I’ve known Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh for about 20 years, and over that time, I’ve attended 100-plus events where he has been in attendance. He has been a guest on my show on many issues and is known as a voice of sanity in the middle of the day-to-day insanity that grips Philadelphia. Can this problem solver actually become the next mayor of Philadelphia?
Oh joined me in the studio this week after announcing he is running for mayor. We discussed the fact that the last Republican who served as mayor in Philadelphia was a child when Billy the Kid was alive. The last viable Republican candidate for mayor was Sam Katz, who ran against John Street in 2003. And since 2003, Philadelphia has become a lot more radicalized.
Oh said that the increasingly progressive nature of city leaders is why he believes he can win. Oh has a tremendous following among immigrant groups from Asia, West Africa, Ukraine, and others. He told me that in addition to the concerns these residents have about public safety, they often question why Philadelphia doesn’t enforce all kinds of laws while, at the same time, city officials overregulate shop owners and other law-abiding citizens.
Oh believes that this coalition of people numbers around 50,000. And, added to others who want a return to sanity, he could defeat a Democrat nominee like radical former City Councilwoman Helen Gym.
I think it’s still a long shot but I’m intrigued by much of what Oh told me. For example, when discussing public safety, Oh said that he would replace police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw with someone who formerly was or currently is a Philadelphia cop. This would go a long way toward restoring department morale and pushing back against the idea that the Philadelphia Police Department is a corrupt and brutal organization.
We also talked about why Kensington has been allowed to become a nationally and internationally known dumping ground that Mexico featured in public service ads to warn their citizens about illegal drugs. Oh responded that Kensington reflects the progressive mentality of arrogantly and irrationally declaring that addicts have the right to violate laws to feed their habits. He would make arresting drug dealers a top priority and use drones to identify these dealers.
I was impressed by the fact that Oh, an honored veteran, would appeal directly to tens of thousands of military veterans living in Philadelphia, many of them disabled. We discussed that few, if any, political leaders in Philadelphia are veterans.
Oh believes a massive mail-in ballot campaign will be part of his winning strategy. Given the facts on the ground, it’s good to see Republicans embracing and executing good mail-in ballot operations.
Oh discussed SEPTA, arguably the worst public entity in our area. He told me that as mayor, he would challenge that transport agency’s funding and demand a litany of reforms. He said much the same thing about the equally troubled Philadelphia public schools.
David Oh is a very thorough and detailed-oriented person with his own base of support. If Gym is the Democratic nominee, he will present a clear choice of sanity versus increased misery for Philadelphia. If another Democrat is the nominee, Oh still would be a viable choice.
Is it possible that Philadelphia could actually return to reason?
Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal