May 17: Ballot questions approved | Wawa joins East Market | Life, Unauthorized

On Tuesday Philadelphians voted yes on both ballot questions to amend the city’s Home Rule Charter, the Inquirer’s Tricia L. Nadolny reports. Ballot question #1 approves the bill introduced by Councilman Bobby Henon to change how the city picks vendors for city contracts, altering the criteria from the “lowest responsible” bidder to “best value.” Ballot question #2 approves the bill introduced by Council President Darrell Clarke to create a Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission, which aims to ‘better coordinate’ the private, public, nonprofit and organized labor interests in the city. 

Wawa has signed a lease for 6,196-square-feet store on the ground-floor of East Market’s second tower at the corner of 12th and Market, Curbed Philly’s Melissa Romero reports. The location will serve as concept store where the company will try out newer features including seating, a built-to-order salad line, and a bakery line. Wawa will also test “a delivery system for future residents at 1199 Ludlow Street.” The store is slated to open spring 2018.

May 15th to 19th is National Infrastructure Week, an annual week-long discussion about improving the nation’s infrastructure. Bloomberg Politics reports that leaders from business, government, organized labor and trade associations gathered in Washington, urging the president to “produce his plan soon if he wants to tap bipartisan support for the improvements and start to navigate the ideological differences over how to pay for them.” Speaking at the same event, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that the administration will share the president’s “vision” for his plan “in the next several weeks.” NewsWorks’ Tom MacDonald reports that former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who co-chairs the Building America’s Future Educational Fund with former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, suggested increasing the federal gas tax by 10 cents a gallon to help pay to repair the country’s structurally deficient bridges, interstate highways, and transit systems. 

This week WHYY/NewsWorks launched ‘Life, Unauthorized,’ a deep dive into the personal immigration stories of individuals who are living in the Philadelphia region without legal status. The stories, which feature the voices of some of the many thousands of unauthorized immigrants living in the Philadelphia region, focus on key issues including political and economic impact, sanctuary cities, crime, and education. Tune in to NewsWorks Tonight and Morning Edition on 90.9fm to hear features from this powerful series.

Penn’s School of Policy and Practice (SP2) held its inaugural Franklin SP2 Social Innovation Prize pitch competition last Friday, the Philadelphia Citizen’s Quinn O’Callaghan reports. Six teams of students competed for $5,000 to launch a nonprofit that would address SP2’s Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues, “an initiative that seeks to alleviate some of the most prevalent societal ills, from food deserts to mass incarceration to homelessness.” The ultimate winner was ‘Fresh Box,’ a project that hopes to address urban food deserts by setting up “terminals from which people can order food to be delivered directly to their homes,” like a “RedBox for healthy foods.” Generocity lists all projects and notes the students, panelists and event organizers’ overarching themes to “build upon past research and established resources” and “collaborate with and listen to those directly affected by the issues.”

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