He's been on the tip of everyone's tongues for days and, yes, he makes yet another appearance in this morning's newsletter. Of course, I'm talking about Gritty, the Flyers' news nightmarish mascot. He popped up with surprising frequency at protests outside President Trump's speech in Philly yesterday, considering we don't yet know much about the furry beast, let alone his political affiliations. I know we could discuss Gritty all day, but there is Trump's speech itself and a bold move from former Gov. Ed Rendell to talk about this morning, plus problems facing Pennsylvania voters overseas.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

President Trump made an appearance in Center City Tuesday for a speech to the National Electrical Contractors Association at their annual meeting, where he praised the economy and celebrated the trade deal his administration just finalized with Canada and Mexico. Outside the Convention Center, demonstrators protested the event and even used images of the Flyers' new mascot, Gritty, to decry the president.

After his Philly appearance, Trump headed to a Mississippi campaign rally where he mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. In other Trump news, the New York Times reported Tuesday that, contrary to portrayals of himself as a self-made billionaire, the president received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax dodges, including outright fraud.

Former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell made a bold move Tuesday by joining the board of a nonprofit whose goal is to open a safe injection site in Philadelphia. The nonprofit’s incorporation is the first concrete step toward such a site for the city since officials announced they would permit one to open in January.

At a safe injection site, people can use drugs under medical supervision and be revived if they overdose. Philadelphia has the highest overdose death rate of any major U.S. city and could become the first in the country to open a safe injection site.

This isn't the first time Rendell has moved to protect people in addiction from risk: nearly three decades ago, he championed Philadelphia's first and only needle exchange.

Though U.S. military and overseas civilian voters are supposed to be able to request absentee ballots to fill out and return for elections, thousands of registered Pennsylvania voters who live outside the United States are being blocked from accessing the ballots online.

It's not an error. The Pennsylvania Department of State's elections website is blocking access as an intentional attempt to block foreign traffic and beef up security.

Several other states, including New Mexico, Tennessee, Georgia, and Vermont, also appear to be blocking foreign access to their election sites. For Pennsylvania voters, at least, there are some work-around solutions.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Same here, @philly_jawnings. Who else is waiting for the leaves to turn? 🙋

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting


October 3, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
October 3, 2018
"We can't let the Trump administration take away Pennsylvania's ability to use standards that help protect the air we breathe and the environment we cherish."
— —

What we’re reading

SEPTA asked the public to help pick a new mascot Monday.
SEPTA asked the public to help pick a new mascot Monday.

Your Daily Dose of | Predictability

In the wake of Gritty, SEPTA asked Philly to pick its new mascot. The post read, “Please be nice.” Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.