State Sen. Anthony Williams is back for a second crack at mayor, having also run in the 2015 Democratic primary.
Williams was the runner-up in a six-way race four years ago to Jim Kenney, who went on to win the general election.
This time, Williams and Kenney are joined by former City Controller Alan Butkovitz. The primary is Tuesday.
Last week, Williams ate breakfast and greeted patrons at the Mayfair Diner. He also visited a supporter, Somerton’s Lois Levy. He was joined by Brett Mandel, a Rhawnhurst native and Northeast High School graduate who formerly worked as director of the financial and policy analysis unit in the city controller’s office under Jonathan Saidel.
Mandel said Williams is right on issues such as fixing potholes, purchasing new voting machines and eliminating the beverage tax.
“I like the fact he’s passionate. He listens. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers,” Mandel said.
Williams has also been endorsed by, among others, former Mayor John Street, Philadelphia magazine, the Communications Workers of America and the Black Clergy.
Williams said Kenney has overlooked some key issues, including dirty streets.
“Once a week, we will sweep and clean main corridors,” he said.
If elected, Williams will also focus on issues such as gentrification, property assessments, poverty, public school reading and math proficiency and illegal guns.
By implementing a new tax policy and opening a municipal bank, he has an ambitious goal in what he hopes is an eight-year stint in City Hall.
“We will cut poverty in half in Philadelphia,” he said.
Williams calls the beverage tax “ridiculous,” saying it has created “food deserts” and hurt workers who have seen a decrease in hours. Jobs are threatened at the Pepsi plant in the Far Northeast and the Coca-Cola plant in Juniata. He points to an estimated $360 million budget surplus.
“Why do we need a soda tax?” he asked. “We’re going to support pre-K in a robust way. We have the revenue to support it.”
As for safe injection sites, he said they might prevent an overdose but don’t help fix the addiction. He wants prevention, intervention and recovery and wraparound services.
For more information, go to WilliamsIn2019.com. ••