Monday, May 18, 2015

Guide to the May, 2015 primaries

Mayor and City Council, plus a heap of judges from Supreme Court (a historical number of openings) to Municipal Court. I've been meaning to do a full write-up here, but it just got bumped by a bunch of other brushfires over the last week or two, so I will direct you to the carefully annotated recommendations that are spelled out at the website of this Center City division -- your local District Council race might differ, but the rest of the positions discussed are city-wide, and these represent my choices for all of those races. Judges were really a challenge, given all the contenders, and we even changed our recommendations between sending our official letter and today (because of some late-released Bar recommendations that allowed us to endorse a couple of candidates who impressed us in person), but this captures our best efforts. Don't forget to vote tomorrow!



Friday, May 08, 2015

Mayoral info

Readers of this blog probably realize that the mayoral race in Philadelphia takes place mostly in the Democratic primary on May 19. There are six contenders in this race, and several sources have attempted to make information about them and their views available. For those tuning in just now, having missed the deluge of mayoral forums and debates, these might be helpful in making up your mind:
  1. Brief write-ups of question-and-answer sessions held earlier this year by Plan Philly, which help illuminate how the candidates think about the city's future (these are their headlines):

    • Tony Williams on gentrification, consensus-building, transportation infrastructure, and more
    • Jim Kenney on public transportation, pedestrian safety, and South Philly's organized chaos
    • Lynn Abraham on L&I, councilmanic prerogative, protected bike lanes and more
    • Nelson Diaz on affordable housing, attracting new business, and expanding SEPTA
    • Doug Oliver on the 10-year tax abatement, Vision Zero, and Philly's waterfront
    • Update: Milton Street on Michael Nutter, community planning, tax abatements, aging

  2. Longer radio interviews (45 minutes or so) with individual candidates on Radio Times, all held the last week of April; probably the best source of insight, if you can put in the time:

I'll be putting up a full list of endorsements (especially since there are an ungodly number of judicial candidates again!) this weekend, but wanted to post these separately as a resource, since I think most people like to get a good look themselves at the choices at the top of the ticket. But one of the frontrunners stood pretty far ahead of the others when I saw them in person at recent Ward meetings, so I think it will be an easy choice for anybody with progressive leanings (and interest in continuing Nutter's legacy of good government and city greening).