For Immediate Release: 5th Square Issues Early Endorsements to Six City Council Candidates

5th Square political action committee is excited to announce several early endorsements for 2019 City Council seats, including challengers Lauren Vidas and Jamie Gauthier in the 2nd and 3rd Districts, and At-Large candidates Justin DiBerardinis, Helen Gym, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, and Eryn Santamoor.

Visit our 2019 Election Center page to read the candidates' questionnaire responses, or sign up to volunteer with a campaign.

After reviewing all of the candidates' questionnaire responses, our steering committee decided these 2019 candidates best aligned with 5th Square’s mission to achieve a more accessible, sustainable, and equitable Philadelphia for all residents through better mobility, public space, and planning policies. All candidates received more than 70% support in a confirmation vote of 5th Square’s membership. Members will vote on additional endorsements later this winter.

Councilmember Helen Gym is receiving her second endorsement from 5th Square, having demonstrated ongoing support for 5th Square’s issue priorities during her first term on Council. As she highlighted on her questionnaire, Gym has been successful at incorporating urbanist issues into a larger justice agenda, and we're excited to support several candidates who would build on that approach in Council.

“As an At-Large councilmember, I’ve pushed for a citywide vision that promotes housing as a human right and a connected city encouraging ease of mobility within communities. I was a vocal proponent of Rebuild’s investment in public parks, libraries and schools, and continue to support the development of public play spaces such as school playgrounds. My pedestrian safety bill promotes stricter standards for sidewalk safety around construction sites. I will continue to push for increased fines for illegal closures and permit violations. I believe zoning can be used as a tool for fair housing and integrated neighborhoods, and I support increasing multifamily zoning to help expand inclusionary housing.”

Gym and all three first-time candidates, Justin DiBerardinis, Adrian Rivera-Reyes, and Eryn Santamoor, all agreed that it’s time to repeal Council’s 2012 legislation introduced by retiring Councilmember Greenlee requiring a Council ordinance to repurpose travel or parking lanes, and restoring the Streets Department's power to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

In the 2nd Council District, we are excited to endorse our long-time supporter and member, Lauren Vidas, who demonstrated real leadership for better planning and public space as President of South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA), and in her career as a public servant and advocate. The 2nd District needs proactive and thoughtful leadership to address its serious planning challenges, from gentrification to the Airport to the Navy Yard, and Lauren Vidas is the right candidate to lead in 2019.

In the 3rd Council District, we’re thrilled to see a bona fide urban planner in the race with Jamie Gauthier, the former Executive Director of Fairmount Park Conservancy. Gauthier has run two organizations important to Philadelphia's urbanist advocacy community, Fairmount Park Conservancy and Sustainable Business Network, and previously worked for a third at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). With so many thorny planning issues in West Philly’s future like the continued growth of University City and the affordability challenges in nearby neighborhoods, or SEPTA’s big trolley modernization initiative, it’s time for a change and a new vision for the 3rd District.

Visit our 2019 Election Center page to read the candidates' questionnaire responses, or sign up to volunteer with a campaign.