This piece is the first of three covering the 6th District Council race.
With the City Council primary elections right around the corner, candidates for Philadelphia’s 6th District seat waited their turn to speak to residents of Mayfair at Tuesday night’s civic association meeting in the John Perzel Community Center.
“What a fun experience for me! Finally got to put some faces with the names of people who are following me on Facebook,” said Sandy Stewart, the Republican candidate for the 6th District seat in City Council.
Philadelphia’s 6th District seat is up for grabs, as long-time Democratic Councilwoman Joan Krajewski decided to retire after this term. Krajewski has held her position since 1979 and the race to succeed her is heating up, as the primary elections will be held Tuesday, May 17.
Joe DeFelice, president of the Mayfair Civic Association covered several neighborhood issues on a condensed agenda. Before handing the microphone to the candidates, DeFelice mandated that each candidate only speak for 90 seconds.
“We did a candidates forum two years ago and it really did not work out all that well. We had a lot of politicians that just wanted to hear themselves speak. Nine, ten, fifteen minutes up here, just constantly going. We’re not going to do that this time. We have a lot of people here and we don’t want to waste anyone’s time,” DeFelice said.
Philadelphia’s 6th District Democratic candidates Bobby Henon and Martin Bednarek were also in attendance. The night of self-promotion began as Stewart took the floor first.
“This year there is a new, unique opportunity being presented to the voters of Philadelphia and the neighbors of District 6. It’s the opportunity to change how we do business, how we are represented in City Hall, and how we envision our future,” Stewart said.
Bobby Henon, whose campaign headquarters fall inside the boundaries of Mayfair at the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues, spoke second.
“Joan Krajewski is retiring after 30 years and I am the only candidate in this race that actually has the experience with economic development. I understand the importance of public safety, that’s why our police and firefighters have endorsed me,” Henon said.
Bednarek, a banker who is supported by Joan Krajewski, said, “it’s not what I am going to do when I get elected, it’s what I want to continue to do.” Bednarek spoke about his ties to the Mayfair community and how he played a key role in providing the land for the construction of the John Perzel Community Center.
After the three candidates from the 6th District spoke, candidates campaigning for other positions in City Council began to speak to the audience. Mayoral, city commissioner, sheriff, and at-large candidates waited in line against the back wall of the meeting room.
Family and friends of the candidates handed out literature and promotional material as each candidate spoke.
Saleem Ahmed is a student reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.