Over the last few months of running for office, I've met a lot of really nice people... and I also learned about the true nature of some other people. As a registered Independent, I can't vote for anyone this time around, let alone in the heated Democratic Primaries. But since most people in this city are Democrats, I'll leave it to just the Dem's.
1st District: Vern Anastasio - OK, I have a reason for Vern. I first heard about him through a YouTube video called "The Anastasio Team". I had a good laugh but I didn't know much about him. After a while, I went to his site, and simply put, the man is a dedicated reformer. I met him before the Shame of a City preview and he genuinely is trying to make Philadelphia better. He wants to make the streets safer, clean up City Hall, and redo the zoning code. Plus, he's running against Frank DiCicco who has been caught up in the Pay-to-Play Scandal. 'Nuff said!
2nd District: Damon K. Roberts - I heard of Mr. Roberts through MySpace. I got a Friend Request from him. Normally, for politicians, I always have to look at their MySpace page and after seeing that he considers mental health on the same level as other diseases and he is also looking at different solutions to the crime problem. He's running against Anna Verna, who has seen her district become the most crime ridden since being elected in, and I kid you not, 1975.
Only Irv Acklesberg so far has actually gone on the record that he would end the relationship between the "protected and connected" and named the Germantown Settlement as the front for much that is wrong with 8th District politics - - and he is absolutely correct. Irv's background as a community legal services attorney working in the most neglected and politically manipulated section of the District (Germantown from Chelten Avenue to Wayne Junction - interestingly this is Paulmier's ward) gives him insight into what his challenges will be, but they must be amplified to all voters in the entire district in order for folks to focus on the fact that the 8th district, just like the city government at large, has wasted and misappropriated millions and millions of dollars and fallen way short of serving its constituents.
Irv, on top of all that, has 30 years experience in fighting corruption. He stood up to SEPTA and demanded fair customer policies, led the fight against casinos from building next to schools, cleaned up slumlord properties, and helped families avoid foreclosure. After speaking with him personally and hearing what he had to say, I support him! And, he also is in favor of changing the age requirement to run for office!
City Council At-Large:
Frank Rizzo: In the 2 months I have been crying out and trying to change the age requirement to run for office, Frank Rizzo is the ONLY person to respond to me and offer support. The man cares about the citizens of Philadelphia, and he deserves another term!
May 2nd: Rittenhouse Square/Philadelphia -- Last week, we told you about a young man arrested in Rittenhouse Square for singing. He refused to stop singing when a police officer ordered him to do so. No he faces possible jail time for the musical offense. As FOX 29's Gerald Kolpan reports, Anthony Riley says public singing is everyone's right, so he returned to the square. So did the cops.
I know these guys pretty well; They started supporting me the day I told them I was running for Mayor, and when I heard about this and the protest, I was more than happy to help. Anthony is a great singer, and the link has a video that explains everything.
I went over to Delworth Plaza at 3PM Wednesday, May 2nd, to go out and play my guitar a little bit. To my knowledge, there is no law stating you can't play there. After about 20 minutes, an officer came over and told me to leave, and I did.... and went across to the little island across from the plaza to play instead! It was only another 5 minutes there, but it was fun and there was support for the right to play in public. Later that day, after speaking to some officers, they said that it is permitted in certain places, and the place I was playing was perfectly legal. So, there you have it; The police have been stepping-up efforts to enforce the arbitrary Musician Ban in what I call "Operation: Silence is Golden". And, my friends, it blows!
So, what can YOU do to help? EASY! CONTACT CITY COUNCIL!
CALL CITY COUNCIL! - Admittedly, this is a link to my "Refuse to be Denied" site, so PLEASE tell them about the age requirement, too! But, seriously, we now have 2 stupid laws that need to be changed! LET'S GET TO IT!
Also, fell free to call 5th District Councilman Darrell L. Clarke's Office about this: (215) 686-3442, (215) 686-3443.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2007
LARRY WEST: Change the Age to Run for Mayor!
Description: The announcement of 22-year-old Larry West trying to change the Age Limit to run for Mayor
Philadelphia, PA, March 19, 2007. - The dawning of a new age of Philadelphia Politics began March 1st as a young 22-year-old man, surrounded by news camera and who had Milton Street over his shoulder announced to the world that he would take the stand to run for mayor of Philadelphia! His reasoning? If the people running for office are acting more childish than him, why shouldn't someone who actually is mature run for office?
Now that he has had time to let everything sink in and the media firestorm has become a solid base to work upon, Larry West is getting ready to fight for his right to run for office! March 20th will see the announcement of a radical new plan to lower the age to 21 to run for both the Office of Mayor and City Council. Stating that the current law disenfranchises people who would otherwise run for office, Larry West is leading the charge with a big announcement! The announcement will be made on his web site, http://www.larrywestformayor.com, March 20th around Noon.
The main question being asked is what chance does someone so young have at running for office? “Michael Sessions of Hillsdale, Michigan, ran for Mayor in 2005 when he was only 18 and still in high school, and won! And he ran as a write-in!” says Larry West. “People did it because they were sick and tired of how things were being run in their city. So, yes, in honestly think I have a chance here.”
However, the County Code, 16 P. S. § 413, provides that the age requirement for holding county office is eighteen; although this Code does not apply to First Class Counties such as Philadelphia (16 P. S. § 102), presumably this would also be the minimum age for holding office in Philadelphia. For more information on the event, please visit our web site at http://www.larrywestformayor.com
Larry West has appeared on the cover of the Philadelphia Metro, Good Day Philadelphia, Philadelphia Weekly, and various other places.
3/2/07- The announcement, the challenge by Milton to a debate, and much more can be seen here:
3/1/02- Milton Street was suppose to have this huge rally today, stating that if 5000 didn't show up, he would not run for office. Since I believe that we as citizens have the right to protest and peacefully assemble, I took my right to go out there and protest. I had a sign, still wet after an hour, stating "No Criminals in City Hall! / Stop Milton Street!" Since he currently is under indictment for $2 million and was arrested 2 weeks ago for unpaid parking tickets, I think my sign was more than appropriate.
After getting to the rally, I held my sign high and proud and reporters and camera people began to come over to take photos. I was, as it seemed, the only person protesting. There were only 100 people there, and only 10 of them were there to support Milton; the others were reporters, people interested in his policies, and people making fun of him. From what I could tell, the later of which was the majority.
Then, Milton Street himself took me by the shoulder and asked me, "Why do you hate me?" I had a massive smile on my face and felt a little humbled; it takes courage to ask someone that type of question, and I was more than happy to tell him why. "No offense, Mr. Street, but your currently under indictment for $2 million, and if we're trying to end corruption, I just don't think you should run." He then asked me about my idea for stopping crime, and went straight to point #1 on my Anti-Crime policy: Putting into effect the same ideas of Rudy Guiliani, namely having the CompStat program put into effect."
At the same time, about anyone and everyone there from the press gathered around. I took this chance to do exactly what I wanted; "I, Larry West, am officially running for Mayor."
For the next hour, I was surrounded by reporters asking various questions, namely why I was running, why I was against Milton, what my platform was, and what motivated me to run. Someone even asked me if someone put me up to this, and I could only laugh! Interviews and video is forthcoming, as well as any and all articles.
So the race of Larry West for Mayor begins! I didn't plan this, I didn't think it would get this big, but it did. I guess all that's left is waiting to see what happens.
2/26/2007 - Dateline Philadelphia. Young 22-year-old Larry West is preparing to run for Mayor of Philadelphia. Announcing his intentions on a message board for rock-band Megadeth, the reaction was mixed between people who think Larry has a chance and people who think it's a foolish decision. To them, Larry had this to say:
"I know a lot of people are wondering why I'm even trying to run and think I don't even have a chance. I'm doing it because I honestly care about making Philadelphia a better and safer place for everyone. I don't like seeing it going down the toilet like it is now. Can you honestly say that things are better now then they were 8 years ago? Can you honestly say you'll be better off in 4 years with more of the same from this current batch of candidates? I'm sure that once the Democratic Primaries are finished, we'll have the same situation we always have: Two people running for office no one wants. I've spoken to a lot of people, and the general agreement is that they hate how corrupt the mayor is right now, how corrupt the political system of Philadelphia is, and they don't trust politicians.
I'm not a politician, I'm a person. I've dabbled in politics here and there. I helped in the 2004 election for the Democratic party by trying to get donations for the DNC. I hated the way they did it, so I quit. I've written to City council time and time again and have tried hard to do whatever I could to even recall, if not impeach, the current mayor. I'm just like you; I don't like, or trust, most politician and I want to change that! We have some great people on city council and other offices, but when it comes to the Office of the Mayor, we see the worst of political society, and I WILL change that!"
Larry West is currently doing all he can to organize an effective campaign. Anyone willing to donate their time or their money, please feel free to contact us.