Two candidates for City Commissioner stand far above all the others. Carol Jenkins and Lisa Deeley.
City Commissioner is one of those row offices that carries out a really important function that is utterly unknown to most people. The City Commissioners are responsible for making sure that the machinery of our elections—from the books that contain the names of registered voters to the voting machines that record our votes—work and work fairly. When that machinery doesn’t work, as it nearly didn’t in 2012, people can be denied the basic right central to democratic politics. When the machinery of our elections is used to help one party or one faction or one candidate rather another—when polling places are moved to help some candidates or you have to know someone on the inside to even get the results of previous elections—then our elections are fundamentally unfair.
When the Commissioners do their basic job well, and especially when they look for creative ways to encourage voting, they can play an important role in increasing turnout. And all of us—and especially we progressive Democrats—have a stake in doing that.
After years of tension in the office, with one Commissioner rarely showing up at the office or the polling place and another creating havoc, and only one, Republican Al Schmidt, who seems both committed and capable of doing the job as it needs to be done, it’s time for us to elect Commissioners who willing to work together to make the office what it should be, both the honest broker of our elections and the champion of high voter turnout.
So it’s important to elect City Commissioners whose commitment to political fairness is unquestioned and whose knowledge of politics is deep. And that’s why my first vote for City Commissioner goes to Carol Jenkins. Carol has the perfect qualification for this position. She’s been involved in politics for years and is now the Leader of the 27th Ward. She’s taught politics at Temple University. She’s studied and written about politics.
Carol has the heart of a reformer and the head of a ward leader. She not only knows the proper direction to take the office of City Commissioner, she know how to get there.
I’ll also cast a vote for Lisa Deely for City Commissioner. Lisa has deep and varied experience in politics. She’s worked in the offices of some of the political leaders I most respect in Philadelphia. She knows her way around our elections. She’s smart and effective and would work well with Al Schmidt and Carol Jenkins to give us the most effective group of Commissioners we have had in years.