GPA Hosts City Council Candidate Meet and Greet

Kris Walski, for GPA -- Some may say that all politics is local, but in this interconnected world they always have a global impact. The idea of Globally Minded Leadership, a non-partisan informational project presented by the Global Philadelphia Association, engages local legislative and executive office candidates and their staffs with the issues and opportunities that arise in a global world. The project is co-chaired by two prominent GPA members in Nancy Gilboy of Citizens Diplomacy International and Craig Snyder of the World Affairs Council.

The importance of the political races for City Council seats in Philadelphia is highly significant. Issues at the local and municipal level, including those with international dimensions, have a very tangible effect on the quality of life in the city and region.

The 17 members of the Philadelphia City Council get together on Thursdays for a legislative session to conduct city business. There are members in each of the city’s 10 districts. The other seven seats are termed “at-large” and represent the whole city.

In Philadelphia, the May 19 primary election will have a tremendous impact on who sits on City Council, for both the democratic and republican parties with two at-large seats reserved for the minority party.

This upcoming election will have incumbents as well a number of challengers on the ballot. Some of the district seats and all of the “at-large” seats are being contested. Each candidate, whether incumbent and non-incumbent, republican or democrat, were invited to a “council candidate meet and greet” on April 13 as a chance to hear from members of GPA. During the event, GPA member the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia was represented by Krista Bard.

Incumbent council members at the event included David Oh, Maria Quinones Sanchez and representatives for Blondell Reynolds Brown. Non-incumbents democrats included Allan Domb, Sherrie Cohen, Paul Steinke, Tom Wyatt, Helen Gym, Derek Green, Ori Feibush, Wilson Alexander and a representative of Isaiah Thomas. The republican side was represented by Al Taubenberger, Terry Tracey and James Williams.

It was a great meeting of current and future city and regional stakeholders whose common goal is to have elected officials become more aware and take better advantage of the many existing international resources in Philadelphia, as well as to further elevate Philadelphia’s success in an increasingly global environment. Given that Philadelphia is a burgeoning hub of international cultural, economic and academic activity, the ability to utilize an international perspective in addressing such opportunities and challenges will be of critical value to the elected officials and the citizens they serve. 

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