4:31 AM / Tuesday September 27, 2022

13 May 2022

What’s the Question?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
May 13, 2022 Category: Local Posted by:

While most of the spotlight will be on the candidates for the U.S. Senate and Pennsylvania governor, Philadelphians have some important questions to consider.

By Denise Clay-Murray

In addition to the candidates for various political offices that voters will be considering during Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Primary, Philadelphians will be asked whether they want to make some changes to the City’s Home Rule Charter.

In order for these changes to take place, a majority of voters must vote in favor of the question. While some are fairly innocuous, others would change the way that the city protects its most housing insecure residents and oversees development.

While most of us have never used the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the first question on the ballot concerns the makeup of this board. Currently, the mayor is allowed to pick five people from any background on the board, which handles appeals of decisions from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.


If the ballot question passes, the makeup of the board would increase from five to seven. Of those seven people, one would have to be an urban planner, another an architect, a lawyer with zoning experience, a person with construction experience and at least two community members. While the mayor could still appoint the board, City Council would have to agree with them before they’re appointed.

Questions two and three on the ballot would make a home rule charter written at the city’s inception reflect modern times. If approved, the charter would be gender neutral, meaning that instead of using “policemen” or “firemen”, the charter would read “firefighter” or “police officer” instead. 

Question three would make the same changes to the Home Rule Charter’s Educational Supplement. 

This continues the trend toward a gender-neutral charter that began in 2019 when members of City Council were changed to Councilmembers instead of “Councilmen” or “Councilwomen.”

The final question would make enshrine the city’s Fair Housing Commission into the City Charter. Although the body, an independent commission that administers and enforces laws related to landlord/tenant matters and fights unfair rental practices, has been around since 1962, it’s not a part of the Charter and could potentially be disbanded. If the question is approved, it would require another vote to disband it.

Unlike the Republican and Democratic primaries, which are closed, all voters are permitted to vote on the ballot questions.

Election Day is Tuesday, May 17.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Mail ballot fight persists in key states, sure to slow count

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Processed mail-in ballots are seen at the Chester County Voter Services...


Wolf administration recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email HARRISBURG, Pa. — Leadership from multiple state agencies joined advocates from Prevent Suicide...


Art program helps people living with dementia

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sylvia M. paints a colorful pattern at an “ARTZ in the...

Color Of Money

EXPLAINER: How the strong U.S. dollar can affect everyone

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Stan Choe ASSOCIATED PRESS  NEW YORK — The buck isn’t stopping. The...

Go With The-Flo

Roz Nixon visits with Lillias White to see her debut in the current Broadway hit “Hadestown”

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Roz Nixon and Lillias White By Flo Anthony Curtis “50 Cent”...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Roasted Curried Cauliflower

September 23, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’? Garlic “Butter” Mushrooms and Cauliflower...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff