What an amazing Election Day! Three out of three of our endorsed candidates, Helen Gym, Jamie Gauthier, and Kendra Brooks won their races and are headed for City Council!
Councilmember Helen Gym established a very progressive record on transportation and housing in her first term, and has been a key ally for urbanists in City Council. We are thrilled that she was the top vote-getter in both the primary and the general election!
Jamie Gauthier and Kendra Brooks were both long-shot first-time candidates who overcame big odds to win their elections, and they both campaigned on support for 5th Square priorities like improving bus and trolley service, making transit free for kids under 12 and free transfers on SEPTA.
All three candidates also support proactive planning for equitable development, pledging in their 5th Square candidate questionnaire responses to support a city-wide Transit-Oriented Development Zoning Overlay that would permit more low-car multi-family housing close to public transit, and eliminate mandatory minimum parking requirements.
We're so excited to get to work next year with this team, along with other new and returning lawmakers whose priorities align with our vision of a more sustainable, equitable, and transit-friendly Philadelphia.
When we started 5th Square PAC in 2014, it was almost unimaginable that candidates would embrace some of these ideas in a City Council campaign. But because of everyone's support of 5th Square and allied organizations— especially just in the last two years—you've helped us shift the political terrain so significantly on issues of transportation, planning, and public space that not only are candidates taking bold urbanist stances, they're winning elections.
There's so much more work left to do, and so much more room for Philadelphia's urbanist movement to grow over the next several years as we look toward the next Mayoral race.
Over the next year, we plan to build on the incredible momentum from this City Council election by supporting urbanist-friendly candidates for the state legislature in the 2020 primaries next April and shifting to accountability work during the next Council term to make sure the 2019 election winners deliver on all these big campaign promises.
To keep building on this year's big wins, we need more of our newsletter readers and supporters to sign up to become 5th Square members.
Membership costs as little as $5 a month and comes with the ability to vote on candidate endorsements in the 2020 primaries!
5th Square is an all-volunteer, member-supported organization with over 150 monthly dues-paying members, and we rely on a generous base of small donors and true believers to fund our work.
We've got some very ambitious goals for 2020, and some exciting announcements coming later this Fall about a big new transportation advocacy project we'll be working on, as well as other changes coming to the organization that will allow us to really grow and expand our efforts.
If you've attended one of our monthly meet-ups or speaker events, participated in a call to action about an issue that matters to you, or just enjoyed reading our volunteer-produced weekly newsletters, we hope you'll become a member today and help power us forward in 2020.
P.S. For a deeper look at some of the policies our next City Council should be taking aim at in 2020, come out on Thursday, November 21st to listen to University of Iowa professor Greg Shill's talk on "How the Law Subsidizes Driving," based on his forthcoming paper. The event is on the morning of November 21st at Obermeyer, and is co-hosted by Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and 5th Square.