(The photo slideshow features Verna Tyner at various campaign stops on Thursday morning)
Verna Tyner kicked off her campaign as a candidate for the 8th district council position today with a tour throughout the district’s neighborhoods. Speaking in seven locations in several of the sections she would represent, including Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill and West Oak Lane,
Tyner planned to end her tour at the Venango House where she was expected to publicly declare her candidacy. She is already a declared candidate for the open seat to replace City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller.
District-wide campaign strategy
Tyner’s district-wide tour appears calculated to address a belief among many district voters that Councilwoman Miller neglected neighborhoods such as Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill through her 15-year incumbency, while focusing more attention on other areas.
“All across the district, that’s what I’ve been hearing: we need to work together,” Tyner said at Community Acupuncture of Mt. Airy (CAMA), her third stop of the day. “That’s what Verna Tyner’s platform is.”
Echoing this theme Ken Weinstein, owner of the Trolley Car Diner and chair of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District (BID), stated “Everywhere I’ve heard her speak she’s said…she’ll represent the whole district.”
Weinstein was one of about a dozen supporters, including staff, 9th Ward leader John O’Connell, and Elise Rivers, CAMA’s owner and member of BID, that were present for Tyner’s appearance in CAMA’s foyer.
Tyner touched briefly on several themes she plans to champion including education, community development and employment. She cited her own neighborhood, Tioga, as a perfect example of why property development would be a focus under her, stating that it has over 200 vacant and rundown lots.
She showed support for the type of alternative medicine that is advocated at CAMA, which specializes in acupuncture and herbal medicine, stating that public education on such treatments could prove beneficial to her potential constituents.
Tyner spoke of supporting small businesses, and of attracting new kinds of businesses to the district by mapping out what types of businesses are already abundant in the area.
Could the 8th see a district office?
While not yet sure of where she would place a district office if elected, Tyner made assurances that she would never be far from any potential constituents. “We will have our district office in the car, we will have a district office on the bus,” she said. “You’ll see us more here than you will in city hall.”
Tyner is no stranger to politics. She formerly worked under councilmen Al Stewart, Bill Greenlee and the late Dave Cohen, and as acting chief of staff for both Greenlee and Cohen. She cited these experiences as valuable, saying: “Working with people who care…did leave an impression on me.”
8th district primary is competitive
Councilwoman Miller’s recent announcement that she would be stepping down from her position after what will be 16 years in office came as a surprise for many in a city where incumbents are particularly hard to oust.
Tyner is just one of several candidates already announced as competing for the Democratic nomination in the May 17 primary, but she believes years of community service and political activism will give her an edge over the competition.
“My work speaks for me,” she said.