Expert Profile

Larry Eichel

Director, The Philadelphia Program
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Larry Eichel is the director of the Philadelphia program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. The initiative provides timely, impartial research and analysis on key issues facing Philadelphia for the benefit of the city’s citizens and leaders. 

Prior to arriving at Pew in November 2008, Eichel was a reporter and editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered issues ranging from urban affairs to national politics, including the 2008 presidential campaign. A former foreign correspondent, national correspondent and op-ed columnist, he has written in-depth series on Philadelphia’s tax burden and on the transformation of public housing in the city.  From 2002 to 2006, Eichel was also adjunct professor at Temple University, where he taught courses in journalism. 

Eichel graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts in government, and authored two books—“For Those Still at Sea,” (The Dial Press) and “The Harvard Strike” (Houghton Mifflin.)  Eichel has won numerous journalism awards, including the National Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 1984 presidential campaign and National Headliners Award for coverage of the 1985 MOVE disaster in Philadelphia.

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Reports & Publications

June 27, 2013

Delinquent Property Tax in Philadelphia: Stark Challenges and Realistic Goals

As Philadelphia embarks on a new system to assess and tax real estate, the city’s longstanding problem with property tax delinquency has taken on new urgency. Property owners whose taxes are projected to go up substantially are questioning why they should pay more when others pay nothing.

May 13, 2013

AVI: The Shift in the Tax Burden

As proposed, the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), Philadelphia’s sweeping property tax overhaul, is revenue neutral. The plan is to raise the same amount of revenue through real estate taxes, $1.2 billion, in 2014 as in 2013.

March 23, 2013

Philadelphia 2013: The State of the City

This annual study presents a multi-dimensional, fact-based portrait of America’s fifth-largest city through 81 graphics and interactive charts. It compares Philadelphia to a group of nine other major cities on household income, crime, educational attainment, public transit use, cost of living, poverty, and more. It also provides a neighborhood-by-neighborhood look at income, poverty, home sales, crime and ethnic diversity in Philadelphia. 

 

February 11, 2013

Philadelphia and Other Big Cities Struggle to Find Uses for Closed Schools

Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.

September 19, 2012

Residential Taxes: A Narrowing Gap Between Philadelphia and its Suburbs

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that the city of Philadelphia is now more competitive with its Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburban neighbors when it comes to local taxes than it was a dozen years ago.

March 31, 2012

Philadelphia: The State of the City - 2012 Update

Numbers produce an image of a city’s place in time. For Philadelphia in 2012, the picture is of a city in transition on a number of fronts. There are familiar problems and one promising demographic trend. In the past year, unemployment in the city was down, but job creation slowed from the year before. Residential building permits were up, but home sales dropped a sixth straight time. Violent crime fell overall, while the homicide total increased for the second year in a row.

March 7, 2012

The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future

Big-city public libraries have rarely been as popular as they are today and rarely as besieged. This report looks at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s operations and the challenges facing urban libraries across America.

February 28, 2012

Poll: Philadelphians Increasingly Concerned About Overall Local Tax Burden but Willing to Pay More for Better Services

A new public opinion poll commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that Philadelphians are increasingly concerned about the overall local tax burden but many residents are willing to pay more in return for better services.

February 14, 2012

Public Opinion Poll: Mayor Nutter's Ratings Improve, but Philadelphians Worry About Crime and Direction of the City

A new public opinion poll commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that Mayor Michael Nutter’s job approval ratings have improved over the past year, even as Philadelphians voice concerns about violent crime and the overall direction of the city.

January 18, 2012

Philadelphia’s Workforce Development Challenge: Serving Employers, Helping Job Seekers and Fixing the System

A new report from Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative examines Philadelphia’s workforce development system, which helps residents get jobs or skills and employers find workers, in comparison to others throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.

October 6, 2010

Destination Philadelphia: Tracking the City's Migration Trends

A new report, "Destination Philadelphia: Tracking the City’s Migration Trends", by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that the number of people moving into the city of Philadelphia has increased steadily in recent years, rising at a faster rate than the number of people moving out.

June 29, 2010

Philadelphia’s Changing Schools and What Parents Want from Them

In Philadelphia, K-12 education is in the midst of a sweeping transformation that has left some parents elated, others perplexed and many scrambling to keep up with the range of options available to them. And more change is on the way.

May 17, 2010

Philadelphia’s Crowded, Costly Jails: The Search for Safe Solutions

A new study from Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative provides a comprehensive look at the city’s prison population—including its decades-long increase and recent decline; the measures the city of Philadelphia is taking to decrease the number of inmates; and what other jurisdictions are doing to control their jail populations. 

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March 31, 2012

Pew 2012 State Of The City Report Shows Philadelphia’s Underlying Problems Remain Daunting, While Rising Young Adult Population Presents Opportunity

A 2012 updated look at Philadelphia by the numbers depicting a city in transition on a number of fronts—with familiar problems and one promising demographic trend.

March 7, 2012

Pew Study: Urban Libraries Struggle to Meet Greater Demands with Fewer Resources

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that urban libraries are experiencing increased demands for an ever-widening array of services, due in part to the poor economy. At the same time, libraries’ funding from local governments has been cut, leaving them with fewer resources, staff and hours with which to meet these new challenges.

March 7, 2012

Pew Study: Philadelphia Free Library, Like Other Big-City Libraries, Struggles to Keep up with Residents’ Changing Demands

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that the Free Library of Philadelphia, like urban libraries across America, is struggling to keep up with the changing demands of city residents who have come to rely on their neighborhood libraries to perform an ever-wider range of functions.

 

February 28, 2012

Poll: Philadelphians Increasingly Concerned About Overall Local Tax Burden but Willing to Pay More for Better Services

A new public opinion poll commissioned by the Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that Philadelphians are increasingly concerned about the overall local tax burden but many residents appear willing to pay more in return for better services.

 

January 18, 2012

Pew Report: Philadelphia Workforce Development System Suffers From Low Use by Employers and Mediocre Results for Job Seekers

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative examined the city's workforce development system, in comparison to others in Pennsylvania and nationwide. The program's latest study covers a period before, during and after the recent recession leading up to a restructuring of the system, which is now underway.

October 6, 2010

Pew Study Finds an Increase in People Moving Into Philadelphia, Outpacing the Rise in Departures

"Destination Philadelphia: Tracking the City’s Migration Trends", a new report by the Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative, finds that the number of people moving into the city of Philadelphia has increased steadily in recent years, rising at a faster rate than the number of people moving out.

August 4, 2010

Video: Behind the Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Prison Population: A Conversation

The Philadelphia Research Initiative hosted a panel discussion on the findings of its report, “Philadelphia’s Crowded, Costly Jails: The Search for Safe Solutions.”  The event brought together local and national leaders to explore why the city’s jail population rose for most of the decade and fell in the past year, what is being done to manage the population more systematically, and what the experiences of other cities have been.

July 11, 2010

Grappling With the City's Fugitive Problem

Philadelphia officials recently announced a new campaign to collect the millions of dollars in outstanding bail which are a symptom of a larger problem: the troubling number of defendants who do not show up for their court dates. The recent Pew Charitable Trusts study, "Philadelphia's Crowded, Costly Jails: The Search for Safe Solutions," found that about 30 percent of city defendants released before trial miss their court appearances.

 

June 29, 2010

Pew Study: K-12 Education in Philadelphia Undergoing Dramatic Change

A comprehensive new study from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that K-12 education in Philadelphia is undergoing a sweeping transformation that has given parents a new array of choices about where to send their children to school but has left families thinking they still do not have enough quality options.

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