During the past few years, I’ve noticed a recurring theme in the months following municipal elections. There are two conversations that occur constantly among plugged-in Philadelphians, which creates two distinct political groups. The first is what I like to refer to as the “Inspired Camp.”
The Inspired Camp observes X, Y or Z Candidate run an upstart campaign against the odds and beat the machine/establishment/tradition. That, in turn, inspires them to do the same. Since the primary election took place in May, I’ve heard dozens of aspiring candidates say they were excited by the election process and have since thought to themselves, “Hey, why not me? Why not now?” Call it the Barack Obama effect. From the outside, it looks easy: A candidate puts together a magical campaign, everything comes together, and victory is earned.
There’s a bench of young, civic-minded leaders that are being built in Philly right now. They want change, and they see themselves as the best chance to make that change happen. Some are doing the work on their own. Some are part of traditional political camps. But make no mistake about it: There will be a solid next generation of leaders.
Sheila Armstrong is on the ballot in November as an Independent candidate for City Council. Omar Woodard is pursuing the State Senate in the 3rd District. Kellan White has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the House of Representatives in the 200th. The same has been said about Abu Edwards in the 198th, Darren Lipscomb in the 192nd, and Francis Nelms in the 179th. Read more »
The New York Times has a profile of Philly-bred Deesha Dyer, the new White House social secretary, on the eve of a make-or-break week: She’s in charge of planning for President Obama to welcome both Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping in separate events this week.
Dyer grew up in West Philadelphia and went to Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa., the boarding school for underprivileged students. She was a hip-hop columnist for Philadelphia City Paper before moving to bigger and better things. (The Times says her “résumé is a big departure from those of previous White House social secretaries.”) This week might be the biggest, however: Read more »
At a White House press conference this afternoon, President Obama was asked by a reporter if he would revoke Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom over the comedian’s ongoing rape allegations. The President shared that there’s no precedent for revoking the honor, and he declined to address the Cosby situation specifically. But he did have this to say:
“If you give a woman — or a man for that matter — without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape. And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
In other D.C.-related Cosby news, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art says it will “post a sign telling visitors that an exhibition featuring Bill Cosby’s art collection is about the artists, not a tribute to the comedian,” according to a report. The Smithsonian houses the Cosby collection which features dozens of artists “under appreciated” by other museums.
President Obama speaks Tuesday to the NAACP. (From the live video feed.)
President Obama called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system Tuesday in Philadelphia, telling the national convention of the NAACP that the current system is skewed by race and wealth.
He said more Americans had come to understand the need for reform ““partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be denied anymore.”
Obama took the stage in the main hall nearly two hours after his scheduled 3:05 p.m. appearance, and launched quickly into the meat of his speech, rattling off a list of numbers and statistics to illustrate his point that criminal justice system has grown oppressive and costly: Read more »
President Obama visited Philadelphia last fall to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.Photo | Jeff Fusco
President Obama will be in town today to address the national convention of the NAACP, where he’s expected to outline criminal justice reform proposals. He’ll also travel to The Rittenhouse Hotel for a late-afternoon meeting with senior party officials.
The president arrives at Philadelphia International Airport shortly after 2 p.m., then address the convention shortly after 3 p.m. He’ll go to the Rittenhouse for the closed-door party meeting at 4:10 p.m., then lift off from the airport at 5:50 p.m. Read more »
The NAACP announced Wednesday President Barack Obama will address the group’s annual conference, which is being held in Philadelphia later this month.
“We are honored to welcome President Obama back to our NAACP national convention,” NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock said in a release. “Our members are looking forward to President Obama delivering a powerful message that reinforces our commitment to being champions for civil and human rights in the 21st century.”