Mayor Nutter praised former Councilman John C. Anderson. Who was he?

Ground breaking happened Friday November 9th for Philadelphia's first affordable senior housing for the city's lesbian, gay and transgender community named John C. Anderson Apartments. ( RYAN S. GREENBERG / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )

 

In a speech before Pope Francis' remarks on immigration in front of Independence Hall, Mayor Michael Nutter spoke of rights, for all including the LGBT community. "'In America, everyone has rights. Our lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens continue to fight for equality," Nutter said. He added, to the community, "Keep fighting for your rights. It's a collective fight, and there are many others fighting with you." 

In affirming his support for LGBT people, Nutter mentioned John C. Anderson, the former Philadelphia councilman, who Nutter credited for his political career.

So who was Anderson?

Anderson was a gay, one-term councilman from Wynnefield, who died at the age of 41 reportedly of AIDS, although his obituary reported he was being treated for sarcoidosis. Anderson has been described as "a liberal lion of the time," and a young Nutter was in the process of running Anderson's re-election campaign when Anderson passed away. 

When Nutter won his first seat on City Council in 1991, the first thing he did was hang a Anderson campaign poster in his office. "He's right behind me, looking over my shoulder, making sure I do the right thing," Nutter told the Inquirer.

Anderson is the namesake for the John C. Anderson Apartments, an LGBT-friendly senior apartment community, located on 13th Street between Spruce and Locust.