Santamoor brings her Council campaign to Pine Valley

Eryn Santamoor, a Democratic candidate for City Council at large, was in Pine Valley on Sunday afternoon for a meet and greet at the home of Chuck Feldman and Paula Weiss.

Santamoor is one of 29 candidates for five nominations in the May 21 primary. She has raised a good amount of money and has a pretty good ballot position, and is considered one of the leading contenders in the race. The field includes three incumbents.

Feldman, who owns the Garden of Earthly Delights, a comic and collectible shop at 7907 Bustleton Ave., raved about Santamoor.

“She’s smart. She’s educated. She is competent. She has done things with government and she’s reasonable. She is an amazing candidate for Council at large,” he said.

Santamoor is a former city deputy managing director who has also worked for Public Financial Management.

The candidate said she has done her homework, releasing an action plan that offers details on substance use disorder, economic growth, best-in-class city services, schools, a green Philadelphia, ethics rules, affordable housing and safety.

“I’m the only candidate for any office who has put out a comprehensive action plan,” she said.

Read the plan here.

Santamoor, a married mother of two from Fairmount, was joined by a couple members of her team, including campaign manager Michelle Feldman, Chuck’s daughter.

Explaining how much she loves public service, she told the crowd about helping to launch 311 and using the PhillyStat performance management program to save the city $21 million.

“I am the candidate who has gotten stuff done in city government,” she said.

The city needs a customer service mentality, she believes. If elected, she would focus on promoting basic city services such as public safety, fixing potholes and improving trash collection. She’d tackle addiction, contending that it is the root cause of a lot of problems. She believes schools should provide more support for children facing challenges at home. She also thinks city government should continue to use technology for better efficiency.

In a question-and-answer session, she said she’d bring leadership and management experience to issues such as school funding. The needs of each school should be examined, she said, adding that all schools need more counselors and caseworkers.

One option to increase school funding, she said, would be to use money generated from a reform of the tax abatement program for new construction.

While she is a strong believer in preschool education, she believes a broader-based tax should have been used to fund it, rather than the beverage tax.

Some of the people at the Pine Road gathering liked what they heard and opened their checkbooks. Santamoor said she hopes to have enough funds to run television commercials.

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Meanwhile, Santamoor was endorsed by Philly Set Go. So were Justin DiBerardinis, Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Allan Domb in the Democratic primary for Council at large.

Philly Set Go began the endorsement process by asking its constituents, millennials, about the issues most important to them and the candidates they thought would be most responsive to their concerns.

Next, Philly Set Go reached out to candidates to gauge their responsiveness, policy positions on the issues facing millennials and willingness to engage millennials.

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Domb, the only incumbent endorsed by Philly Set Go, has more than $175,000 cash on hand before the May 21 primary. He is seeking his second term.

“Over the last four years, I have learned so much about what makes us strong as a city and what needs to be done to address our most pressing problems,” Domb said. “I’m running for re-election because I am committed to continuing to discuss big ideas and big solutions we need. I’m proud to have support from donors across the city as we fight to make our vision of a better Philadelphia a reality.”

Keeping a promise from when he ran in 2015, Domb has donated his Council salary to the School District of Philadelphia every year since taking office.

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Democratic mayoral candidate Alan Butkovitz held a news conference last week to denounce Mayor Jim Kenney for comments on diversity in high city appointments during a question-and-answer session last week at the African-American Chamber of Commerce.

Kenney’s 14-member cabinet includes four blacks, but no black women.

At the Chamber event, Kenney said  the reason for this was, according to Philadelphia magazine “We have a hard time hiring black people for these jobs because they’re so super-talented and too overqualified that they choose to run after the private sector instead. They don’t want to take the pay cut.“

Butkovitz called the Kenney response “preposterous.”

“I will have no difficulty appointing a cabinet and administration that is representative of Philadelphia,” he said.

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AARP PA will host a listening session on Wednesday, April 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, 8025 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 200.

Guests are welcome to voice their opinions and concerns on issues such as transportation, housing, parks and green spaces.

The information will be shared with mayoral candidates.

Dinner will be provided.

The Frankford Community Development Corporation is cosponsoring the event.

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Mayor Jim Kenney was endorsed by Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., U.S. Reps. Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle and Mary Gay Scanlon and state Sen. Vincent Hughes,

“At this point in our nation’s history, strong elected leaders at the local level are more important than ever. We’ve seen how Jim has stood up to this president whenever he’s taken reckless actions that negatively impact Philadelphia residents. That’s the kind of leadership our city needs,” Boyle said.

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The city election commissioners have developed the ballot that voters will see in their polling place.

To view the ballot, go here.

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Philadelphians will vote on four proposed charter changes.

The wording is below.

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to change certain gender specific references (such as “councilman,” “councilmen,” and “Councilmanic”) to gender neutral references (such as “councilmember,” “councilmembers,” and “Council”)?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, headed by a Director of Immigrant Affairs?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call on the General Assembly to either increase the Pennsylvania minimum wage now, so that it reaches $15 an hour, in stages, by 2025; or allow the City of Philadelphia to itself provide for a decent, family sustaining, living wage for working Philadelphians?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require the establishment of “Public Safety Enforcement Officers” to assist the Police Department in regulating the flow of traffic; to enforce and assist the appropriate City officers in the enforcement of ordinances relating to the quality of life in the City’s neighborhoods; and to perform such other related duties as the Managing Director or Council may require? ••