans in the world.”

The reaction from fans was swift on Twitter. Here’s a sampling: 

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