Phillips said he plans to listen to community members who are experts in particular areas to see where the needs are. When it comes to tackling LGBTQ issues, inclusivity is key for him. “Whether we’re doing a program or event, we have to use inclusive language,” Phillips said.
He added that LGBTQ issues should be front and center, and be considered in everything that we as a community do.
“How we speak, how we act, how we bring people to the table,” Phillips said. “We need to have demographics that represent our entire community. We have Blacks in our community, we have Latinos, Asians. We have different races, we have different genders and sexualities. If we want to build a community, we’ve got to bring the entire community to it.”
Harrity previously worked as an aid to state Sen. Sharif Street, and is political director for the Pa. Democratic Party. One of his main priorities is ameliorating the education system in Philadelphia in order to help mitigate gun violence.
“I believe that part of our problem in Philadelphia is that our education system is failing our children,” Harrity said. “And we’re seeing a direct correlation in that in the crime rates. We have almost 160 kids under the age of 16 killed in the city of Philadelphia, and most of them were killed by kids under the age of 16. I believe that part of our violence problem is [that kids] have no communication skills. They had two years of being shut in, and they don’t know how to talk to each other anymore.”
Harrity has a history of involvement in the LGBTQ community; he has helped try to get a Pride Resolution passed in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and was in the room when Liberty City LGBTQ Democratic Club was formed.
“Everybody should be able to love who they want to love,” Harrity said. “People should have the same rights. I promise that I will also fight for their rights to love whoever they want.”
When asked how he plans to incorporate trans lives into his plan to reduce gun violence, Harrity said, “trans women, men, they are human beings; we’re all human beings. If somebody kills one of us, they should be prosecuted. It should be no different than them killing any other person on the street. It all goes back to this senseless hate that just keeps coming back around, and it just seems to find a new place to land.”
New District 7 Councilmember Lozada previously worked as an organizer for the nonprofit Esperanza, a faith-based organization that provides programming geared toward reducing poverty for residents of North Philly’s Hunting Park neighborhood. She served as chief of staff for Quiñones Sánchez for over a decade, before she took on a role as director of community engagement for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Some of Lozada’s most important to-do list items, according to an interview with Billy Penn, include collaborating with the School District of Philadelphia to make sure school buildings are safe for students, working to establish affordable housing in District 7, which encompasses Kensington, and teaming up with police captains to devise solutions for cutting down crime.
Lozada’s team did not respond to the Philadelphia Gay News’ request for comment.