Union supporters rally for Tony Williams at Love Park [updated]

 Mayoral candidate Anthony Hardy Williams engages the crowd at a Thursday afternoon labor rally in Love Park. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Mayoral candidate Anthony Hardy Williams engages the crowd at a Thursday afternoon labor rally in Love Park. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Atop a flatbed truck parked near Love Park’s northwestern edge on Thursday, Anthony Hardy Williams rallied about 200 supporters from a variety of labor unions which had previously endorsed his mayoral candidacy.

In all, seven labor organizations were represented at the noon event, with several members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 (UFCW) getting top billing atop the flatbed since their endorsement was being announced.

Taking shots at candidates he didn’t name with lines like “I’ve never evolved to a position; I am who I am,” Williams’ message zeroed in on creating working-class jobs, shared prosperity and not caring what critics say.

“We’re pushing open the door of possiblity,” Williams said at a rally that featured a pro-candidate remix of the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars song “Uptown Funk.”

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Creating decent jobs with decent wages is key to providing a “path to the middle class,” said Williams, noting that high-profile events coming to town will help showcase efforts made in that direction.

“When the DNC [Democratic National Convention] comes to town, they’re not going to want to smell perfume, wear fancy ties or smoke cigars. They’ll want a cheesesteak,” he said to the sign-waving crowd. “We’re going to be the envy of a nation as an example of what you can do for working-class people.”

Attendees were urged to help with their respective union’s get-out-the-vote efforts.

Side issues

Though not related to the rally, School Reform Commission member Bill Green and Williams spoke afterwards about a morning event touting an “explosive new report [about] how partners at Susquehanna International Group are trying to bankroll Williams’ campaign and inject right-wing causes into the upcoming Democratic primary.”

Specifically, they talked about the involvement of City Council candidate Helen Gym, an education advocate and frequent thorn in Green’s side.

WHYY’s Dave Davies has more on that:

Philadelphia state senator and mayoral candidate Tony Williams had sharp words Thursday for City Council candidate Helen Gym, saying he was “disgusted by her duplicity” at asking for his support, then joining in a news conference condemning some of his key supporters.

But Gym and her campaign manager offered a different story, saying representatives of the Williams’ campaign brought up the idea of including her on his recommended slate in the primary and asked for up to $15,000 to cover related expenses.

Here’s more.

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