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May 2019 Election, May 21 (7 AM-8 PM)

St. George's Greek Orthodox Church (back hall)

8th Street, between Spruce and Locust (enter on 8th, through church parking lot)


PA Superior Court: Daniel McCaffery

McCaffery is the only candidate rated Recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar in this race.

Phila Common Pleas Court:

Anthony Kyriakakis, Tiffany Palmer, Kay Yu,

Nicola Serianni, Wendi Barish,Henry McGregor Sias

We heard in person from about 20 of the 25 candidates vying for the six open seats here. Among those, the three that stood out above the rest were Kyriakakis and Palmer (both rated Highly Recommended by the Phila Bar) and Yu (another impressive and award-winning lawyer). Because good candidates have such difficulty overcoming poor ballot positions, we recommend voting just for those three.

However, we can also support votes are Serianni, Sias, and Barish if you want to vote all six slots.

Phila Municipal Court: David Conroy

There are only two candidates running, both of whom seemed above average for this race. The Ward endorsed Conroy.

Mayor: Jim Kenney

We think Mayor Kenney has earned another term, and neither (former controller) Alan Butkovitz nor (State Senator) Anthony Williams inspires any level of enthusiasm about reconsidering.

City Commissioner: Khalil Williams, Jen Devor This is a surprisingly contested rate this year, since controversy over the choice of new voting machines (coming in the fall, we think) inspired many challengers for this job overseeing elections. We think the office needs a clean slate and are glad to have two very impressive candidates to recommend: Williams is a lawyer with districting and election protection experience and Devor a community leader and Committee of 70 ally who has helped pioneer new approaches to voter turnout that could be key in 2020.
Register of Wills: No endorsement

This is a contested race, between the 40-year incumbent Ron Donatucci and challenger Tracey Gordon. The 5th Ward decided not to endorse in this race. That doesn't mean we're not open to a better contender!

Sheriff: Rochelle Bilal The incumbent is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, and is being challenged by two well-qualified and impressive women, of whom Bilal (onetime cop, longtime Krasner supporter) is one. Hopefully the two don't split the vote and allow the incumbent to stay on.
City Council At-Large Representative: Helen Gym, Eryn Santamoor, Erika Almiron, Derek Green, Justin DiBerardinis

This is the most consequential race, for which there are 5 seats (and two retiring incumbents). Among the incumbents who are running, we recommend Gym, a long-time advocate for schools, and Green, who has pushed policies on economics development and campaign finance reform.

Challengers that excited us were Santamoor, who combines the wonky orientation of the Nutter years (she spearheaded the development of 311 service) with attunement to addiction and mental health issues; DiBerardinis, who has a good record of helping connect communities to the public and private institutions around them, leveraging the some of the city's strengths to create opportunities for populations who have been getting left behind; and Almiron, a longtime community organizer who has worked on immigrant issues (including Philadelphia designating itself a sanctuary city), women's and LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing.

City Council District Rep: Mark Squilla Our incumbent district councilperson has done a reasonable job in his two terms so far, and he seems far preferable to his opponent.
Ballot Question #1 (Referendum to make language around City Council gender-neutral): Yes This seems like an overdue change.
Ballot Question #2 (Make the Office of Immigrant Affairs permanent): Yes This office was created by executive order in 2016; this ballot question will make the office permanent. With about 15% of the city's population made up of immigrants (according to a Pew report), having such an office seems reasonable.
Ballot Question #3 (Request the state legislature enact or allow a higher minimum wage): Yes This is essential a symbolic gesture, since it would have no binding effect on the state legislature.
Ballot Question #4 (Establish a new force of unarmed Public Safety Officers to work with current agencies): Yes Following the lead of other big cities, these new officers would assist with "quality of life" issues, such as unsnarling traffic and making double-parked vehicles clear out.