Reclaim Philadelphia Steering Committee 2019 Primary Recommendations to Membership
Election day is Tuesday, May 21st and this has been quite the primary season! 1200+ people joined us at the People’s Forum to hear from City Council At Large candidates, 250+ people attended the “Judge the Judges” forum and so far Reclaim Philadelphia and 215 People’s Alliance have knocked on more than 60,000 doors in support of our endorsed slate of candidates. We know we’ve done almost everything we can - and will finish tomorrow out strong having knocked thousands more doors and talked to hundreds more voters! Can you join us for one last canvassing shift?
This primary season offers an opportunity to redefine city politics and reshape the political landscape into one that works for all of us. Candidates for Municipal and state Superior Court, City Council, and the offices of the commissioners, the sheriff, register of wills, and the mayor face the most galvanized electorate in decades. Over the last two years, the ascendance of Larry Krasner to the District Attorney’s office, and Elizabeth Fiedler to state representative in South Philadelphia — to say nothing of the record turnout for the 2018 general election — point to the immense power of an organized progressive majority. But we also know that wealthy forces are ready to defend their power and fight this majority tooth and nail.
Reclaim Philadelphia has only made formal endorsements in two races this cycle: City Council at Large and the Court of Common Pleas. Many members and supporters have asked how to vote on some of the other races. We, the Steering Committee of Reclaim Philadelphia, have decided to offer our opinions on a few of the other races. These are not formal endorsements because our members did not vote on these recommendations. We hope you find these helpful as you consider making your decisions on how to vote.
City Council At Large Endorsed Candidates:
Erika Almiron - Button #68
Helen Gym - Button #56
Isaiah Thomas - Button #71
Ethelind Baylor - Button #83
Justin DiBerardinis - Button #80
Court of Common Pleas:
Janine Momasso - Button #22
Nicola Serianni - Button #9
Jennifer Schultz - Button #4
Tiffany Palmer - Button # 23
Cateria McCabe - Button #15
Wendi Barish - Button #10
Steering Committee Recommends voting for Amanda Green-Hawkins for State Superior Court
State Superior Court has two seats for election however we have decided to highlight one candidate in particular, Amanda Green-Hawkins. Amanda has spent 17 years at the United Steelworkers chapter in Allegheny as the Director of their Civil Rights department. She was a law clerk for a Superior Court judge before joining the USW and has extensive court experience on all levels. We reject the “Not Recommended” rating she received from the PA Bar Association -- in its statement, the PA Bar simultaneously uplifts AGH’s wide legal background while stating she “has not had the experience and preparation necessary,” highlighting once again that our legal system holds people of color, particularly black women, to an unfair standard that is higher than their peers. We believe Amanda Green-Hawkins would be an excellent judge and encourage our Reclaim Philadelphia members to vote for her.
Steering Committee Recommends voting for Rochelle Bilal for Sheriff
Steering Committee encourages our membership to vote for Rochelle Bilal. Bilal is a prominent ally of Larry Krasner, leader of the Guardian Civic League, and secretary of the Philadelphia NAACP. Bilal has articulated a vision of trust, compassion, and restorative justice to bring into the Sheriff’s office. We are clear that the incumbent’s punitive approach to evictions does lasting harm to our community, particularly Black and Brown communities. Throughout his tenure as an elected official, the incumbent has faced multiple credible accusations of sexual harassment from multiple women – resulting in the City of Philadelphia spending more than $120,000 in taxpayer money to settle cases against him. We encourage our membership to vote for Rochelle Bilal for Sheriff.
Steering Committee Recommends voting for Tracey Gordon for Register of Wills
Steering Committee Recommends voting for Tracey Gordon for Register of Wills. The Register of Wills is responsible for the proper execution of wills and deed transfers in the city of Philadelphia. Tracey Gordon is a longtime community activist from Southwest Philadelphia -- she has used the opportunity of campaigning for RoW to raise the very important issue of "tangled titles" which is a key mechanism for the displacement of longtime Philadelphia residents. Because Reclaim Philadelphia opposes the ongoing gentrification of this city, we encourage our members and supporters to vote for Tracey Gordon for Register of Wills.
Ballot Question 1: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to change certain gender specific references (such as “councilman,” “councilmen,” and “Councilmanic”) to gender neutral references (such as “councilmember,” “councilmembers,” and “Council”)?
RECOMMENDATION: VOTE “YES”
Ballot Question 2: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, headed by a Director of Immigrant Affairs?
RECOMMENDATION: VOTE “YES”
Ballot Question 3: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call on the General Assembly to either increase the Pennsylvania minimum wage now, so that it reaches $15 an hour, in stages, by 2025; or allow the City of Philadelphia to itself provide for a decent, family sustaining, living wage for working Philadelphians?
RECOMMENDATION: VOTE “YES”
Ballot Question 4: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require the establishment of “Public Safety Enforcement Officers” to assist the Police Department in regulating the flow of traffic; to enforce and assist the appropriate City officers in the enforcement of ordinances relating to the quality of life in the City’s neighborhoods; and to perform such other related duties as the Managing Director or Council may require?
RECOMMENDATION: NO RECOMMENDATION
Polls are open tomorrow from 7a-8p. You can find your polling location here.
After polls close, join Reclaim Philadelphia and 215 People’s Alliance at our election returns party.