May 14, 2015 12:08 pm

6 Key Topics to Read Up on Before May 19

Here’s a rundown of platforms and feedback we’ve seen from our candidates.

Generocity.org covers social issues most relevant to where Philly is here and now. From food access in low-income neighborhoods to what the local impact funding scene looks like, our team is focused on giving our readers the tools they need to get involved and make their own kind of change happen.

To that end, here’s a rundown of platforms and feedback we’ve seen from our candidates, both for mayor and our city council. Before you go to the polls on Tuesday, make sure you know who’s going to do what for the issues you care about.


Education is the biggest issue this election cycle, with all eyes looking toward what the next mayoral will do with regard to Philly public schools.

Notable on the city council front:

Food Access

Next Great City made nourished students one of its six main pillars in its platform. In the platform, the 100+ organizations that make up Next Great City stated that “student nutritious food and free drinking water is not going to solve the school district’s funding issues or crumbling infrastructure, it is something that we can do today to improve educational achievement.”

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Food access was not a cornerstone in any of the candidates’ platforms, though during the #PhillyFPAC forum, most of the candidates focused on changing the way kids eat within their schools. We’ll be watching to see how the new administration addresses food issues in the coming years.

Social Justice

Given the recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other parts of the country, social justice and the role of law enforcement has risen to the top of the conversation. Action United has backed Jim Kenney, and Decarcerate PA has created a scorecard for the candidates with Diaz and Kenney coming out on top.


The Philadelphia Design Advocacy Group has big expectations, including the Healthy Rowhouse Project. Plan Philly has called for all candidates to support Vision Zero — no fatalities in bike or pedestrian traffic.

  • Jim Kenney wants to boost public transportation and is a supporter of Vision Zero.
  • Lynne Abraham is covering all the bases with six main areas of focus for housing alone, along with infrastructure and accessibility for transportation.
  • Nelson Diaz wants inclusive, affordable, and livable neighborhoods, which he outlines in a full policy book.
  • Read 5th Square’s questions and answers for the candidates regarding smart policy for transportation, public space, land use, and better governance in Philadelphia.


The proposal of making Philadelphia an energy hub ruled a lot of the conversation around sustainability. Next Great City and the Good Economy Philly Challenge called on the candidates for a strong stance in making Philly a greener city and continuing Nutter’s progress. Although Doug Oliver did not make sustainability one of his core issues, the other candidates voiced strong opinions.

  • Nelson Diaz, a strong supporter for environmental progress, got the nod from Grid Magazine, making a healthy, sustainable, responsible city one of his main talking points.
  • Jim Kenney wants more green spaces and energy efficiency.
  • A strong supporter of the energy hub for job creation, Lynne Abraham also is focused on stormwater regulations and clean city streets.
  • Anthony Williams wants to further expand the Office of Sustainability, and believes that Philadelphia’s future economic growth is tied to the city becoming an energy hub.
  • For a deeper look, check out Green Philly Blog’s guide to the mayoral election.

Arts & Culture

As with Food Access, Arts and Culture did not play a big role on this election cycle. Maud Lyon of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance outlined the importance of backing a long-term cultural plan, but only Lynne Abraham made this a core part of her plan, wanting to bring back the position of Deputy City Representative for Arts and Culture from Mayor Rendell’s days.

Don’t stop reading after May 19

There are no shortage of passionate Philadelphians calling for change in these and many other topics– make sure you know who will keep moving this city forward, particularly in the issues you care about. And let’s keep them accountable– these positions are easy to talk about, and much harder to enact. We’ll be watching to see how the next administration addresses these key issues.

For all of you ardent politicos — what did we miss? Comment below about the issues you care most about, and help us to continually cover what’s most relevant to Philly.

Image via Flickr User jamelah e.


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