Citing the city’s need for a “big thinker who doesn’t think the status quo is good enough,” Laborers District Council 332 Business Manager Ryan Boyer introduced Tony Williams as the union’s endorsed mayoral candidate at a Thursday breakfast event.
“You may not agree [with his positions on all issues], and that’s good,” said Boyer, citing poverty, education and public safety as the biggest ones faced by the city. “Great ideas come out of conflict.”
Before handing over a check for $11,500 — “because that is all the law will allow us to give” — Boyer claimed 90 percent of 332’s estimated 5,000 working membership live in the city.
In accepting the endorsement, Williams hearkened back to longstanding “family” ties between his own — specifically his late father Hardy — and those on the building-trades union’s riser. (They included George Burrell, a former councilman and aide to Mayor John Street, and current City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. Street’s son Sharif was in the audience as well.)
He also noted the political significance of how the diverse group “represents working-class people who live in Philadelphia.”
Linking to his “One Philadelphia” mantra, Williams said that trio of issues affects people everywhere from Rittenhouse Square to North and Southwest Philadelphia.
“Understand that anyone who stands in the doorway blocking change is going to get knocked out of that doorway,” Williams said. “Change is in the air. … We have to have a mandate, not just a man, walk into City Hall.”
To keep up with all endorsements issued to date, check NinetyNine’s regularly-updated endorsement tracker.