Mt. Airy anti-violence activist joins Eight District Council race

Eighth District City Council hopeful Fay Dawson of Mt. Airy says public safety is her top priority. Dawson is the founder of the Vincent M. A. Woodson Foundation, which organizes anti-violence rallies and provides bereavement support to victims’ families.

Her foundation is named after her youngest son who was shot and killed at Morton and Price streets in Germantown in January 2005.

If elected to city council, Dawson, a Democrat, says she wants to make the Eighth District safer. “Everywhere I go it’s all about getting guns off the street,” she said.

Dawson said that it will take more than getting rid of illegal gun sales to reduce violence, which is one of the reasons she is an advocate for improving schools in the Eighth District. “I’m not quite sure if the mainstream schools that we grew up with are working anymore. Maybe [we need] more charter schools,” she said. “I like charter schools, they are smaller [in class size].”

This is Dawson’s first attempt at running for public office. “This is all new to me,” she said. The next step for her is getting a campaign website and maybe a campaign office.

If Dawson’s petitions are validated,(a process that will be complete March 23), she would be on the May 17 Philadelphia primary with possibly up to nine others seeking the Democratic nomination in the Eighth District, which covers much of Northwest Philadelphia including Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Germantown.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal