State Representative Brown Soft-Launches Mayoral Campaign at Pennsylvania Society Event in New York
Last week, West Philadelphia State Representative Amen Brown announced his intention to run for mayor at a Pennsylvania Society satellite event in New York, hosted by real estate developer — and likely super PAC supporter — Marty Burger. Rep. Brown is expected to make a formal announcement of his candidacy on Thursday, which will make him the tenth candidate to enter the race. Unlike the many former Philadelphia City Council members who have thrown their hats in the ring, Rep. Brown would not have to resign his position in order to run.
Progressive Candidates Eye At-Large Seats as Councilmanic Races Begin to Take Shape
Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter limits each party to five potential at-large City Council candidates — effectively guaranteeing that two of its seven at-large members are either independent or represent a political minority party. For decades, this meant that Republicans could count on securing two seats on the overwhelmingly Democratic city’s legislative body. In 2019, now-Councilmember Kendra Brooks shattered this precedent when she won her election as a member of the progressive Working Families Party. Now, the small third party is hoping to double its representation on City Council, with Reverend Nicolas O’Rourke set to announce Wednesday that he will be running for the seat currently held by Republican Councilmember David Oh, who is expected to resign in order to run for mayor.
Also entering what is shaping up to be a competitive Democratic at-large field is cofounder and former political director of Reclaim Philadelphia Amanda McIllmurray, who made her announcement over the weekend at an event in FDR Park in South Philadelphia. Previously, McIllmurray had filed paperwork to run against 1st District Councilmember Mark Squilla, but changed her mind, citing a desire to craft policy at the city-wide rather than district level.
DA Krasner Requests That Commonwealth Court Declare Impeachment Efforts Unlawful
Last month, the state House voted along party lines to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for his alleged failure to adequately deal with the city’s uptick in violent crime, among other accusations. While a state Senate trial has been scheduled for January, DA Krasner and his lawyers are requesting that the Commonwealth Court intervene in what they view as an unlawful partisan attack. According to new filings, the articles of impeachment levied against Krasner should be considered “null and void” as of the last day of the 2021-22 legislative session, they do not include adequate evidence of “misbehavior in office,” and that state legislators do not have the authority to remove local elected officials from office.
Joe Pierce Named Fetterman Senate Office Director
After serving as political strategist for a successful congressional campaign, Joe Pierce has been named the Senator-elect John Fetterman’s state director. Pierce’s appointment, which will be made official on Friday, in many ways represents the continuation of the Fetterman campaign’s “every county, every vote” throughline, as Pierce will conduct his duties for his Braddock-native boss from Philadelphia. Pierce’s role will include hiring and managing staff, as well as engaging with constituents and organizations on Fetterman’s behalf statewide, particularly as the senator-elect continues to recover from a stroke he suffered last May.
Federal Government Seeks Extension in Philadelphia Supervised Injection Site Lawsuit
As the opioid epidemic rages across the country, Philadelphia continues to see some of the most severe concentrations of overdoses. Many health policy experts and local officials favor the use of supervised injection sites as a means to curb the rates of accidental overdoses and potentially help those with substance use disorders seek additional help and resources, though such sites have proven controversial. Most recently, the federal government has sought a two-month extension to a lawsuit filed by local public health nonprofit Safehouse in their attempt to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia. In doing so, the federal government hopes to carefully consider “harm reduction and public safety goals.”