Philadelphia 3.0, a non-profit and political action committee formed in 2014 to support new leadership for Philadelphia City Council, announced a slate of endorsed candidates in the 2023 Democratic At Large primaries on Monday.
In the race for City Council At-Large Democrats, the group announced its support for incumbents Katherine Gilmore-Richardson and Isaiah Thomas, along with newcomers Job Itzkowitz, Eryn Santamoor, and Donavan West.
“While we are lucky to have so many exciting candidates running for City Council this year, we think these candidates are a cut above the rest, each with a proven track-record as innovators and problem-solvers in their careers,” said Alison Perelman, Executive Director of Philadelphia 3.0. “These leaders know what’s broken in our city government, and have the right ideas to make our city safer and cleaner for all Philadelphians.”
Incumbent At-Large members Isaiah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore-Richardson are each running for a second term on a record of leadership addressing the city’s gun violence and public safety crises, neighborhood quality-of-life concerns, and Philadelphia’s economic competitiveness.
“Kathy and Isaiah have really emerged as pivotal lawmakers in this current term, and we are thrilled to be able to support several Millennial leaders to bring about a necessary culture shift on City Council.”
The three new candidates who Philadelphia 3.0 supports for the three open seats all share in common a record of bold leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting through City Hall dysfunction to serve residents and save small businesses.
Eryn Santamoor has a demonstrated ability to bring people together from inside and outside government to develop solutions and solve problems. As City Council Chief of Staff, Santamoor was a leader in cutting through the red tape at City Hall to support the food and beverage industry during the worst of the pandemic. That work is part of a decade-long track record of creating and managing successful public programs, and this focus on results-driven government is exactly what Philadelphia needs to get our city services working again for everyone. Additionally, through her personal experience with family members struggling with and recovering from substance use disorder, Santamoor brings an important personal perspective to one of the major challenges facing our city.
Job Itzkowitz has made a career of making neighborhoods cleaner and safer for residents and businesses. As Executive Director of Old City District for the last 8 years, Itzkowitz expanded the organization’s impact by increasing cleaning and safety efforts, in addition to supporting local businesses in the neighborhood. His leadership and creative advocacy on behalf of the BID Alliance, a coalition of local Business Improvement Districts, played an indispensable role in helping many of Philadelphia’s mom-and-pop neighborhood commercial corridor businesses survive the pandemic. We are enthusiastic about supporting a candidate with experience leading a BID, since these leaders have a unique skill set bringing together neighborhood residents, businesses, and local government to identify challenges and develop solutions that work for the greater good.
Donavan West has likewise displayed creative leadership in his career in service. In his role as President of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE, West connected Black-owned businesses to federal PPP loans and other emergency support, in addition to helping those entrepreneurs of color participate in contract opportunities around the federal and state emergency spending. As the former Chief Operating Officer of the North Broad St-based non-profit People for People, West has also been a community development leader and an advocate connecting residents to jobs and career opportunities. With small business champion Derek Green leaving City Council, we support Donavan West in part because we believe he will continue nurturing new business formation by Black and brown residents.
Philadelphia 3.0 believes these five candidates’ past career experience and political orientation makes them the best-suited to leading the way toward restoring a feeling of public safety in our city, ending the cycle of gun violence, and creating more opportunity and jobs for city residents.