DC 47 Pres. Fred Wright Jim Kenney Endorsement Statement
Good morning. My name is Fred Wright and I am President of AFSCME District Council 47. I represent the sentiment expressed by the members and delegates of AFSCME DC 47. The delegates of District Council 47 voted to endorse Jim Kenney for Mayor. We also did a poll where 40 percent of our members voted for Jim Kenney.
Jim Kenney has shown by his works that he is for the same things that we believe are important.
Jim has shown that he is concerned about what happens to our young people that are criminalized due to marijuana possession. And having a criminal record means they have problems obtaining and keeping a job. That’s a bad thing for them and our communities. His legislation directly assists them in not getting that criminal record.
Historical figures like Octavius Kato, a civil rights activist in Philly, are largely unknown even in African American communities. Jim Kenney worked with men and women in the African American community trying to give Brother Cato the recognition he truly deserves. He didn’t have to do this and he didn’t get a lot of attention. But, that Kato statue on the side of city hall will mean generations will know Brother Kato played an important role in the early days of the city. We understand the importance of having heroes and sheroes for our children to emulate. A people without a knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots….
When the issue of bullying came to the forefront, Jim Kenney held small sessions and showed the movie that helped sensitize people to that concern. Our children need a Mayor that is sensitive to their needs and problems.
And we all know that Jim supports members of organized labor. He talks proudly about coming from a working class background, where his family were members of organized labor. We need a Mayor who understands the needs of working men and women.
Some are writing in local papers that his connection to organized labor means, we have become the establishment, that we are not for the forward movement of the city and want to maintain the status quo. We clearly want forward movement in this city and so does Jim Kenney. We know that forward thinking, progressive movement and improving everyone’s economic conditions will mean that we have jobs for our members in the future. We are not backward thinking people and neither is Jim Kenney.
We do believe that experience in local government and knowledge about how it works is essential in doing the job of Mayor. That’s no different from any job and we need a chief executive that knows how things work. And for Mayor of the City of Philadelphia we’re supporting Jim Kenney.