Democratic committeeman, Jordan Dillard of Mt. Airy, has decided to jump into the fray for the Eighth District seat on Philadelphia City Council.
Dillard, who’s represented the neighborhood’s 22nd Ward since 2005, said Tuesday that the city has a dearth of leadership that’s left residents reeling in the Northwest and beyond.
“It’s gotten us a high unemployment rate, a high tax rate, a high murder rate, a high drop-out rate. Those are all the highs that are actually the lows,” said Dillard outside of High Point Café at Allen Lane Station.
He was at the Cresheim Road locale to kick-off the first official day for candidates to circulate and file nominating petitions. The deadline is March 8.
With clipboard in hand, Dillard said he represents a change from previous leadership in the district.
“If elected I would open up an office in the district and be very hands on, talking to people and being out there on the street and definitely be more involved with the people.”
Incumbent democrat Donna Reed Miller, has lead the district since 1996, but recently announced she will not seek re-election.
In particular, Dillard said he’s interested in bringing more business to the district’s commercial corridors, freezing property taxes for some seniors and creating a jobs program in Fairmount Park for at-risk youth and ex-offenders.
He’d also like to bring back a Route 23 Trolley for historical tours along Germanton Avenue.
Dillard, a carpenter, is making his first foray into citywide politics. He said he looks forward to a competitive race and welcomes any and all challengers.
“The more the merrier. I want a strong debate,” said Dillard. “I don’t want anyone getting in just because of their name and who they are. People are going to have to earn this seat.”
Dillard will join a Democratic primary that’s expected to be crowded with hopefuls.
Names of other expected candidates include:
• Cindy Bass
• John Churchville
• Andrew Lofton
• Donna Gentile O’Donnell
• Greg Paulmier
• Verna Tyner
• Anita Hamilton
• Bill Durham
• Robin Tasco