I tried to keep my Philly Mag piece on this race pretty balanced – at least as balanced as it could be when one side won’t talk to you – but wearing my committeeperson candidate hat, I will cop to also being in the “hate the player, don’t hate the game” camp.
The ward system is basically great – it’s a way for neighborhood concerns to bubble up to people in power. The problem isn’t the ward structure (though the lack of transparency and the type of shenanigans that enables is a big problem.) The real issue is that many of the current committeepeople and ward leaders either aren’t using their power to get better policy commitments from candidates.
Being at the intersection of a policy agenda, endorsements, and GOTV is a very powerful place to be, because it essentially enables you to control the primary process. If you get a majority of people elected to committeeperson seats who generally agree about a policy direction, and make access to your endorsements and GOTV powers conditional on candidates adopting your ward’s policy positions, then you basically win politics.
It’s great to see that the Millennials care more about outcomes than process issues, and want to use the ward’s powers for better urbanism and schools.