Committee of Seventy, League of Women Voters to Host Council Debates

This should be fun. Check out the release:


PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 7, 2011 – The Committee of Seventy and League of Women Voters of Philadelphia will hold a series of debates featuring candidates for Philadelphia City Council in the May 17, 2011 primary election. There will be one debate involving all at-large candidates and several other debates covering open or hotly contested Council seats. The debates will be held in late April and early May at various locations around the city.

This unusual and unprecedented race – the most important election in recent memory – provides a ripe climate in which to hold city-wide debates on a scale never seen before. Both principle sponsors are non-partisan organizations.

Because the first day for candidates to circulate and file petitions is still a week away (February 15) and the field of candidates will not be finalized until well into March, the dates, times and locations of the debates will be announced later. At least one debate – which will also be co-sponsored by WHYY’s – will showcase candidates vying to replace 16-year Eighth District Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who recently announced her retirement.

At-large Councilman Jack Kelly, a Republican, is also retiring, as are Democratic Council members Anna Verna (Second District) and Joan Krajewski (Sixth District). Council’s remaining 13 members are likely to seek reelection.

“Philadelphia voters are hot under the collar,” said Zachary Stalberg, President and CEO of the non-partisan Committee of Seventy, whose mission includes fighting for fair elections. “Between growing outrage over DROP, the retirement of several long-serving council members and the general unhappiness with office holders, people will come out to see candidates interact with each other and with voters.

Kelly Green, Chair of League of Women Voters of Philadelphia said, “An active and informed citizenry is the keystone to a strong democracy. The League of Women Voters has a 90-year history of providing opportunities for voters to access the candidates and their positions on the important issues that affect our community.”

The field of Council candidates continues to grow. At this moment, there are already 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans who have indicated they will run for the seven at-large seats alone. For profiles of the district and at-large candidates as well as the Council districts, see

Any candidate who wishes to participate in these debates should contact Frankie Lancos, Committee of Seventy’s Director of Civic Education and Voter Services, at or 215-557-3600, ext. 109. Voters who wish to attend should look for dates and locations at

The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan organization fighting for clean and effective government, fair elections and informed citizens in Philadelphia and throughout the region. For an in-depth examination of City Council and the upcoming election, see

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit .

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