NOTE: In honor of Presidents’ Day, First Read will not publish on Monday, Feb. 19. It will return Tuesday, Feb. 20.


WEATHER: Philadelphia, rain, high of 57; Harrisburg, light rain, high of 53; Pittsburgh, a.m. rain, high of 46.



* A showdown is brewing between Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Jim Kenney over who has ultimate authority to remove members of the upcoming board overseeing the city’s school district.



Make sure Pa.’s congressional maps truly reflect Pa.

In a matter of days, Pennsylvania is going to have new boundaries drawn for its 18 congressional districts. Common Cause believes voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. Mapmakers from both parties should disclose the data they use to draw district lines. New maps must reflect our modern Pennsylvania, including its racial diversity, to ensure equity and fairness in elections. Click HERE for more.




* Eight redrawn congressional maps have now been submitted to the PA Supreme Court ahead of a likely redistricting by the judiciary – including an 11th-hour entry from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, the Patriot-News writes.

* A new poll on the PA-18 special election in March has Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in a near dead heat, according to the Post-Gazette.

* A judge rejected an argument from lawyers for state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, who contended she was the victim of racial bias in a 2014 corruption sting, the Inquirer reports.

* GOP US Senate candidate Lou Barletta released a fundraising mailer that described the U.S. as being “at war” with "violent criminal aliens" and "radical terrorists," according to the Patriot-News.

* Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, once an outsider in his own party, is now running for office with the support of most of the state GOP establishment, the Post-Gazette writes.

* Philly DA Larry Krasner has tossed some 50 marijuana possession cases, stating that his office will decline to prosecute similar cases going forward, WHYY reports.

* Lou Lappen, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of PA, slammed a plan to open safe injection sites in Philadelphia, calling them “self-suicide sites,” according to WHYY.

* An investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting showed that racist lending practices have perpetuated effective redlining in Philadelphia’s real estate market.

* Philadelphia has largely declined to fill public housing offered up by the local housing authority for Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees, citing a lengthy waitlist from local residents, the Inquirer writes.



Submit your nominations for City & State PA’s 2018 Above & Beyond Awards: Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind

Join City & State PA for our inaugural event recognizing 25 exceptional women from the Commonwealth for their accomplishments across various sectors including politics, health care, education, advocacy, business and beyond. Help us shine a light on these powerful women who have distinguished themselves in their respective industries. Nominate your friends and colleagues for this honor! Help us shine a light on these powerful women distinguishing themselves in their respective industries by nominating someone for this honor today!

On Thursday, March 22, join us as we honor these 25 women with a special edition of City & State PA magazine at the awards celebration.

Click here to nominate someone. To nominate more than one person, simply reload this page.

Nomination Deadline: extended to Friday, February 16




* The Inquirer has an op-ed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and DA Larry Krasner explaining how they are taking the lessons learned from mishandling the crack epidemic and applying them to more effectively fight the opioid crisis.  


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: PA Rep. Stephen McCarter … PA Rep. P. Michael Sturla (2/18) … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to



* Charitable giving in the US increased 4.1 percent in 2017, according to the Blackbaud Institute’s 2017 Charitable Giving Report, writes the Nonprofit Times.

* Generocity spotlights the leaders of three of its charter member nonprofit organizations.

* Thanks to a land swap involving the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, the Almost Home Dog Adoption Center will soon have a new home in Lancaster County, writes the Central PA Business Journal.



10:30 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will join federal, state, and local officials, as well as community leaders to announce RACP funding and PHFA tax credits for the New Market West building. 5901 Market Street, Philadelphia.

1 p.m. - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn will join state Rep. Mike Carroll, Thornhurst Township officials and snowmobiling enthusiasts in celebration of the Wolf Administration’s recent investment to support improvement of the Thornhurst Snowmobile Trail in Pinchot State Forest. Manny Gordon Recreation Area Picnic Pavilion, Bear Lake Road, Thornhurst.

1:30 p.m. - the Wolf Administration cabinet will join community members to host the sixth Cabinet in Your Community event, featuring Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Department of Health Acting Secretary Rachel Levine, and Department of Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell. Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State St., Erie.


To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to


KICKER: “You’re talking about an extremely dangerous situation with people injecting these drugs into their veins that is killing them at rates we have never before in the history of the world...We can’t just say, ‘Wow, that’s a great idea.’ ” – Philly’s top federal prosecutor sets up for a war with the city over a proposal to launch safe injection sites in opioid-riddled neighborhoods. From WHYY.