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It is election season around here. In 2007, back when we (Jennifer, Ray, myself, etc.) were just youngsters, with not a care in the world, YPP was a hopping place for elections. This year, with no Mayoral race, and many of the regular writers prevented from writing nearly as often (or as opinionated), this has been quieter. Still, I don’t want to have the entire election season slip away without making a couple of personal comments about the candidates.
The First District race has gotten some mild attention, where there is a race to replace the retiring Frank DiCicco. There is no question in my mind that there is a clear choice here, with a candidate who would be a great, great City Councilman: Jeff Hornstein. I am far from rich, but, I have donated what I can to Jeff, and, after I click post, I plan to do so again.
Why Jeff? He is a progressive running for office who, when asked why someone should vote for him, can do more than say he has the right values, or that he is smart, or that he checks the right boxes on a questionnaire. Instead, he can point to years of fighting for and with working class Philadelphians, for progressive labor, for machine-challenging political candidates, and more. (SEIU, with Jeff as a driving force there, is probably one of two unions in the city that have made impactful endorsements for upstart political candidates.) Jeff would not just bring a new, smart outlook- he would be a progressive organizer, put into a position where he could advance smart ideas to make our city a better place.
Jeff is endorsed by almost every progressive group out there. He does the work. He has the values. When there has been a fight for progressive policies in the city, Jeff has been there. If he wins, he will still be there, but with a much larger platform. He is the real deal. He is worth your support.
Of course, the race has another progressive in it- Joe Grace. Many Philly liberals, along with the past couple of Mayors, like him. He was ED of Ceasefire PA, a crucially important organization that does good work. He knows his way around City Hall. I think he would probably be pretty good at the job.
There is also Mark Squilla. I don’t know a ton about him. That he can so easily unite the South Philly Hatfields and McCoys, after a quick meeting with Bob Brady, is mildly scary, and a win very much reinforces the power of the old school South Philly political powers. Still, I don’t have anything bad to say about him, and his proposed agenda looks generally good. I simply know very little about him, and have no idea what kind of Councilman he would be.
At its core, this is not about the other guys, but about Jeff. When one of our city’s many unsung progressives, who has been doing great, courageous work for years, decides to run for office, I jump.
Time to get out the battered credit card…
Hey folks, I always think there are too many bogus "either/or" choices imposed on Philly politics: you "either" are the progressive reform candidate "or" you're the labor candidate "or" you're the candidate supported by business owners. Jeff Hornstein's City Council campaign has been putting the lie to that supposition by picking up support from progressives, unions, and business owners, and now by releasing a plan for Philly's economy that people from all those groups are getting behind. Please check it out. --Sam
First District City Council candidate Jeff Hornstein picked up the endorsement of one of the City’s most politically active unions, AFSCME District Council 47, his fifth major union endorsement, as he unveiled “Investing in Philadelphia’s Future,” his plan to grow the City’s economy and green business on the Delaware and to “make Philly less weird.”
I've supported Jeff Hornstein in the First Councilmanic race from the beginning because he's just an outstanding candidate who gets what the issues are without anyone having to go back to first principles with him. He's keenly smart, and more importantly, he's walked the walk and talked the talk to advance the interests and needs of poor and working class people during a long activist career that has had many successes. We need someone like Jeff who is an unabashed progressive, from the guts up, in City Council and who doesn't think that the Chamber of Commerce = God. That's who Jeff is (along with Sherrie Cohen, running at-Large, but that's going to be another post.)
State Representative Tony Payton Jr., a progressive leader who successfully made the transition from organizer to legislator, today became the third state representative to endorse Jeff Hornstein for City Council in the 1st district.
Hornstein, a longtime organizer who most recently served as organizing director of the SEIU Local 32BJ, also is vying to make that transition.
“The wave of support has been overwhelming and very inspiring, “ said Hornstein, who described Payton as a smart, young, progressive legislator who doesn’t accept politics as usual. “And neither will I, on City Council,” Hornstein said.
Prior to Payton’s announcement, Hornstein was endorsed by State Representative Mike O’Brien, who serves wards along the Delaware River, and by State Representative Babette Josephs, who serves parts of Center City and South Philadelphia.
I'll be the first to admit that I've been out of the activist loop for a while: I am a new mom and I spend most of my day stressing out about feeding and sleeping schedules...but when I read that Frank DiCicco was retiring from City Council, I said to myself, "Wow, Jeff Hornstein could actually win this."
A truly progressive labor organizer with a PhD in his cap, I really can't think of a more ideal candidate to serve the 1st District. Jeff's work at SEIU has been pretty amazing: from organizing grad students at Penn to unionizing janitors - his successful drives have made a real and positive impact on people's livelihoods. I think his can do attitude and forward-thinking policies could transform our city.
Hey everyone, I'm managing Jeff Hornstein's City Council campaign. In that capacity, when I write on a subject that I think may be of interest to YPP readers, I may post it here on my blog. Hope there's no hard feelings for the partisan politics. Thanks! -- Sam
State Representative Babette Josephs, one of Pennsylvania’s most respected leaders for progressive causes, including women’s rights, LGBT rights, consumer rights, seniors’ issues and environmental protection today endorsed Jeff Hornstein for City Council in the 1st district.
“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Representative Josephs, whom I consider a hero, a progressive pioneer and a friend,“ said Hornstein, who noted that Josephs has long represented the conscience of Center City politics for himself and many voters. Josephs has served the 182nd district, which includes parts of Center City, Society Hill, Bella Vista and Hawthorne as well as parts of South Philadelphia, since 1985.