记者/Reporter：Keano Tsao编辑/Editor: 李 蓓校对/Proofreader: Eric Rosenfeld
Over the 2022 Fourth of July weekend, tens of thousands of fans gathered for a pop concert along Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, an annual tradition in the City of Brotherly Love. This time, something other than fireworks occurred: gunshots rang out in the crowd. Thankfully, the shooting did not cause casualties. But police officers were fearful and Mayor Jim Kenney was anxious and also weary. The City was already in the midst of a surge in gun violence.
When the Mayor was questioned by the media, he stated, “So I’ll be happy when I’m not here — when I’m not Mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.” Kenney later apologized for his “inappropriate” remarks, but they left residents surprised. How can the Mayor of the sixth largest city in the United States be openly dismissive about his leadership responsibility?
Photo credits to fox
In 2022, Philadelphia had more than 500 murders. Over 90% involved guns. This is the second year in the row the city suffered more than 500 murders. Obviously gun violence is only one of many issues at the fore. Others include social equity, economic access, and educational opportunities. Mayor Kenney, having served two consecutive 4-year terms, cannot seek re-election. This fall, the City will elect its first new Mayor in nearly a decade.
How will a new Mayor be chosen? Who are the leading candidates? What are the major issues Philadelphians care about? What plans and proposals do the Mayoral candidates have?This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the 2023 Philadelphia Mayoral election. We hope every eligible Philadelphia resident, especially Asian Americans, vote. YOU can help select the next Mayor of YOUR city.
2023 Philadelphia Mayoral Race Overview
In 2023, voters will decide who will become Philadelphia’s 100th Mayor. The highly anticipated race comes as the city faces a crippling gun violence crisis, an uncertain economic outlook, and a depleted city bureaucracy struggling to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also comes at a time when many are looking for stronger leadership and make Philadelphia a safer, more equal, and more prosperous home.
As of February 2023, 10 individuals have declared their candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia. These 10 candidates are all from the Democratic Party. At present, no Republicans have announced their candidacy for Mayor. The candidate who wins the general election on November 7th will become the 100th Mayor of Philadelphia. Because of voter registration patterns and historical trends, whoever wins the Democratic nomination will become the de facto next Mayor of Philadelphia. That means all eyes are on the May 16th primary.
Under the “resign to run” provision of Philadelphia’s election laws, Philadelphia City Council members who run for Mayor must resign their Council seat. Among the 10 Mayoral candidates participating in the upcoming election, 5 candidates were Council Members in Philadelphia before deciding to enter the race.
Compared to the previous two Philadelphia Mayoral elections, the current election has many more candidates. In 2015, only 5 people ran in the Democratic primary. In 2019, there were only 4 primary candidates.Among the 10 candidates in the current election cycle, five are former Council Members, seven are candidates of color, and two are non-politician “outsiders.” The total adds to more than 10 because several candidates belong to more than one category.
We also note that there are four women among the primary candidates. The race may make history because no woman has ever been elected Mayor of Philadelphia.
Who’s running for Philly mayor?Let’s meet the 10 candidates who have announced their candidacies.
1. 沃伦·布鲁姆 Warren Bloom Sr.
已经“70后”的沃伦·布鲁姆（Warren Bloom Sr.）是10名竞选者中年纪最大的一个。此前，他曾至少六次尝试竞选公职，包括2019年的费城市长竞选。十年前，媒体对他的候选人资格进行了仔细审查，曾发现过他的犯罪记录。
70-year-old Warren Bloom, Sr., is the oldest of the 10 candidates. He has previously run six times, including a 2019 bid. A decade ago, the media scrutinized his candidacy after uncovering his criminal record.
Photo credits to whyy
As a long-time public servant and social activist in West Philadelphia, as well as a minister, Bloom claimed that he has dedicated his life and career to serving and advocating for his community.His campaign’s 6-Point Plan for Philadelphia focuses on prioritizing public safety and crime reduction, improving education, addressing the opioid crisis, improving trash disposal, and promoting economic development.
2. 阿门·布朗 Amen Brown
At 35 years old, Armen Brown is the youngest candidate in the race. He has represented the 10th District (previously the 190th District) in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2021. He is considered a more moderate Democrat. He also has what some would consider authoritarian ideas.
Photo credits to the Inquirer
For example, he supports the seizure and destruction of illegal ATVs and dirtbikes on Philadelphia streets. He does hold more moderate-to-liberal views, supporting transgender rights and increased measures to prevent school violence.At Brown’s first event with supporters, the West Philadelphia lawmaker shared his experience with gun violence and said he would prioritize public safety if elected.
3. 杰夫·布朗 Jeff Brown
Most Philadelphians have visited one of the region’s many ShopRite grocery stores focused on high-quality and low-cost. Owner Jeff Brown has announced his candidacy for Mayor.
Photo credits to the Inquirer
Brown owns 11 ShopRites and 2 Fresh Grocer locations in the Philadelphia area. He lacks formal political experience, a feature he uses to distinguish himself from other candidates. He claims the other “career politician” candidates have not improved the lives of Philadelphians and that a fresh point of view, like his, is what the City needs.
Brown believes he can appeal to people of color and working class Philadelphians, as many of his workers are of diverse backgrounds and union members. He has stated that, “people I’ve served all my life tend to be people of color.” Brown has been one of the most high-profile opponents of mayor Jim Kenney’s controversial sugary drink tax and has promised its repeal.
4. 詹姆斯·德隆 James Deleon
One of the lesser known names to join the list of candidates is a retired Judge James Deleon. Deleon, who recently retired after serving for 34 years on the bench, announced his candidacy in November and has written about addressing gun violence in the past.
Photo credits to www.thedp.com
His campaign website says he plans to prioritize anti-gun violence initiatives as well as youth ambassadorships and education and housing reform. Deleon remains a low profile candidate.
5. 艾伦·多姆Allan Domb
Former at-large City Council Member Allan Domb, owner of more than 400 properties with a total value of more than $400 million, aka the Philly Condo King, is a moderate Democrat. He has called for wage tax refunds to benefit low-income residents, “address[ing] the root causes of crime” by investing in businesses and education, City Council term limits, and teaching more financial literacy in schools.
Photo credits to PhillyVoice
Like Jeff Brown, he has a background in business and is willing to pour his own wealth into his campaign.
6. 德里克·格林Derek S. Green
德里克·格林（Derek S. Green）从政经验丰富。在担任费城市议员之前，他还曾担任前市议员玛丽安·塔斯科（Marian Tasco）的立法助手和特别顾问，担任费城助理地方检察官，并担任费城天然气委员会和财政、公共卫生和公共服务委员会的法律顾问等等。
Derek S. Green has extensive political experience. Before representing Philadelphia at-large in the City Council, he served as a legislative aide and Special Counsel for former City Council Member Marian Tasco. He also served as Assistant District Attorney for Philadelphia as well as Counsel to the Philadelphia Gas Commission and the Committees on Finance and Public Health and Human Services.
Photo credits to the Inquirer
Green supports establishing a public bank, introducing ranked-choice voting, imposing City Council term limits, implementing wage tax cuts, and being “smart, not merely ‘tough’ on crime,” which he plans to accomplish through programs like Focused Deterrence and the SafeCam program.
德里克·格林还有一个自闭症儿子，正因为如此，他积极为自闭症的非营利组织Autism Speaks筹集资金。他还在亨利·H·休斯顿小学（Henry H Houston Elementary School）创办了第一个自闭症扶助班。
Green has an autistic son. He raises money for Autism Speaks, an autism awareness non-profit organization. He also founded the first autism support class at Henry H Houston Elementary School.
7. 金海伦Helen Gym
Prior to her election to City Council for two terms, serving Philadelphia at-large, Korean-American Helen Gym was known for her work in activism. This includes working on a civil rights case to help stop bullying and harassment of Asian students at a South Philadelphia High School, co-founding the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures School (FACTS), and helping to lead the movement against the construction of a new Phillies stadium and a Foxwoods Casino in Chinatown.
Photo credits to www.phillymag.com
Gym’s most notable priorities are the funding of public schools and public spaces in general, promoting housing rights, strengthening worker’s rights, protecting the LGBTQ+ community, combatting racism, and investing in opportunities for the youth.
8. 切莱尔·帕克Cherelle Parker
和德里克·格林一样（Derek Green），切莱尔·帕克（Cherelle Parker）同样是个“老政客”。从17岁开始，她为前市议员玛丽安·塔斯科（Marian Tasco）工作了15年。随后，她于2005年至2015年担任宾州众议员，代表第200选区，并于2016年至2022年担任费城市议员，代表第9选区。
Like Derek Green, Cherelle Parker has considerable experience in the political world. Starting at 17 years old, she worked for former City Councilmember Marian Tasco for 15 years. She went on to represent the 200th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 2005 to 2015 and the 9th District in the Philadelphia City Council from 2016 to 2022.
Photo credits to whyy
Parker supports the controversial policing policy of stop-and-frisk, opposes the Soda Tax for its negative impact on communities of color, and advocates for a bill that requires development projects to complete a “Project Information Form.” The Form would alert neighbors to the impact on their community of the proposed project. Parker also supports the Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan, which aims to increase public safety by hiring more police officers, increasing funding for security cameras, making the police force more diverse, and “strengthening community engagement,” among other points.
Maria Quiñones-Sánchez also has a lengthy history on the Philadelphia political scene. Elected in 2007 as the first Hispanic city councilor in Philadelphia, she represents some of the poorest neighborhoods in North Philadelphia. Because she often clashes with her own political party on policy issues, she is described as a “maverick.”
Photo credits to the Inquirer
Like Cherrelle Parker, Quiñones-Sánchez worked as an advisor for Council Member Marian Tasco. She then represented the 7th District on the City Council from 2008 to 2022. Quiñones-Sánchez also helped rewrite the Philadelphia Voter Guide and developed a plan to distribute new voting machines to voting sites like schools and community groups as Philadelphia’s Deputy Elections Commissioner. Quiñones-Sánchez also launched an expansive voter registration program that increased Latino turnout by more than 35% in some areas.
Quiñones-Sánchez was the prime sponsor of one of the strongest pieces of legislation in the nation protecting domestic workers, the “Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.” She has also helped create hundreds of affordable housing units in Kensington and has assisted in the passage of legislation that requires that at least 20% of new housing development projects in North Philadelphia be affordable housing. She opposes supervised injection sites, increased funding for police, and the Sugary Drink Tax. She supports business tax cuts to spur economic growth and encourages businesses to make long-term investments in communities of color.
10. 丽贝卡·莱茵哈特Rebecca Rhynhart
作为2008年至2022年的费城市政控制员（the Philadelphia City Controller），丽贝卡·莱茵哈特（Rebecca Rhynhart）曾经发布了一份关于费城警察局的报告，其中详细描述了费城警局的诸多问题，比如在制定打击犯罪战略时的捉襟见肘；对911报警响应时间有快有慢，缺乏社区参与等等。
As the Philadelphia City Controller from 2008 to 2022, Rebecca Rhynhart most notably released a report on the Philadelphia Police Department detailing ineffective crime-fighting strategies, disparities in 911 response times, lack of community involvement, and other deficiencies.
Photo credits to aldiannews.com
Rhynhart has created plans on how to reduce gun violence, how to spend the $1.4 billion Philadelphia received from the American Rescue Fund, and how to implement fiscal transparency in City government.Before serving as City Controller, Rhynhart was Philadelphia’s City Treasurer during the Nutter administration. She then became the Budget Director, helping to lead Philadelphia out of the 2008 recession. Finally, she served as Chief Administrative Officer for Mayor Jim Kenney. During her campaign launch, she mentioned addressing gun violence as a top priority.
What are the major issues Philadelphia needs to solve?
From the campaign platforms of the 10 mayoral primary candidates, most of the candidates regard reducing gun violence and making Philadelphia safer as their top priority. This reflects that gun violence, and public safety more broadly, is a top priority for Philadelphians.
尽管2022年记录的516起凶杀案比2021的562起的史高下降了8%，但2022年亦是费城连续第二年记录在案的凶杀案件超过500起。据主计长办公室（the Office of the Controller）统计，2022年和2021费城分别发生了1791起和1831起非致命性枪击事件。
While the 516 homicides recorded in 2022 was down 8% from the record-high of 562 in 2021, 2022 was still the second year in a row where Philadelphia recorded more than 500 homicides. According to the Office of the Controller, there were 1,791 non-fatal shootings in 2022 and 1,831 in 2021.
皮尤慈善信托基金（Pew Charitable Trusts）在2022年1月的一份报告显示，70%的费城人表示，公共安全是该市面临的最重要问题。在同一份报告中，只有44%的费城人表示他们在晚上感到安全；65%的居民报告说在过去的12个月里听到了枪声；85%的人认为在过去三年中，费城的枪支暴力愈演愈烈。
A January 2022 report from Pew Charitable Trusts shows that 70% of Philadelphians identify public safety as the most important issue facing the city. In the same report, 44% of Philadelphians responded saying that they feel safe at night, 65% of residents reported hearing gunshots in their neighborhood in the past twelve months, and 85% believe that gun violence has gotten worse over the past three years.
Photo credits to whyy
At a time when violence in Philadelphia in general proliferates, Chinatown, located in the center of the city, has also seen deteriorating public safety. In the second half of 2022, a series of violent gun crimes incidents occurred in Chinatown and the surrounding areas. The Chinese community, especially merchants, are concerned and fearful. Notably, this comes on the heels of a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes in the wake of COVID-19.
2023年2月16日，费城华埠商会、《海华都市报》、费城华埠发展会和WHYY将联合主办一场2023费城市长选举华埠商家讨论会。作为“Every Voice, Every Vote”项目的一部分，此次讨论会将以枪支暴力对亚裔小企业主的影响为议题，就有关话题展开讨论，向各位市长候选人传递亚裔小企业的心声，积极献计献策，和各位市长候选人一道维护费城的公共安全。
On February 16, 2023, the Philadelphia Chinatown Business Association (PCBA), Metro Chinese Weekly, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Cooperation (PCDC), and WHYY will jointly host the “2023 Philadelphia Mayoral Election: Community Listening Session”. As part of the collaborative project “Every Voice, Every Vote,” this session will focus on the impact of gun violence on Asian small business owners. It is meant to convey and amplify the voice of Asian small businesses to the Mayoral candidates and actively contribute ideas and suggestions. Together with input from the Mayoral candidates, participants hope to improve public safety in Philadelphia.
For decades, Philadelphia has been plagued by poverty. According to statistics from city-data.com, in 2019, 22.3% of residents in Philadelphia had an income below the poverty level. This makes the city with the third highest proportion of poor people in the United States not only higher than the national average of 10.5%, but also higher than the remainder of Pennsylvania, which has a poverty rate of 12.1%.
When accounting for race, 40.2% of Latin Americans, 26.7% of African-Americans, 23.1% of Asian-American, and only 12.7% of White people are below the poverty line. It follows that Mayoral candidates’ strategies to address poverty will have a significant impact on the city as a whole as well as the Asian-American population specifically.
根据fundourschoolspa.org网站2022年一月发布的统计数据，费城学区每个学生的平均花费为10,796美元，比宾州平均水平低了近3,000美元。和费郊优质学区Lower Merion的人均$26,362相比 ,更是相距甚远。
According to statistics released by fundourschoolspa.org in January 2022, the Philadelphia school district spends an average of $10,796 per student, nearly $3,000 less than the state average. Compared with an average of $26,362 per student in Lower Merion, a high-quality school district in an adjacent suburb, the gap is even starker; a mere 40% of spending levels.
Photo credits to fox
This lack of spending per student is especially a problem in Philadelphia public schools considering that many students have special needs, are homeless, are in foster care, or live in dangerous neighborhoods. So, they need more money spent on them to address their needs.
Many Philadelphia school buildings are old, desperately require renovation, and even have unsafe levels of lead, asbestos, and other dangerous chemicals. Test scores and grades are all below national averages. These are only a few of the aspects of the complex issue that blanket Philly’s public schools. How the future Mayor decides to handle public schools will determine the future of the next generation.
Like many big cities in the U.S., Philadelphia has a significant drug problem, especially with opioids. The most dangerous drug threat in Philadelphia is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug that can be lethal even at small doses.
According to data from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in 2021, fentanyl caused 82% of the 1,276 overdose deaths in Philadelphia. While fentanyl is the top drug threat in Philadelphia, counterfeit pills, meth, and others also contribute to illness and death.
The Proposed 76ers Arena
In 2022, the news that the 76er plans to build a new arena next to Chinatown in Philadelphia can be described as “one stone sparked a thousand waves.” The proposed 76ers arena would be adjacent to Chinatown, displacing the majority of the Fashion District Mall and completely replacing the Greyhound Bus Terminal.
Photo credits to NBC
The 76ers claim they need a “championship-caliber” arena. This thinking eclipses the risk the new stadium would bring to Chinatown. Asian-Americans and Chinatown residents comprise the most ardent critics and their numbers have been steadily growing. They claim that the stadium will gentrify the neighborhood, causing property values to skyrocket and driving out residents who cannot afford the newly increased rent. Merchants also fear that their small businesses will be squeezed out and replaced by chains and big businesses.
Other concerns are that construction would aggravate already disruptive traffic levels, introducing more noise pollution and environmental concerns. Chinatown has a history of organizing to defeat major development projects at and near its neighborhood. The future of the 76ers proposed arena is uncertain.
What do we need to do?
The next Mayor of Philadelphia will help shape the outcome of vital concerns of every resident. Asian-Americans are no exception. Think about the issues you care about, understand the policies and propositions of the candidates, register to vote on time, and vote.
The Key Dates for the Philadelphia Mayoral primary election have been announced:
Last day to register to vote: Monday, May 1, 2023
Last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot: Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Primary Election Day: Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – polls are open 7AM to 8PM
Last day for the County Board of Elections to receive completed mail-in or absentee ballots: Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – must be received by 8PM to be counted. Ballots must be signed and sealed in the included secrecy envelope.
Please note that only registered voters can vote. The City Commissioners Office must receive voter registration applications no later than 15 days before the next election in order to be eligible to vote.
For more information, visit the official voting site: vote.phila.gov/voting/registering-to-vote
In addition, we also invite you to participate in “2023 Philadelphia Mayoral Election: Community Listening Session” on February 16, 2023. One topic is the impact of gun violence on Asian-American small businesses.
时间：2023年2月16日 6PM-8PM地址：鼎华中心会议室B，1001 VINE ST, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19107Time: February 16, 2023, 6PM-8PM
Address: Crane Community Center CONFERENCE ROOM B
1001 VINE ST, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19107
本篇报道是Every Voice, Every Vote项目的系列文章之一。
This story is part of the Every Voice, Every Vote series.