Mayoral candidate Anthony Williams meets with voters at Germantown’s Champagne Cafe

 Anthony Williams headed to Germantown's Champagne Cafe on Tuesday night. (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

Anthony Williams headed to Germantown's Champagne Cafe on Tuesday night. (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

The riots in Baltimore dominated the dialogue between Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Williams and other political candidates at a swank affair inside Germantown’s Champagne Café on Tuesday night. 

The state senator compared Philadelphia to Baltimore while discussing public safety.

“Unfortunately, Baltimore and Philadelphia have the same poverty and frustrated folks,” Williams said. “So I want to follow the plan that the President rolled out with technology because guess what? If there had been a body camera on those cops, we would know what happened in the back of that van.”

“Lack of education, lack of community involvement, lack of jobs. People act crazy due to their environment,” said John Connelly, co-chairman of the Germantown Political Network which hosted the “Candidates Night” event.

This was Williams’ third stop of the day on the campaign trail following the Young Professionals Network Mayoral Forum and a ceremony during which he gained an endorsement by the Guardian Civic League.

Throughout the evening 25 politicians and hopeful judges popped in and out of the Germantown bar to hand out pamphlets and sway voters over fried chicken, booze and jazz.

Fellow co-chairman Ron Cooley said he appreciated the candidates’ turnout, but was curious about what happens after the schmoozing ends.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be on the bench or be an elected official, how will we communicate with you?” asked Cooley. “Will we have somebody in your office, a liaison, a quarterly meeting?”

Cooley announced that the Germantown Political Network will be making their political endorsements within the coming week.

The Democratic mayoral primary takes place on May 19. Williams is running against former city councilman Jim Kenney, former state Senator Milton Street, former district attorney Lynne Abraham, former Philadelphia Gas Works executive Doug Oliver, and former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz.

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