Philadelphians are fighting unprecedented gun violence, and residents across the city are concerned for their safety. They also continue to feel the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as changes in their physical and mental health, household finances, and employment. Nearly every major problem facing Philadelphia, from gun violence to the opioid epidemic, is rooted in poverty. The only way out of that cycle is to create more well-paying jobs.
Despite this progress, major structural challenges continue to exist for the City. Among them, entrenched poverty, public education and municipal pension obligations stand out. Many of these problems do not lend themselves to incremental solutions, nor are they likely to simply disappear based on the urban trends described above. Instead, the City's main political challenges, listed below, will require political will and concerted action on the part of the City and other actors.