In my second campaign for Philadelphia’s 8th District council seat that just concluded with my loss, we focused on putting people back to work.
Collecting even half the $500 million dollars owed to the city in delinquent property taxes would allow us to hire more teachers for our public schools, expand afterschool programs, maintain our parks and fund our libraries.
I ran because I care and because I believe my experience as a lawyer, educator, and small businessperson would enable me to be an effective councilperson and to carry through with the above plan. But I would not have taken the plunge were it not for the outcome of the Democratic primary in May.
In early September, at the conclusion of a back-to-school fair at Martin Luther King High School where our campaign had a table, outgoing 8th District Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller sauntered over to me and asked, “Brian, why are you running?” I told her I believed I could do a really good job.
What I didn’t say were the factors that decided my entry into the race both in 2007 and 2011- City Council/campaign staffers convicted of violating the public trust, lack of responsive to constituents, indebtedness to developers and big campaign contributors and the pernicious Democratic Party monopoly in Philadelphia.
Eighty-one percent of Philadelphia’s registered voters didn’t vote this past Tuesday and seventy-nine percent didn’t vote in the May Democratic primary. I believe that a true democracy is the means by which the public good can be best realized. I believe that the present, extreme disengagement of our populace from the democratic process damages our ability to tackle the crises of unemployment, poverty, violence, crime and environmental degradation.
To those who have shared my beliefs sufficiently to vote for me, volunteer on or contribute to my campaign, I extend my heartfelt thanks and say this: Our work continues- we occupy Philadelphia but we don’t yet occupy City Hall.
Brian Rudnick ran as an independent in the Eighth District City Council race this year. He lost to Democrat Cindy Bass.