Are you registered to vote for this upcoming local election? This is a chance to make your voices heard. Only about 15-25% of eligible voters actually cast their ballot in a local election. Voters in their 60s are seven times more likely to vote in local elections than 18-34 year old’s. Local government officials can greatly improve your community if you allow them. Local officials pass bills on maintaining clean drinking water, and maintaining streets and bridges and infrastructure.
Municipal Elections are being held on November 2nd, 2021 in Philadelphia. The last day to register before the November election is October 18th. The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is October 26th. In this election, city residents will be voting for City Council Members, District Attorney, City Controller, Common Pleas Judges and Municipal Court Judges. City Council Members approve the city budget and decide which laws pass. The District Attorney is the chief law enforcer for the city. Their focus is the safety of the city. The City Controller’s handles all of the city’s money. The Common Pleas Judges and Municipal Court Judges both deal with hearing criminal cases. Visit PAvotes.com to register or update your information.
Another important aspect of local elections are the questions asked on the ballot. This year, there will be four questions. Below, these questions are shown and explained.
- Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call upon the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor to pass legislation that would decriminalize, regulate, and tax the use, and sale to adults aged 21 years or older, of cannabis for non-medical purposes?
- If you vote “Yes” on this ballot question, it means you want to change the City’s Charter so that it includes a statement urging the Pennsylvania legislature and governor to adopt laws to allow Pennsylvanians aged 21 years and older access to marijuana outside the state-licensed medical marijuana program. The statement would say that the use and sale of marijuana by adults for non-medical purposes should no longer be a crime and should be subject to regulation and tax by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of a Department of Fleet Services, headed by a Commissioner, to manage all City-owned motor vehicles and City programs concerning alternative vehicle fuel initiatives?
- If you vote “Yes” on this ballot question, it means you want to change the City’s Charter so that it establishes a new department, called the Department of Fleet Management, which would manage the acquisition, repair, maintenance and disposal of City vehicles and vehicle-related equipment. The new Department would assign such vehicles and equipment to City departments. It would also manage City fueling sites and City programs concerning vehicles run on alternative fuels.
- Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to revise provisions related to the civil service system, to allow the Personnel Director to determine the number of people on an eligible list from which a hiring or promotion decision may be made, and to determine the number of times a person may be passed over and remain eligible on such a list, all based on the position and the needs of the civil service program?
- If you vote “Yes” on this ballot question, that means you approve of the following two changes to this process. First, instead of requiring the department head to choose between the top two applicants on a list, the City’s Personnel Director would be allowed to decide how many applicants the department head may choose from, based on the type of job and the needs of the City’s civil service system. Second, instead of establishing a specific number for how often an applicant can be considered by a department, the Personnel Director would be allowed to decide how many times an applicant can be interviewed by a specific department, based on the type of job and the needs of the civil service system.
- Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for a mandatory annual appropriation for the Housing Trust Fund?
- If this ballot question is approved, Council would be required to set aside for these programs an amount equal to one half of a percent (0.5%) of the City’s “General Fund appropriations.” General Fund appropriations includes most of the money designated for general City operations, paid for mostly by taxes that have no other restrictions on how the money is spent. If this proposal had been in place this year, Council would have been required to set aside approximately 25 million dollars for the housing programs, in addition to money required by other existing laws to be spent on such programs