At Democratic National Convention the Sky is the Limit

People have come to Philadelphia from all over the country to attend the Democratic National Convention (DNC). In addition, the international press has followed our election, and the delegates from Democrats Abroad represent American expats who voted in over 140 countries.

_87569069_c0097730-international_space_station,_2009-splWhile interest in the convention spans the globe, the DNC may be having an additional observer pass overhead. The International Space Station (ISS) will be flying 249 miles over Philadelphia at 9:20 pm, from West-Southwest to Northeast, rising to 19° from the zenith, probably around the time that Chelsea will be getting ready to introduce her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as the first woman to be nominated for president of the United States by a major political party.
[Read more…]

Meet the Most Senior PA Delegate: Benjamin Franklin

Ralph Archbold as Benjamin Franklin at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Ralph Archbold as Benjamin Franklin at the National Museum of American Jewish History

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice bumped into Pennsylvania’s most senior delegate at the National Museum of American Jewish History, before the Bend the Arc reception during the Democratic National Convention. To our delight, Benjamin Franklin took the opportunity to chat with us about the convention and his relationship with the Jewish community. [Read more…]

Live Blog: The Democratic National Convention Begins

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is on site this week at the Democratic National Convention. Publisher Dan Loeb, President Bonnie Squires, Vice President Ken Myers and writer Jessica Weingarten will be providing reports, photos and updates. Follow below from most recent to earliest.

Please refresh this page frequently or follow our twitter feed for updated content.
[Read more…]

Commute to the #DNC by Bike and Bus

bike-to-work-bicycle-coalition-900vpThe Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia urges Regional Rail riders to utilize bicycles in combination with available public transit to get to their destinations. This will be especially true during the Philadelphia Democratic National Convention, since SEPTA forecasts that repairs of defective regional rail cars will be ongoing, resulting in crowding and delays. [Read more…]

The Politics of Transportation for the #DNC

PhiladelphiaWelcome to Philadelphia. We actually threw snowballs at Santa Claus. We’re the fifth rudest city in America. Our foods are cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. It’s Philly. But we worked hard to get the DNC here, and we should be trying to put our best foot forward. But, as I said, it’s Philly. [Read more…]

What You Need to Know for the #DNC

If you haven’t seen it yet, also check out Things To Do During DNC (Even if You aren’t Credentialed).

The information below was provided by the Philadelphia Host Committee of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC).

The DNC Host Committee wants to ensure that the public has as much information as possible about all the fun things to do around town during the DNC, as well as logistical information on what to expect during Convention Week. Here’s what you need to know:

Photo by Bruce Benjamin

Photo by Bruce Benjamin


When is the convention? When do we expect convention attendees to arrive and leave?
The Democratic National Convention begins Monday, July 25, and ends Thursday evening, July 28. Attendees will arrive as soon as Friday, July 22, and leave by Friday, July 29.

Where does the convention take place?
The convention takes place at the Wells Fargo Center in the evening hours, typically from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be smaller caucus and council meetings during work hours at the Pennsylvania Convention Center as well.

How many people are coming to Philadelphia for the convention?
The city expects approximately 50,000 convention participants, including delegates, media and other attendees.

During the DNC, are there any changes to trash and recycling pickup, court hours, jury duty, city employee work schedules or any municipal services?
At this time, all city services are expected to operate as scheduled. If that changes, the information will be available on the city’s DNC webpage.

Will police and fire services be affected due to re-assignment of first responders?
Philadelphia Police, Philadelphia Fire and EMS services will not be impacted by the DNC.

Will highways or streets be closed during the DNC?
There will be traffic restrictions around the sports complex. At this time, we do not anticipate extended road or highway closures in Center City and other areas outside of the Stadium District. There may be rolling closures due to dignitary movements or protests. Before you leave the house, we encourage you to check the the city’s convention webpage and to check @PhiladelphiaGov for any traffic news.

How can the public be aware if large demonstrations are going to affect them?
Planned permitted demonstrations that impact traffic or require road closures will be included on the city website road closure page, and updates provided via social media. For more information, visit the city’s convention webpage and also follow @PhiladelphiaGov. Demonstrations that deviate from the planned route or do not have a permit will be updated via social media. Follow @PhillyPolice and @PhiladelphiaGov.

Will any SEPTA routes change during the DNC?
Additional service along the Broad Street Line (BSL) will be added during the convention. Travelers should expect crowds on public transit similar to sporting events when convention programming begins and ends. While the convention’s full schedule has not yet been released, historically sessions have begun at 5 p.m. and concluded at 11 p.m.

Transit riders can sign up for SEPTA alerts regarding system delays and service disruptions through the city’s mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia. SEPTA also offers information through its website and on Twitter.

Will there be special parking or towing restrictions?
There will be some parking or towing restrictions, though we do not expect them to be nearly as extensive as they were during last year’s papal visit. Before the weekend of July 23, and throughout the week of the DNC, please be sure to check the street signs near where you normally park each day to ensure there are no temporary parking restrictions.

Will the city allow camping?
Because of the resources needed to manage the convention, no permits will be issued for camping.

Will it be difficult to go out during the convention? Will restaurants have available seating?
Because the convention historically takes place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening, Center City and other area dining destinations should have open tables, especially during dinner hours, should you want to take advantage of them.

Can I get into the Wells Fargo Center if I am not a credentialed media member or delegate? Can anyone attend the convention?
Only those who are credentialed have access inside the Wells Fargo Center, which include media, delegates, politicians and volunteers. However, the smaller councils and caucus meetings which take place during the day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center are open to the public.

How can I participate in the DNC?
There are a number of fun convention-related events happening around town for the public, even if you’re not interested in politics. For more information and a list of events, go to the 2016 Philadelphia Host Committee website.

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
We encourage you to first go to the city’s DNC webpage . If your questions aren’t answered there, you can always call 311 for non-emergencies. The week of the convention, 311 will have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You Don’t Want to Miss the Fun Events Open to the Public During the DNC!
In an effort to encourage residents to stay in town and enjoy all that the convention has to offer, the Host Committee has organized a number of fun events open to the public, including:

  • Donkeys Around Town
    July 1 – September 9
    Philadelphia is showcasing 57 fiberglass donkeys throughout the city in publicly accessible locations. Each donkey is uniquely painted by a local artist to represent a Democratic delegation. Participate in the free app-based scavenger hunt from July 21 – 28 to win prizes, including a two-night stay in Philadelphia. Learn more about “Donkeys Around Town” at the Host Committee website. Share your experiences and follow the donkeys at #DonkeysAroundTown.
  • PoliticalFest
    July 22 – 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
    A one-of-a-kind festival for all ages celebrating political history, government and the road to the White House. Check out PoliticalFest for more details and to purchase tickets. (#PoliticalFest)
  • DNC Deals Program
    July 25 – 28
    Local restaurants, bars and stores across the area will offer deals on food, beverages and clothing for all to take advantage of during Convention Week. Search #DNCDeals for updates on all participating deals.
  • Philly Feast: United We Eat
    July 25, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 3rd and Arch Streets
    Visit Old City for a diverse line-up of locally based food trucks, live music and retail vendors. Philly Feast will bring together convention guests, volunteers and Philadelphia residents on the first day of the convention. For more information, go to Philly Feast or search #PhillyFeast.
  • Center City Sips
    July 27, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., various locations
    Philly’s biggest ever citywide happy hour. Begin your Sips experience at Dilworth Plaza, Comcast Plaza, or Commerce Square at 5 p.m., and continue your evening at other locations throughout the city. Learn more about City Sips and also check for updates by searching #CCDSips or #DNCDontMissThis.
  • Watch Parties
    Local bars, restaurants and venues with TVs throughout the city will hold watch parties as the Democratic candidate for president formally accepts the nomination. For where to watch and for any specials, visit the Host Committee website and also search #DNCDontMissThis.

Stay Up-to-Date on What’s Going on in Philadelphia During the Convention
For updates on all of the Host Committee’s activities, be sure to follow us on social media and use our hashtags:

Twitter: @PHLDNC2016
Facebook: Philadelphia 2016
Instagram: @phldnc2016
Blog: Philly DNC blog

Security and Transportation Plan for the DNC

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Agencies announce the Security Restrictions and Joint Transportation Plan for the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, PA. Events and activities related to the DNC, a designated National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security, will take place from Monday, July 25 to Thursday, July 28.

Security and transportation plans have been developed by a partnership of local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies outlined above. Every effort has been made to minimize the impact of these safety measures on the public. This plan provides the general outlines for road closures, vehicular restricted zones, flight restricted zones and maritime restrictions. Additional information is available online for residents of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as for charter operators, through the websites and social media accounts listed at the end of this plan. Additions to this plan may be made prior to the start of events and will be updated on these accounts and associated websites. Specific questions regarding this transportation plan should be directed to the participating agencies as identified.
[Read more…]

Things to do in Philadelphia During #DNC (Even if You aren’t Credentialed)

The Peoples ConventionMany of the events that will occur during the convention are open to everyone. First, there is a parallel convention called the People’s Convention. It’s being run by the People’s Revolution. Their kick-off event is Saturday morning, 23 July.

dnc2016For those of you looking for DNC events, there are meetings and caucuses all day at the Convention Center, beginning on Sunday 24 July.  Many are open to the public, although most require pre-registration. In addition, independent groups are holding functions in Center City, beginning the same day.  There are upwards of 30 events every day,  Many of these events are free, although some are not.  See the full listing.

Philly is Primping for #PHLDNC

Constitution Center

Constitution Center

It’s Independence Day weekend in Philadelphia and ohhhh… the sites and sounds. There are spectacular things to do and see… and some things will remain (and be added!) for the DNC Convention the last week in July.

I brought my nieces and my sister-in-law to, of course, the Constitution Center yesterday both to see the newest version of Freedom Rising, and the renovation of the Bronze Room. To me it really is the happiest place on earth. For this weekend, there are displays and demonstrations on the front lawn of Colonial times: a blacksmith and a weaver, just to name two of many.

Remember, the Constitution Center is hosting PoliticalFest, which will run July 22-27. It’s inexpensive and will be a terrific experience. You can get your tickets (good for all six days) at the convention website. If you’re credentialed, PoliticalFest is free.

This is a great place to get a sense of all the historical things you can tour in Philadelphia. Independence Hall. (The original home of the Declaration of Independence, and compilation of the Constitution.) Betsy Ross’ House. (Our first flag!) Effreth’s Alley. (The oldest, continuously occupied street in the United States.)

We then crossed the street to the Independence Visitor Center and at the south end, the Liberty Bell.

In the Visitor Center, we were greeted by two donkeys. There are 57 of them around Philly comprising the Donkeys Around Town program. They are created by local Philly artists to celebrate the states, DC and the territories, all in celebration of the DNC coming to town.

The Vermont Donkey

The Vermont Donkey by Philadelphia artist Sam S. Petner

The Rhode Island Donkey

The Rhode Island Donkey by Philadelphia artist Kathryn Pannepacker


Rocky Statue formerly located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Rocky Statue formerly located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Stilt people at visitor center

Stilt people at visitor center

We then crossed the street to the Independence Visitor Center.

There’s more to see in the Visitor Center, including a Rocky statue and stilt people. Normally, I take visitors out on the second floor veranda of the Constitution Center, point past the Visitor Center, down the grassy mall to Independence Hall and remind them that the Founding Fathers and their families were guilty of treason against the crown, and risked life, limb and everything they held dear to fight so that we could breathe free today. This year, as I looked out at the crowds and the displays all I could wonder was about the juxtaposition of the coming Convention. Would this be Chicago ’68 redux? Would the arrests of the 2000 GOP convention be repeated, with so many people arrested that they were housed in the Armory at NAVSUP? What will happen on the streets and in the hall?

Philadelphia's Chinatown

Philadelphia’s Chinatown

No time to dwell, however, because there was more to see. If you’re coming to Philadelphia for the Convention, and you decide to come down to the Historic Area, you can walk out the north end of the Convention Center, turn east, and you’ll be in Chinatown. Philadelphia’s Chinatown is the third largest in the US, only San Francisco and New York’s are bigger. Our Chinatown is on a path of extension, both up and out towards the north. There’s great food, interesting shops, and I need to spare a word about the bakeries. As someone who is about 99% sweet tooth, I always scope the bakeries, and embrace the differences between, say, the macarons at good French bakeries, the cakes at Austrian bakeries, cannoli at Italian bakeries, and oh I could go on. The Chinatown bakeries should be Chinese, but for some reason, they all seem to carry Philly soft pretzels. Along with cheesesteaks, Philly soft pretzels are considered a delicacy when made right, but, well, not Chinese and I’m a purist.

Jess hugs her favorite delegate: James Madison.

Jess hugs her favorite delegate: James Madison.

Get excited! Come to Philly. The Convention will be a unique undertaking. I close this a picture of myself hugging my favourite delegate of all time at any gathering… James Madison. (And yes, you too can hug your pick fave in the Bronze Hall at the Constitution Center.) I think a lot about his Federalist Paper #10, on factionalism, and wonder what he would think about the upcoming floor fight over the Platform. What all the Founding Fathers would think about the possibilities regarding both Cleveland and Philadelphia. Perhaps they would be enamoured of the idea of sea change taking hold against a country that has become a corporatist country: a concept that didn’t exist in their day.

PJVoice is Going to the Democratic National Convention

dnc2016We’re pleased to announce that PJVoice has been credentialed to attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 24 – 28, 2016. We plan to post both here on our website and via our twitter feed (@PJVoice). We will be sharing our experiences, showing pictures of people we meet, covering events and making you feel as if you’re there.

Most people only know the part of political conventions that are shown on the television in the evening, but there is much more! Business of the party is handled at business meetings and caucus meetings throughout the day. Events are planned by NGOs, businesses and other organizations. After the day’s events, there are after-parties, concerts and receptions. In addition, there are multiple public events relating to politics, history and just plain fun.  [Read more…]