Big battle to fill Anna Verna’s seat in Philadelphia’s Second District

For the first time since Anna Verna took office in 1975, Philadelphia’s Second Council District will get a new representative.  

The second council district covers portions of Center City, South Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia and is diverse, making it an interesting political battleground. On the Democratic side of the primary battle there are State Representative Kenyatta Johnson, Realtor Barbara Capozzi, and Tracey Gordon, a block captain and community organizer.

At a recent debate, Gordon spoke out about the needs of the district.

“As I walk through the city through the second councilmatic district, most of the concerns that come to me are basic quality of life issues. Parents come to me trying to get their children into better schools, charter schools, senior citizens come to me because of the high tax structure, the don’t know whether or not the will be able to afford to live in the community,” said Gordon.

Barbara Capozzi says she’s concerned about voter apathy in Philadelphia.

“The experts predict that this election, which is going to completely revolutionize City Council for the first time in decades and decades there’s possibly seven new councilmembers the experts are predicting a 10 percent Voter turnout at most. To me that’s a disgrace,” Capozzi said.

Representative Kenyatta Johnson says he is already working hard for the district.

“More than 60 percent of the work my office does right now and is doing right now is on local issues,” Johnson said. “So when you talk about public safety, when you talk about clean streets, my office currently as a state representative has been a one-stop shop in meeting the needs of the people.”

Verna is not supporting any candidate as of now but on Thursday, Mayor Michael threw his support behind Representative Johnson.

Last Wednesday Damon Roberts dropped out of the race saying he didn’t have enough money for election day expenses.

“Generally speaking people get paid on Election Day even if you get enough volunteers, you still have to give them lunches, there’s t-shirts that have to be paid for, there’s literature that has to be paid for,” Roberts said.

Roberts endorsed Johnson upon dropping out. The Democratic winner will face Ivan Cohen, who has no competition in the Republican primary.

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