Meet the Mayoral Candidates-Doug Oliver

His Story:

Doug Oliver was raised by a single mother in Philadelphia and has strong ties to his church. After completing an undergraduate degree from Lock Haven University, he earned a Masters in Communication from La Salle University and an Executive MBA from St. Joseph’s University. He started his career at Beech Advertising, and after a stint as Press Secretary for Mayor Michael Nutter, he now works for Philadelphia Gas Works as their Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Communications. He’s running as the new kid on the block, and as a voice for Millennials. His campaign message: “If you want something different, we’ve got to do something different.” 

Vision for a sustainable Philadelphia:

Philadelphia has made great strides recently to become a more sustainable city. The progress that has been made must be built upon. As the former Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at PGW, I was tasked with reducing the City’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. This experience has heightened my awareness of the issues and my commitment to addressing the issue. As mayor, I will certainly do my part to ensure that Philadelphia is a livable city and sustainable in its use of energy. 

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates-Nelson Diaz

 

by Heather Shayne Blakeslee 

His Story:

Diaz grew up in a public housing project in New York City, and made his way through St. Joseph’s University and then Temple Law. He was the first Puerto Rican to earn a law degree from the University and to pass the Pennsylvania Bar Exam, after which he became a Public Defender. He was also the first Latino confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a General Counsel; he served with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He’s a 45-year resident of the City, and among other posts, he served as City Solicitor under Mayor John Street. He’s currently a partner with Dilworth Paxson LLP. The widest plank of his campaign platform concerns support for the school system: “Education is the only universal equalizer for our children, and the major civil rights issue of our time.” 

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates-Lynne Abraham

by Heather Shayne Blakeslee

 

Her Story:

Abraham’s bio has a lot of firsts. She’s the daughter of first-generation Americans who lived “on the edges of poverty,” and was the first in her family to go to college; she got a degree from Temple University and went on to Temple Law School. She is the first woman to be elected to the Municipal Court, and if she’s elected this year, she’d be Philadelphia’s first female mayor. She’s worked at the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, as a judge in Court of Common Pleas, ran the City’s 600-person law office, and was the City’s District Attorney for 19 years. She touts her independence from powerful interests with the campaign message, “Nobody’s mayor but yours.” 

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The Progress That’s at Stake

Political progress has been made, but much work remains

Eight years ago, the new crop of mayoral candidates were like sustainability seedlings, just beginning to poke their soft green heads above the soil and move toward the light.

There were some unintended moments of comedy along the way. During a candidate forum, one of the candidates purported to be a fan of “alterior energy,” and wondered aloud how a green roof would be mowed. The current class of mayoral contenders, and the City itself, has come a long way since our collective awakening, in large part due to the leadership of the Nutter administration.

 

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