There's more to every story, if you take the time to tell it. Get to the "why" behind the issues that matter in the Greater Philadelphia region with hosts Annette John-Hall and Shai Ben-Yaacov. Each episode, they’ll pluck one local story from your feed and break it down.
400 stories: What The Why taught us about Philly
Shai Ben-Yaacov and Annette John-Hall, the hosts of The Why, have spent the past two years asking the questions many people have in their minds after reading the news: Why is this happening? Why is this person doing this or this thing a certain way? As we listened back to the podcast’s 400 episodes, common themes emerged. Philadelphia is strangely unique; Philly has system flaws; Philly is a city full of interested, committed people, and Philly is just plain fun.
So for this final episode of The Why, Ben-Yaacov and John-Hall look back on some of their favorite shows — stories that revealed a little bit about why Philly is the way it is.
Will Philly’s new police oversight commission be any better?
Philadelphia has had a Police Advisory Commission for decades. In theory, it was responsible for handling complaints from citizens about police misconduct. In practice, the commission wielded little power, and the process for a single complaint to be fully adjudicated often took years. Now, Philadelphia voters have approved a new independent body to do the job. But there are very few details about how the Citizen Police Oversight Commission will work, and how it will be funded–leaving some wondering whether it will be any better than the body it’s replacing. Annette talks this over with WHYY Criminal Justice Reporter Aaron Moselle.
A decade after lawsuit, Philly is still stopping and frisking
We look back on the 10th anniversary of the Philadelphia lawsuit that released decade’s worth of data showing the racial disparities of stop-and-frisk. What have we learned from this lawsuit? And why is it important that we keep tracking this data? Longtime civil rights attorney David Rudovsky, who brought the suit a decade ago, says progress has been slow, but that he has some hope for improvement.
A camera, a mask and 2020’s most enduring image
Since March, Philadelphia area photographer Kyle Cassidy has taken pictures of essential workers as a part of a series called “Between Us and Catastrophe:” healthcare workers, Instacart shoppers, members of city government, sanitation workers, and more.
Cassidy interviewed these workers as well, asking them about the risks they’re taking and the sacrificing they’re making to keep us all safe. “Some of these people are fighting COVID because they heard the clarion call and they ran out to stand between us and this virus and fight it. And other people are fighting this virus because we left them out there,” he says.
Why could pictures like these, highlighting essential workers, stay with us as the most enduring images of 2020?
Cassidy’s photographs are currently on display at an outdoor exhibit at the Science History Institute.
$1 billion in relief sat around while Pa. businesses struggled
Last spring, small business owners in industries like food service and entertainment say they were able to limp through COVID-19 restrictions thanks to help from the CARES Act, which provided relief from the federal government.
Then a second wave of COVID hit and some of those businesses were asked to adhere to restrictions yet again. But this time, no relief was forthcoming — even though some was available.
Pennsylvania had $1 billion dollars of CARES Act money sitting around for six months while the state’s small business owners struggled and lawmakers haggled. Why didn’t the remaining money go to direct aid?
Keystone Crossroads reporters Miles Bryan and Katie Meyer walk us through why things shook out the way they did, and why politicians on both sides of the aisle are pointing the finger at the federal government.
The struggle is real for working women during the pandemic
In January, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a milestone: For only the second time in history, and the first during a non-recession, women held the majority of jobs in the country. It was a sign of the future and of the changing American workforce. That is, until the pandemic hit.
Since March, women have been more likely than men to lose their jobs in 2020, and four times more likely to leave the workforce. Executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Engagement Jovida Hill explains why the pandemic is hitting women’s working lives the hardest, and what women she’s spoken to say they need.