Marc Stier at Large

Reflections on Philosophy and politics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Beyond

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For City Commissioner: Carol Jenkins and Lisa Deeley

Two candidates for City Commissioner stand far above all the others. Carol Jenkins and Lisa Deeley. City Commissioner is one of those row offices that carries out a really important function that is utterly unknown to most people. The City Commissioners are responsible for making sure that the machinery of our elections—from the books that […]

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Sat, May 16 2015 » Philadelphia, Progressive Politics » No Comments

Jim Kenney, with pleasure.

I’m going to vote for Jim Kenney for Mayor next week. One reason, as I wrote earlier in the week, is to stop the Four Billionaires from electing a Mayor. But there is another reason as well. I think he could be a really good mayor. That he’s even running tells you a lot about […]

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Fri, May 15 2015 » Philadelphia, Progressive Politics » No Comments

Council at Large Choices

Here’s why I’m voting for Sherrie Cohen, Helen Gym, Bill Greenlee, Wilson Goode, and Derek Green for City Council at Large We have, it seems, almost an embarrassment of good candidates for Council at Large this year including both challengers and incumbents. But look closely and a few stand out above the others, not just […]

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Thu, May 14 2015 » Philadelphia, Progressive Politics » No Comments

A last word on the Controller’s race

The response to our letter on Brett Mandel has been predictable, and for the most part good. Many progressives who have shared our qualms about Brett have come out and taken a public position. And many of those progressives who support Brett have denounced us for joining a “ward leader, party hack” who is backed […]

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Fri, May 17 2013 » 2013 Controller race, Philadelphia, Progressive Politics, Ward politics » No Comments

My Brett Mandel Problem–and Ours.

Political life is sometimes difficult, especially when friendship and ideology come into conflict. I made a difficult decision the other day, to sign a statement opposing Brett Mandel’s candidacy for City Controller. Elections are blunt instruments for expressing one’s preferences because multiple concerns come into play when we decide for whom to vote. And that’s […]

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Fri, May 10 2013 » 2013 Controller race, Philadelphia » No Comments

What’s the rush? Save the Cohen wage tax rebate!

One of the last accomplishments of long time progressive Councilmember David Cohen—a rebate on the wage tax for those with low incomes—may be repealed tomorrow. It shouldn’t be. There are good policy arguments both for and against the wage tax rebate. I’ll come to some of them in a moment. But, frankly, at the moment […]

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Wed, June 20 2012 » Philadelphia, Philadelphia Taxes, Taxation » No Comments

AVI without tears

I have an op-ed in today’s Daily News about AVI. I think the argument there is correct, but it is highly compressed. I’ve tried to set out my argument at a little greater length here. (Note that in the op-ed and in this piece I made a mistake and said that AVI shifts the tax […]

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Tue, May 29 2012 » Philadelphia, Philadelphia Budget, Taxation » No Comments

Homeowners, don’t fight the AVI — it’s good for you

 Originally published in the Daily News, May 29, 2012 A great fear seems to have come over the city as the heavy footsteps of a monster called AVI come ever closer to us. It’s time to recognize, however, that that monster is a friendly creature who will benefit most of us. Partly because tax matters are […]

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Tue, May 29 2012 » Philadelphia, Philadelphia Taxes, Taxation » No Comments

Not such a big deal

Tom Ferrick wrote an insightful, useful but in some respects strange article about Philadelphia taxes in Metropolis the other day. There is a lot to be learned from him it and as much to be learned from understanding where it goes wrong. (This is the second time in a few weeks I’ve disagreed with Ferrick so […]

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Fri, May 4 2012 » Philadelphia, Public Policy, Taxation » No Comments

What do do-nothing legislators do?

There is a class of legislators who pundits sometime pick on for not being “effective.” They are politicians who typically stand a little to the left (for Democrats) or right (for Republicans) of their party. Then tend to come from relatively well-off, safe districts. Their constituents are more ideological than most and less in need […]

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Tue, May 1 2012 » A political memoir, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Political Organizing, Politics, Progressive Politics » No Comments