Philadelphia Council hopefuls put on a show

    If you haven’t been going to your neighborhood Philadelphia City Council debates, you’ve missed some interesting stuff, like:

    – testy exchanges between 7th District incumbent Maria Quinones Sanchez and challenger Dan Savage over taxes, residency and public integrity.

    – 1st district hopeful Jeff Hornstein saying he wants to put a wind farm on the Delaware waterfront in Port Richmond, an idea rival Joe Grace has since mocked.

    – this from 2nd District candidate Tracy Gordon on how a bevy of new Council members can change old ways: “Eight of us hopefully, will change the dynamics. Every 42 years, urban communities change. Every 42 years, this is an urban phenomena….we have a chance to make the second Councilmanic district good change, not the shenanigans that go on.”

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    City Council will have more turnover in this election than it’s seen in 20 years, and the Committee of Seventy, the League of Women Voters and a series of media partners – the Inquirer, Daily News,, WHYY, and the Philadelphia Tribune are sponsoring a series of debates in hotly-contested races. All are moderated by experienced journalists. You’ll get the chance to see candidates on their feet, responding to a host of neighborhood and citywide issues. Watch them for an hour, and take your measure. This is real democracy, folks, get it while it’s hot.

    Videos from the first two debates are available from our friends at

    See the 7th District debate here.

    See the 1st District debate here (scroll to the bottom).

    One more thing – the Committee of Seventy is still looking for volunteers to put in a few hours on election day, May 17th, answering voters’ questions, observing polling places, and generally helping to ensure a fair election. To volunteer or get more information visit or contact Frankie Lancos, Director of Voter Services, at 215-557-3600, ext. 110 or


    There are three debates left:

    * The Eighth District – in Northwest Philadelphia (Germantown, Logan, Nicetown, Tioga, Ogontz, parts of Hunting Park, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill)

    WHEN: TONIGHT – Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    WHERE: First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Avenue

    WHO: Democratic candidates Cindy Bass, Bill Durham, Andrew Lofton, Greg Paulmier, Robin Tasco, Howard Treatman, and Verna Tyler.

    MODERATOR: Chris Satullo, Executive Director of News and Civic Dialogue, WHYY/ (partners include G-Town Radio, Germantown Community Connection, and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement).


    * Sixth District – river wards & parts of the Northeast (Tacony, Mayfair, Holmesburg, Pennypack, Bridesburg, and Wissinoming.)

    WHEN: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Tacony Free Library, 6742 Torresdale Avenue.

    WHO: Democratic candidates Martin Bednarek and Bob Henon

    MODERATOR: Wendy Warren, Vice President and Editor,


    * At large candidates – running citywide on Republican and Democratic Ballots.

    WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 7p.m.

    WHERE: WHYY- 150 N. 6th St.

    MODERATORS: Irv Randolph of the Philadelphia Tribune, and Yours Truly.

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