We Came Up a Little Short..
Speech at What We
Hoped Would be our Victory Party
We Won in Court 1 - We
are on the Ballot
We Won in Court
2 - A Victory for Freedom of Speech and Democracy
Housing Rehabilitation, the Quality of Life, Jobs, and the
future of Philadelphia
Mt. Airy Acme
Opens; More Supermarkets Needed
Rosita Youngblood, Ghosts, and the Culture of Corruption
Campaign Kickoff Video
We Came Up A Little Short
As you all know
by now, our campaign came up short. I am disappointed but not
We ran a strong
campaign against a long time incumbent who received substantial
support from the party machine. And, despite these barriers, we got
a substantial share of the vote.
As a result, our
campaign will have a positive impact on the communities in this
district. We raised some important issues and set forth a
progressive agenda, both for the district and the state.
We also ran a
campaign that brought people from different parts of this district
together. I made a lot of new friends. And I was touched by how
committed my old friends were to this effort. I am grateful to all
of you who believed in this campaign and worked so hard on behalf of
it. I am sure that many of you will join me in working together to
realize the ideas and ideals I set forth in the last few months.
I have talked to in the last few days has asked me whether I will
run again. For a lot of reasons, I can't answer that now. For one
thing, I believe in redemption. And I would like to see Rosita
Youngblood become the kind of representative she could be. This
campaign was never personal in any way. Representative Youngblood is
a talented and strong woman who should be a great representative. If
she becomes one, then there would be no reason for me to run.
I have to
consider the effect of the campaign on my family. I also had to
think about whether I can make a greater contribution as a teacher
and writer on politics or as a community activist than as a
And I also have
to think about whether I can win in another go round.
The race we
wound up running was not the race we originally set out to run. In
January we expected to be in a four or five person race, which I
thought we could win with thirty-five to thirty-eight percent of the
Youngblood's lawyers got through with the other candidates, I was in
a much harder and more expensive race. We had to put a much larger
operation into the field. And we had to send our mailings more
broadly than we had planned.
There is no
question that in this election I created a strong base of support in
Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and parts of Germantown and
Nicetown. This was not as easy as many of us thought it
would be. We live in a world in which most people pay little
attention to politics, let alone local. Many of you knew of my work
at WMAN or in saving the R8 train and C Bus. But there were many
people who did not know this. So I had to work hard to create this
strong base of support. That left less time than I had hoped to
expand the base into other areas. Where I was able to move into new
areas by walking them and / or by finding local activists or
committee people to support me, I did well. I beat or tied Rep.
Youngblood in a few divisions in her own ward. But we ran out of
time. I could not walk the entire district. And it was difficult to
find the time to meet all the community activists and committee
It is possible
that a second campaign would enable me to expand the base further.
But it will take some time to figure this out.
(For a more
detailed analysis of how we did in this election, along with some of
the barriers we faced, click
My Last Speech
On Election Day,
I gave a speech at what I hoped would be our victory party, talking
about this campaign and thanking everyone. who took part in it. I
would like to share it with you. Like all of my speeches during the
campaign, I gave this one without a text. So I don't have a record
of what I actually said. But this
text captures what I felt and much of what I said.
If I am going to
run again, I will have to retire the substantial debt that arose
when we decided that we had to spend heavily everywhere in the
district. If you can
by making a
contribution or a further contribution, please do so.
To make an on-line
To make a
contribution by mail, please fill out the form you can find
here. If you want me to send you a reply envelope, please write
or email me at
I am very pleased
to announce that Curt McAllister has agreed to endorse our campaign.
This is an incredibly important addition to our efforts. Curt is one
of the most influential and well regarded community activists in the
district. Last week I saw first hand how he can mobilize his
community when I attended a protest rally against Rosita Youngblood
decision to move the polling place in the 8th division of
the 13th ward to a stop and go.
and I have talked a few times about the needs of the district and
will talk more after the election. I share his vision of the kinds
of development this district needs and will be eager to learn more
from him, and work closely with him, over the next few years.
Curt will be
lending his voice to the six sound trucks that will be roaming
through the district all day. We hoped to have a picture of us
together, but that was not available by the time I had to get this
We Won in Court 1
We Are On the Ballot Pending a Supreme Court Decision
Commonwealth Court Judge Doris Smith-Ribner ruled against Rosita
Youngblood's challenge to the petitions that put me on the ballot.
So, I am on the ballot. Rep. Youngblood appealed Judge Smith-Ribner's
decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Briefs were filed at the
end of the week. I expect a decision today or tomorrow. I am
confident that the Supreme Court will rule favorably. You can read
Judge Smith-Ribner's decision
The other four
candidates who originally filed nominating petitions to run against
Representative Youngblood have been removed from the ballot by the
Commonwealth Court. They are Supreme Dow, Latrice Bryant, Curtis
Alton McAllister, and Lamont Thomas. Thomas and McAllister have not
appealed the decision. Bryant has appealed the decision to the
Supreme Court, which has temporarily stayed the Commonwealth Court
decision. Dow has not yet announced his response to the recent
So, right now it
is either a two or three person race. This improves our chances of
victory. But it also makes for a much more expensive campaign. With
Curt McAllister and Supreme Dow out of the race, I cannot and will
not concede any division in the district. My supporters will be out
in force in every division.
We Won in Court 2
A Victory for Freedom of Speech and Democracy
As I reported last
week, I testified in Federal District Court on behalf of the ACLU in
its effort to overturn a Philadelphia
law that prohibits political candidates and community groups from
putting up posters on utility polls. Judge John R. Padova has issued
an injunction preventing the City from enforcing this law until he
rules on its constitutionality. This is a great victory for our
rights under the First Amendment, for the democratic process and for
community groups. I am proud to have played a role in it. For a
Daily News article on this decision, click
Rehabilitation, the Quality of Life, Jobs, and the future of Philadelphia
is a diverse district and the problems and opportunities found in each
neighborhood vary a great deal. But there is one difficulty that, to one degree
or another, affects all neighborhoods, problem houses. Our blocks and
neighborhoods are mostly in good shape. But on every block there are one, two,
or three problem houses that create terrible difficulties for their neighbors.
If elected your state representative, I will work to attack these problems in a
coordinated way, and help rehabilitate our wonderful housing stock. Doing so
will improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods; create new jobs; provide
training opportunities for our young people; and preserve the distinctive
character of life in our Philadelphia neighborhoods. To read more about this
issue, click here.
Airy Acme Opens; More Supermarkets Needed
I never thought I
would be so excited about a supermarket opening! But after almost
two and a half years of negotiation and another nine months of
waiting for the contractors to finish, it was very exciting to see
new store open. And
I was very proud to speak for the community groups at the grand
opening ceremony. For more information about the opening and my
hopes to bring more supermarkets to the are, click
Youngblood, Ghosts, and the Culture of Corruption
this election I have been having a little fun at Representative Youngblood's
expense by calling her a "ghostly presence" in our district. I have
also joked about the "haunted mansion" that is her office on Greene Street.
What I did
not know, however, is that ghosts can vote! Read
will be making as many
appearances before groups of people as he can and will also try to
visit every single household at least once.
I cannot win this election without
your help. If you believe in the ideals expressed in this campaign,
there is much you can do to help. Click
If you missed the campaign kickoff event,.
click here to see