Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

"Wards 101" event aims to get young people into party politics

Ward leaders, beware.

"Wards 101" event aims to get young people into party politics

City Commissioner Stephanie Singer ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer )
City Commissioner Stephanie Singer ( Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer )

Ward leaders, beware. 

An event on how to run for ward committee drew 120 young people to Ladder 15 Wednesday evening, and many left jazzed up to take on the machine. 

Young Involved Philly hosted the "Wards 101" tutorial, which featured veteran politics reporter Dave Davies, City Commissioner Stephanie Singer and recently departed Nutter administration official Terry Gillen as speakers.

Singer and Gillen are both former leaders of "progressive" Center City wards known for bucking the party line. 

The trio shared stories of the petty politics and corruption the ward system has historically been known for and gave the audience tips on how to get involved. (Example: Get many more than the required 10 signatures needed to run for committee person because an incumbent-backed challenge of the Hancocks' authenticity could disqualify you.)

Singer said the millennial generation could be a political force if it organized. 

"You have the same power advantage as every single group," she said. "It's how you use it."

Ben Stango, an 8th Ward committeeman and Young Involved Philly officer, planned the event. In an interview, Stango said he's hopeful the city's millennials will establish a presence in city politics over the next five years.

"Now's the critical moment where we have to ... actually step up and turn into reality these things that we've been talking about," said Stango, 25, who works at the United Way. 

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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