Former Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh hopes to overcome the odds and become the city’s 100th mayor.
If victorious, voters on Tuesday, November 7 could make him the city’s first Asian American Mayor.
He would also become the first Republican to lead the city since 1952.
He’s running on a law and order platform against another former city councilperson, Cherelle Parker.
“There will no longer be open-air drug dealing, no longer be people purchasing drugs in front of police, no ability to go through a neighborhood and make it a lawless place,” Oh said to Fox29.
He’s pledged to hire 1400 new police officers and plans to order specific training to avoid tragedies such as the police shooting of Eddie Irizarry last August. The officer involved in that shooting now faces murder, voluntary manslaughter, official oppression and four other counts.
Oh is a Korean American and lawyer living in a working-class predominantly Black neighborhood.
He believes education is a key to overcoming inequality.
“Many kids don’t have parents at home. Many kids have a parent who’s incarcerated for 20 years, and that eats at the soul. And so we have to repair the human being. We have to enrich them, we have to reconnect them. And you can’t do that with a school that is poorly run,” Oh said to the Inquirer.
The candidate is opposed to the proposed Philadelphia 76er arena which would border Chinatown. He acknowledges his odds of winning are long, but he’s not conceding anything to his opponent.
“I think the race is up in the air,” Oh said to CBS. “Some people, they say I can’t win. Some people say I already won. It just depends on who you talk to. There are many issues that have to be addressed — gun violence, affordable housing, over taxation in our poorest and challenged neighborhoods. Some problems seem insurmountable in this city. They are not. There just isn’t the will to do it because you’d have to step on political toes, and that’s something people don’t do in this city, and it needs to be done.”
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