Mayor’s race heats up; Philly welcomes bus-trippers; Can AI help stop SEPTA shootings? | Sunday roundup

💌 Want this daily digest emailed to you? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter and it’ll land in your inbox every morning.

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Mayor’s race clicks into action

With one election over, the next ramps up. In addition to real estate mogul and former councilmember Allan Domb and grocery magnate Jeff Brown officially declaring for Philly mayor, two new names popped up last week: progressive leader and Councilmember Helen Gym, who gave a swan song speech during what is likely to be her last session, and Rep. Amen Brown, a Philly Democrat whose recent campaign received funding from Pa.’s richest man, pro-charter school billionaire Jeff Yass. [BP x 2/Inquirer$ x 2/BP 2021]

• Philadelphia welcomes bus-trippers

The ongoing political stunt by Texas’ governor got a pillow-soft landing in Philadelphia last week, when an uncoordinated shipment of 2 to 3 dozen asylum-seekers arrived at 30th Street Station — and were welcomed by a coordinated assortment of city and nonprofit organizations. Here are some ways you can help. About 3 in 20 Philly residents are foreign-born, and immigrants have been key to the city’s population growth. [Billy Penn/WHYY/Citizen/Census/WHYY]

• Pa. pols connect with Taylor Swift

Despite her influence and popularity now being compared with The Beatles, Taylor Swift has never forgotten her Pennsylvania roots — and vice-versa. She was born in the same hospital as Sen.-elect John Fetterman (he declined to provide his fave T-Swift song, but his campaign often referenced her work on social media), and now Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro is looking into the Ticketmaster snafu that left many fans frustrated and furious. [Billy Penn/Teen Vogue/Billy Penn]

• Marathon brings 30,000 runners to town

The weekend before Thanksgiving in Philadelphia means roads closing to traffic and neighbors taking to the sidewalks to lend fan energy to people who decided to run a ridiculous number of steps for fun. Lizzy McLellan Ravitch is one of them, and she runs down five of the most Philly things the 30,000 runners from all 50 states will hear and see at the Philadelphia Marathon. [Phila Gov/Billy Penn]

The Ferris wheel at Christmas Village
Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Can AI help stop subway shootings?

To combat the recent pattern of gun violence on subway platforms, SEPTA will pilot a technology that aims to alert law enforcement within 3-5 seconds after firearms are brandished. Called ZeroEyes, the artificial intelligence tech was developed in Montco, and the company says it doesn’t store any identifying information. Plans call for it to be installed soon in 300 of the transit agency’s 30k existing security cameras as a test. [ZeroEyes/Axios/Inquirer$/CBS3]

• Help Philly determine budget priorities

Mayor Kenney’s last city budget won’t be formalized until spring, but the administration is starting early on soliciting feedback from residents. It put out a call for people to participate in virtual focus groups, which will be held in five languages over the next month. If you’re chosen, you’ll get $40 to compensate for your time. Here’s our look at how the city budget changed over Kenney’s tenure. [Phila Gov/Billy Penn]

• Holiday season lights, music, parties, and parades

It’s that time of year! Philadelphia is about to explode with holiday season festivities. Some highlights: the City Hall light show; the Morris Arboretum train display; the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade; the Visit Philly holiday parade; Macy’s Dickens Village; and Christmas Village in Love Park. We’ll have more details on that and several other great options in the coming week. [All links to event organizers]

• El Chingon opens in South Philly

After decades working in some of Philly’s most highly-regarded kitchens, chef Carlos Aparicio is bringing dishes from his home state of Puebla to his first solo restaurant. El Chingon — it means “someone or something cool” — opens Tuesday just off East Passyunk Avenue. Expect dishes like rabbit tinga, smoked seafood aguachile, ayocote bean stew, giant adobo pork chops, and platters heaped with slow-cooked beef. [PhillyVoice/@jcarlosaparicio/El Chingon]