Councilman David Oh creates Facebook firestorm with post on Elizabeth Warren’s backing 'gender change’ surgery
“David Oh has shown yet again why the GOP has no place in our government," the party, which is supporting community organizer Kendra Brooks and pastor Nicolas O’Rourke in the Nov. 5 election, said in a statement. "He recently declared that the city should roll back health-care coverage of gender affirmation surgery, all while sharing propaganda from a right-wing fake news site.”
Reclaim Philadelphia and the Philadelphia branch of Democratic Socialists of America have endorsed Working Families Party candidates Nicolas O’Rourke and Kendra Brooks for City Council at large.
Two City Council candidates from the progressive Working Families Party — who are making long-shot bids to steal from Republicans the at-large seats effectively reserved for non-Democrats — raised more money over the last three months than any of their five GOP rivals, campaign records show.
Community organizer Kendra Brooks brought in $147,000 in cash donations, and pastor Nicolas O’Rourke raised $88,000 from June 10 to Sept. 16, the most recent campaign-finance reporting period. The top fund-raiser among the five Republicans seeking at-large seats during that time was incumbent David Oh, who took in about $75,000.
The Working Families Party — which operates as a progressive electoral organizing body in some states, and an official third party in others — is also backing Nicolas O’Rourke, another independent candidate and longtime community organizer, in hopes of one day building a progressive majority on the City Council.
Guests came to Fergie’s for a mid-July fundraiser for her and another Council at-large candidate with the Working Families Party, Nicolas O’Rourke, a community organizer and pastor in the city, who has worked on anti-poverty, anti-mass incarceration movements and brings those issues forward in his campaign.
Independents are on the rise in Philly. Could they actually win a City Council seat?
Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke filed petitions for at-large seats as members of the Working Families Parity. Both candidates are former Democrats who changed their party affiliations to run on the Working Families ticket.
In a test of how far progressive organizing in Philadelphia has come, several liberal outsiders have launched independent campaigns aimed at seizing two City Council seats that are reserved for minor-party or unaffiliated candidates and have been held by Republicans for nearly 70 years.
The campaigns are considered long shots in November’s election because of the unique way Philadelphia elects its at-large Council seats, and because the city’s Democratic Party is likely to oppose the efforts.
Nicolas O'Rourke with the interfaith group Power says officers are suppose to be patrolling the streets and keeping people safe. But actually, "Talk about us like we are dogs, animals, apes, and gorillas."
"Which side are you on?" the Rev. Nicolas O'Rourke, of the Living Water United Church of Christ, bellowed in song, as the group chimed in: "I'm on the justice side."
"We are in a very historical moment where the lines of morality have been drawn very clearly," Rev. Nicolas O’Rourke with POWER said. "Other times in history things have been confusing. But today ... it's very clear what is right and what is wrong."
One POWER organizer, the Rev. Nicolas O’Rourke, notes that “as of May of this year there are 6,694 people in our jails. The jails can only hold 6,800. Twenty-five percent of those are pretrials because they couldn’t make bail. [And] 72 percent of individuals awaiting trial are Black.”
O'Rourke said mass incarceration is another problem, because there now are "more people of color in jail than there were slaves in 1850." He said 60 percent of those who are imprisoned are awaiting trial, and African Americans are disproportionately arrested.