Philly state rep calls on Biden to get broadband to all Americans

For the past 15 months of the pandemic, broadband has become a lifeline for Pennsylvania’s disadvantaged and disenfranchised—low-income families, communities of color, and people with disabilities. Now that the Biden administration is proposing long-overdue investments in physical and human infrastructure, we need to make sure that the $100 billion earmarked for broadband is spent where it’s needed most. | From: The Citizen (Read more.)

Community and Family

Opinion: How streeteries increased accessibility

One of the biggest shifts in restaurant dining over the last year has been the push into public streets for the streeteries legalized by the city last year. One huge benefit of the outdoor set-up is more space for people. Many Philadelphians don’t want things to go back to the cramped, less accessible normal. | From: WHYY (Read more.)

Community and Family

Pennsylvania ended awards for child care workers with higher degrees

For years, around 9,000 Pennsylvania child care workers received money from the state in recognition that they’d earned additional credentials. The award — the median amount was $1,500 — was a bonus of sorts, meant to keep qualified early childhood workers in a field marked by low pay and high turnover. But during the pandemic, the “education and retention awards” disappeared when the state reallocated the funds to give $600 relief payments to a much larger pool of child care workers. | From Chalkbeat Philadelphia (Read more.)

Civic and Community Engagement

After abuses at residential facilities, Philly to create new youth ombudsperson office

Philadelphia will create a new youth ombudsperson office designed to advocate for vulnerable children and teens in group homes and other residential facilities. The new office, housed within the Inspector General’s office, will have subpoena powers and a small staff able to independently investigate anonymous complaints on behalf of youths and families. | From: WHYY (Read more.)