Questioning Philly’s mayoral candidates at the Fox29 debate

Six Democrats are vying to be Philly’s next mayor, and with the primary less than a month away, Fox29 hosted one of three televised debates to get the candidates to talk about important Philly issues.

These candidates’ schedule are absolutely ridiculous, with one 60-hour stretch including no fewer than 10 debates. But televised debates are king because of the accessibility. Along with journalists from students from St. Joseph’s University and journalists from Fox, 900AM WURD and Al Dia, I represented Billy Penn on the panel.

Each panelist asked one question of the candidates, and candidates took turns (decided in advance at random) answering first. The first candidate to answer a question was given time for a rebuttal after the other candidates answered.

From left: Philly's democratic mayoral candidates Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Tony Williams, Jim Kenny, Milton Street and Doug Oliver.
From left: Philly’s democratic mayoral candidates Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Tony Williams, Jim Kenny, Milton Street and Doug Oliver.

Before the debate, I met twice with producers at Fox29 to decide what we wanted to ask and how much we wanted to press the candidates to give direct answers. We landed on questions about community policing and law enforcement oversight, equitable housing, school funding and litter.

I was happy to ask the question about litter for a couple reasons.

  1. A solution seems relatively attainable, given the other challenges the city faces
  2. Candidates have talked the other issues to death

Here’s what I asked (see the video here):

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown recently introduced two bills that would require food businesses and some landlords to provide on-site trash and recycling bins as part of a city-wide effort to reduce littler. But these bills have not yet passed, and more legislation would be necessary to create a penalty system for violations.

As mayor, would you support legislation like this, and what more would you do, specifically, to address the city’s litter problem?






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Shannon Wink

Shannon Wink is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.

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