215 People’s Alliance is joining with the Pennsylvania Working Families Party to demand that Mayor Jim Kenney and the City Council appoint and confirm a designated member from a third party rather than a Republican.
City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, resigned from the three-member board before the end of this term and by law, this minority seat cannot go to a Democrat. Instead of a special election, Mayor Kenney will soon appoint a replacement to be confirmed by City Council. This minority seat does not have to come from the Republican Party, but can come from any minority party.
Across the country, we have seen Republicans introduce copycat legislation to restrict voting rights and sow distrust of our electoral system. Trump Republicans are responsible for vile attacks against election officials. This includes sending people to bully and intimidate Philadelphia election officials. Philadelphia should not reward the Republican Party for their active attacks on democracy, especially attacks focused on our City.
Here in Philadelphia we have come together to stand up for a democracy that works for all of us! In 2019, we made history by electing Kendra Brooks to be the first WFP City Council member, ending decades of Republican dominance of an at-large seat. In 2020, we worked with the Working Families Party to support early voting centers and access to mail in ballots, and on Election Day we fueled the movement, passing out thousands of meals to voters in line at the polls.
It didn’t stop there. In the days after the presidential election, we took to the streets in joy and solidarity with the PA Working Families Party to make sure every vote was counted, complete with music, dancing, and tacos!
The question before Mayor Jim Kenney and the City Council is whether they will choose to reward the Republican Party for their increasing hostility for democracy. This is a political choice. Join us in calling on the Mayor to appoint a member from a third party to the Philadelphia City Commissioners.