Several Democratic candidates visited Monday night’s Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting for some last-second campaigning.
Candidates on hand were Melissa Robbins, running for City Council at large; Caroline Turner, running for Common Pleas Court; and Yvette Young, running in the 9th Councilmanic District. Also, Mona Cohen spoke on behalf of her sister-in-law, Sherrie Cohen, running for Council at large.
Robbins, of Fox Chase, is the only Northeast Democratic at-large candidate in a field of 27. She’s a U.S. Army veteran and civil rights leader who said the mold, lead and asbestos make conditions in some public schools “horrible.” She favors more after-school and summer programs for youths, longer library hours and City Council meetings in neighborhood settings. She asked people to push button 60 because she is not owned by special interest or dark money.
Turner, who came to the United States from England in 1998, is listed second on the ballot. She asked voters to push “Caroline No. 9.” She’s recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association and has been endorsed by state Sen. Nikil Saval, state Reps. Rick Krajewski and Regina Young and the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 15th, 18th, 22nd and 39th-A wards.
Young has worked for the Water Department, Philadelphia Gas Works, the city Department of Public Property, the School District of Philadelphia and the city controller’s office under Jonathan Saidel and Alan Butkovitz. She is now director of facilities for the Pottsgrove School District. She wants to increase prison staffing, strengthen community groups and increase the number of city-run older adult centers for baby boomers.
Mona Cohen said Sherrie Cohen fought to keep libraries open. She wants to increase school funding and add more centers for senior citizens. She’s the daughter of the late Councilman David Cohen and sister of longtime former state Rep. and current Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Cohen. Mona Cohen said Sherrie Cohen’s button number is 54, appropriate since the Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting was in the 54th Ward.
In other news:
• The Water Department’s Maura Jarvis discussed bump-outs as part of stormwater management. The water goes into the dirt and ultimately into the ground in the bump-outs rather than storm drains.
Some at the meeting wanted signs near the bump-outs so drivers don’t park next to them. Others mentioned the Water Department’s proposed rate increase. There will be hearings before the rate board makes a decision. Another question was about all of the illegal car washes, with the water going into storm drains.
• Capt. Marc Metellus and Lt. John Higgins represented the 2nd Police District.
In response to questions, both said the Driving Equality Act prevents them from pulling over vehicles with expired registrations and inspections, missing headlights and taillights and hanging license plates. Higgins said he never sees such vehicles where he lives in Bucks County. Metellus said Rockledge Police Chief John Gallagher told him some drivers, apparently unaware they have entered the suburbs, are surprised when they are pulled over in Rockledge.
Metellus said he was recently off-duty when he saw three kids who looked to be 13 riding in a Kia on Castor Avenue. He followed them and called for a squad car to join him, and they pulled over the stolen car at Horrocks Street and Longshore Avenue.
Higgins said, due to staffing shortages, he recommends that anyone involved in a minor car accident should make a report at the closest police district, assuming their car is operational.
• State Rep. Jared Solomon has moved his office to 6434 Castor Ave. The phone number is 215-342-6340. The Northeast Services Hub building also includes Feast of Justice, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Mural Arts Philadelphia, Family Promise of Philadelphia and Nationalities Service Center.
• Take Back Your Neighborhood will meet on Monday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. at Max Myers Recreation Center, 1601 Hellerman St. The group typically meets on the third Monday of the month, but Max Myers will be closed on June 19 due to “Juneteenth.” ••