Broad Street Brief: Judge Ballot Withdrawal; School Cafeteria Workers Strike
September 15, 2023
September 15, 2023
State Rep. Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania Attorney General. Solomon is joining a crowded field of Democratic candidates including former state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, former federal prosecutor Joe Kahn, and former head of Philadelphia’s public defense lawyers, Keir Bradford-Grey. Solomon stated that, as attorney general, he would work to combat corruption and focus on public safety and violence prevention.
Judge Genece Brinkley withdrew from the ballot to be retained for another term on the Court of Common Pleas. Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee now has three key Court of Common Pleas seats to fill on the general election ballot in November. Judge Rayford Means withdrew from the ballot in June, and Judge Joel Johnson dropped out in July.
Gary Masino is the head of a sheet metal workers union, and is now challenging City Councilmember Brian O’Neill for the Northeast Philadelphia-based 10th City Council seat. Masino is focused on issues such as police and public safety, development, and neighborhood interests. While Masino is a Democrat and O’Neill is a Republican, both are moderates focused on community issues rather than partisan politics.
The School District of Philadelphia is under scrutiny for how it handled early dismissals during the first week of school with questions surrounding whether the district properly planned for the unexpected high temperatures. Parents expressed frustration around a lack of after school care and concerns for their children’s safety.
A recent Gallup poll found that fewer than half of people who have visited Philadelphia perceive it as safe. However, year-to-date homicides and shootings in the city have fallen more than 20% since last year, and other violent crimes including aggravated assault with a gun and armed robberies are also down.
1,900 Philadelphia School District cafeteria workers and climate staff across the district’s 216 schools voted unanimously to empower union leadership to call a strike if it so chooses. The vote by the union, Unite Here Local 634, represents an authorization, not a strike, and employees will continue working unless a strike is called. The union is engaged in ongoing negotiations with the district and the next bargaining session is scheduled for September 15.
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