The organizing group Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Helen Gym last Wednesday morning outside Northeast Regional Library.
The group plans to speak to thousands of Philadelphians in Spanish and English to help Gym.
State director Maegan Llerena credited Gym with being an advocate for immigrants, citing her involvement in stopping Jefferson Health from medically deporting an uninsured Guatemalan patient.
Diana Robinson called Gym “a bold and fierce voice for Philadelphia’s future.” Robinson described her as an immigrant organizer who’ll make Philadelphia a welcoming city. She cited issues such as Gym’s support for bilingual education in schools and Fair Workweek legislation and her opposition to evictions for people struggling to pay rent.
Gym, pointing to her activism and time on City Council, said she is not running to start a new job.
“I’m here to finish a job,” she said.
Gym decried the state’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage.
“Those wages are unjust,” she said.
One key issue for Gym is increasing the amount of affordable housing.
“Housing is a human right here in the city,” she said.
Gym talked of her support for legal aid for immigrants; keeping schools open to the community from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; expanding safe routes to schools; assistance for students facing bullying and harassment; fair testing in schools for students facing language issues; and pushing back against the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and keeping Philadelphia a sanctuary city so immigrant families can stay together.
If elected, she’d put a greater focus on sealing vacant lots and towing abandoned cars.
Gym is seeking to become Philadelphia’s first woman mayor.
“Sí se puede,” her supporters chanted, translated to “Yes we can.”
Gym has also been endorsed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, AFT Pennsylvania, UNITE HERE Philadelphia, AFSCME DC 47, Working Families Party, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, Teamsters Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, Reclaim Philadelphia, One Pennsylvania, First Ward Democrats, Second Ward Democrats, Ward 39A Democrats, Amistad Movement Power, Philly Neighborhood Networks, Free the Ballot and Straight Ahead. ••