Ori Feibush Officially Running for City Council

Would it be too much to call it the Race of a Lifetime?

Ori_Feibush

Ori Feibush/Photo: OCF Realty

Point Breeze real estate developer Ori Feibush announced in an email to supporters early this morning that he is running for Philadelphia City Council. The 2nd District primary won’t take place until 2015, but Feibush said he needed to start raising cash immediately to have a chance. Even so, Feibush assured supporters he would drain “almost all of [his] limited personal savings” before spending their donations. The announcement was short of specifics but an obvious theme emerged: His antipathy towards incumbent Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, whom he’s never been shy about criticizing.

Our city, and the neighborhoods within the 2nd Councilmanic District, deserve a partner in City Hall that’s committed to doing everything possible to make things better. Can you imagine the good that could come to our communities if their Councilman was truly a willing and active partner? Philadelphians don’t need someone content to simply show up at ribbon cutting ceremonies after someone else has done all the hard work. Philadelphians need someone who will put in the time and work side by side with them to make this city the best it can be.

This announcement has long been expected–I first reported his intention to run in my June profile of Feibush–but several politicos I’ve spoken to since doubted if he’d really jeopardize his successful career as a developer and coffee shop owner by injecting himself into the nasty world of electoral politics. Well, he’s doing it.


Feibush announced his first fundraiser as well, in an attached flyer bearing the logo of two blue (not lime green!) boxing gloves. It'll take place at his OCF Coffee House in Fairmount on December 12th, from 6:30-8:00pm. That shop isn't actually in his district, which spans Center City and South Philadelphia, but of his three joints it's by far the most spacious. "Friends" are asked to contribute at the $1,000 level, "Good Friends" at the $1,800 level, and "Really Good Friends" at the $2,900 level. Enemies, presumably, are asked to stop throwing bricks through his windows.

Here's Feibush's full message, which I obtained this morning.

Friends:

 
Over the last seven years, I have worked tirelessly to build a small business from the ground up. From the beginning, I've stressed that there is more to my business than just the bottom line.  Between OCF Realty, our three coffee shops, and our partners and investors, we have made a conscious effort over the years to improve the communities we all live and work in.  We've helped breath new life into the South Street West and Point Breeze Avenue commercial corridors by leasing space to new businesses, opening businesses ourselves, and helping existing businesses in various capacities.  We've installed dozens of security cameras and cleaned up many vacant lots.  We have contributed to local schools and charities, and recently formed a not-for profit to help neighbors and businesses. We've done all of this through challenging economic and political times here in Philadelphia.
 
Whether the economy is up or down and whether the policies are popular or not, our leaders must have the willingness to dream big and the fortitude to do the right thing for their constituents.  Our city, and the neighborhoods within the 2nd Councilmanic District, deserve a partner in City Hall that's committed to doing everything possible to make things better. Can you imagine the good that could come to our communities if their Councilman was truly a willing and active partner? Philadelphians don't need someone content to simply show up at ribbon cutting ceremonies after someone else has done all the hard work. Philadelphians need someone who will put in the time and work side by side with them to make this city the best it can be.
 
It's for these reasons and many others that I have decided to run for the 2nd District seat in Philadelphia's City Council. Though the election is over a year and a half away, I will likely be competing against Philadelphia's political machine and have to start fundraising immediately to have a realistic chance at success. Campaign contribution rules limit the amount of money anyone can contribute in one calendar year, and that is my impetus for getting this incredibly early start.
 
I believe that I can win and I know that I can make a difference if I do.  If at any point, though, I don't see a path to victory, or if our elected leaders make significant new efforts to help the neighborhoods they represent, I will return your contribution to you.  To start the campaign, I'm investing almost all of my limited personal savings, and my first campaign promise is to spend all of my money before touching yours.
 
If you are willing and able to show your support for my campaign, I hope that you'll join me at my first campaign event at OCF Coffee House on December 12th, from 6:30-8:00pm. An invitation to the event is attached to this email.  Please RSVP to xxxxxxxxx. [Redacted.]
I hope I can count on your support in this exciting endeavor. I thank you in advance, and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions.
 
 
Warmly and with much appreciation,
 
Ori
  • Gary Summerfield

    Now to get a couple more council seats under fire. I’ll be more than happy to volunteer for this campaign, just let me know.

  • SusieQ321

    Awesome to have someone local who runs a successful businesses on Council… maybe he can help create a more business friendly environment in Philly.. This has to be the worst city to set up a business in, I have ever lived in. Go Ori!

  • DTurner

    I don’t always agree with Ori’s tactics, but I do think that he would do some genuinely good work for the city if he becomes a Councilman. We need newer voices on the Council.

  • Sonny in Philly

    I disagree with his criticism of Mr. Johnson. I have worked with Mr. Johnson on issues concerning our neighborhood and found him to be easily accessible, engaged, and fully committed to assisting our community with our concerns. Additionally, Mr. Johnson has a rare quality among politicians, humility. Start your day with Special K.

  • Earl J

    He actually would stand a better chance of winning Mayor than unseating a sitting Council Member no matter how pathetic they are.

    • DTurner

      That’s what I’m kind of wondering about too. I think there are a lot of us outside of the 2nd that are looking for fresh views on a city-wide scale and I worry that the struggle in Point Breeze may have made Ori too infamous in the district. (Not to mention that his fundraising event is outside of the district)

      Maybe he’s just trying to work his way up the ladder or trying to build his brand for a 2016 run?

      • Veillantif

        You mean POTUS? Toomey’s Senate seat? That’s some ladder.

        • DTurner

          Sorry, 2015, I have State/Fed politics on the brain I guess.

      • Phil Perspective

        Has Johnson ever held fundraising events outside the district?

    • NewBlood

      I agree with the run for Mayor. Council to Mayor is our current version of the US Congress in Philly. And has been more consistent than Congress at being ineffective at bipartisanship. If you stay off council and win as mayor, things will be different. Rendell did it that way and was a very effective mayor. Now if he runs again? Supposedly Street is looking at a second run too? SO one could build a case for a fresh-face, brand new Mayor JUST based on that. Is Philly so pathetic we can’t find a great new mayor so we have to recycle old ones?

  • Bob Dobolino

    Frankly it’s impossible to do business in this City without extensive political connections and cash because it is a pay-to-play, high tax and high-regulation culture here in Philly. Because taxes and regulation (union rules anyone?) are so high in Philadelphia, everything has to run through our political masters ultimately, to get the special breaks that enable success in this highly inefficient structure. Our politicians currently think their role is to pick the economic winners, but in reality it is to create a level and fair playing field (low taxes and regulations) and get out of the way of entrepreneurs and business folks generally. The alternative is corruption, and that is what we have in spades here in philly.

  • Pee Bee

    Ori For Mayor!

  • daisy99

    Ori head to the Mayor’s office!

  • John Featherman

    I’m a real estate agent, and I refuse to show any of Ori C. Feibush’s properties under any circumstance. I hate Ori C. Feibush.