What Lies Ahead

Now that President Obama has been reelected, let’s move our sights to fixing Philly.

Finally. After about two years of nonstop debates, record-setting television ads, and enough barroom political discussion to make me give up drinking, the election is over. Of course, in the aftermath of President Obama’s victory, and the historical night for Democrats overall, the effects of this election on Philadelphia have been lost in the shuffle. In the midst of all of the political analysis and media coverage related to the Presidential election, it becomes too easy to lose sight of local politics. But it is of course the local and state politicians who tend to really impact our lives the most. With that being said, what’s going to happen to Philly now that the Democrats made such a clean sweep of Pennsylvania? Below is a quick sample of some of the key issues discussed during the election that are facing Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania as a whole, over the next four years:

For starters, there is the issue of gun control in Philadelphia; more specifically, closing the “Florida Loophole,” which allows individuals who have been denied a permit to carry a firearm to use permits obtained in other states, like Florida. This loophole is especially dangerous because it essentially allows for people who only have criminal records in Pennsylvania to get their guns elsewhere. For a city that is routinely recognized as having the highest per-capita murder rate in the United States, it doesn’t look too good when our convicts even have a legal method to obtain firearms.

There is also the always-timely matter of immigration, made especially relevant with the new voter ID law that may soon be put into effect. The law has been hotly contested, with many arguing that it only serves to further disenfranchise lower-income and immigrant citizens. Its tough to figure how this law can be defended, as there has never been a single case of known voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Of course, the law was not enforced for this election, but as it stands, Philadelphians better start checking into their local PennDOTs.

Thankfully, the similarly-slimy Ultrasound Bill never really made its way out of the gate. The bill proposed that a woman seeking an abortion must first undergo an ultrasound, where the she would then be forced to see the fetus. While it was eventually shot down, the fact that this bill was even in question — and endorsed by our own Governor — represents a huge affront to the women of Pennsylvania. We’ve got to be cautious now; it is obvious that Pennsylvania politics has its extreme right-wing.

There are plenty of other issues, from our city’s economy to its changing education system. Illustrating a few of them, almost at random, point to the enormous decisions that our newly elected politicians must face. Not enough Philadelphians have a grasp on their local politics, so if these issues sound compelling, then I encourage you to stay informed, and to get involved. The election is finally over. Now its time to look at what lies ahead for Philadelphia.

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