For old times sake, I recently pulled out a list of Philadelphia Democratic ward leaders from 1992- that’s 22 years ago.
Of the 69 names on the list, I counted five that had been or would eventually be criminally charged with either election law violations or acts of corruption. If I’d included immediate family members, the count would be higher.
Among the ward leaders that year were a future mayor, Michael Nutter, City Council President Joseph Coleman, and future Congressman Lucien Blackwell, along with a collection of smart, engaging people I truly respected and others I’m astonished managed to finished their careers without getting mug shots.
I looked at the list because I’m been charged with explaining ward politics in the city to a crowd from Young Involved Philadelphia this evening.
After I talk about ward leaders in all their splendor and cynicism, a couple of former ward leaders, Terry Gillen and Stephanie Singer will take the floor to correct misimpressions I leave.
The best part is that event is at a bar, Ladder 15, and it’s open to all of youse. You just have to get a ticket online for five bucks. See you there, if you dare.