Sometimes this city makes me sick.
In the last two years, the citizens of Philadelphia has seen what can only be called “Too Much Government!” I have always been aware of the fact that we as citizens must constantly ask ourselves some rather basic questions about our government, namely this: What is the roll of government in a democracy? To some, the roll of government is meant to be nothing more than a “thing”, something that sits as an obelisk and sometimes intervenes. To others, it is a constant babysitter.
But to me, and to those who want freedom and liberty, the roll of our government is to simply be there when we need them! The roll of these employees of ours, the roll of those we hire and have decided to put in charge, the people we are in charge of... their job is to be our safety net. They are here to enforce OUR laws and OUR ideas. They are not here to tell us what to do and when to do it! We all live in a constant fear of a Big Brother Government, where those in the government can look up anything and everything we do, that they track our every move.
Yet, we allow them to do just that!
No, there are not cameras in your houses. No, there are no bar codes on your neck. And, no, your not forced to stand in front of a TV screen for 5 minutes and told to hate the enemy or face ridicule from everyone and possibly be called a terrorist. But we ARE allowing our government to control us, and we are simply letting it happen!
In the last two years in Philadelphia, the rights of citizens have been stripped away! Layer by layer, pound by pound, we are falling prey to our fears of criminals, of murders, and allowing those fears to govern our ways of thinking and our politics! Yes, Big Brother is here, and the signs have been there for you to look out for!
The smoking ban. A lot of people supported this as a way to clean up the air in Philadelphia, to make our city a shining example of what a pro-health law can do! But the reality is that it was just the beginning of a slippery slope, one that many who opposed the ban warned us of but many chose to ignore. Lets consider this fact: A large number of restaurants and businesses have taken it upon themselves to ban smoking. Before the ban, it was nearly impossible to smoke in most restaurants in Philadelphia. If you did, you were put in an uncomfortable and awkward smoking section. That alone should make you want to quit but, at the very least, you had the freedom and your right to smoke.
But City Council with Nutter at the helm said that wasn't enough. They decided, not us, that there needed to be a large ban on this. That this ban must apply to bar and outdoor restaurants. They, not us, decided what was better and healthier for us. We, as grown adults, were declared too foolish to do so. They decided that businesses were inept at deciding their own policies. Thus began the slow decay.
Since then, we have seen the TransFat ban, a ban that is hypocritical in and of itself. While many fast food restaurants and bakeries have begun to eliminate TransFat from their food, City Council decided that these harmful fats must be banned! THEY decided that we can't make sensible health decisions for ourselves and, like your parents, they must regulate what you eat! And, of course, the ban doesn't effect local restaurants and bakeries, so the ban really targets corporations. I sincerely hope that McDonalds sues City Council and whoever voted for this legislation for discriminating against corporations in terms of public health, especially since local businesses tend to be very fattening. Cheese steaks, Tasty cakes, pretzels... the list goes on.
Taking the lead and these bands is Councilman Darrel Clark. The man is a step away from declaring himself Czar of Philadelphia at this point. First he ignores the Anthony Reilly case. For those not familiar, Anthony Reilly was the young man who was arrested for singing in Rittenhouse Square, leading to a city-wide debate on the right of performing music in public without a permit. Anthony was found not-guilty. While decrying gun violence, he has gone on to suggest that the City of Philadelphia should TRACK purchases of cigarettes and alcohol. He wants you to have to scan your ID every time you purchase either item.
Most recently, he now wants to start tracking sales of spray paint. Why? He reasons that most graffiti is being done by adults. The bill neglects that most graffiti artists don't buy their paint, they steal them. At the same time, there is already laws and rules in effect for not allowing minors to buy any spray paint.
The Licenses and Inspection Unit has now begun a seemingly unprovoked attack on artists in Philadelphia. First Friday in Center City, when peaceful artists gather on 2nd Street to sell their artwork, play music, and enjoy the new art galleries opening. In recent months, the department of L&I have begun sending officers to arrest people for this practice, declaring they now need Permits to do so, namely a vendors license. Myself? I was told to leave while a homeless person next to me continued to beg. Again, the City of Philadelphia is slowly draining the arts and culture from Philadelphia.
In all of this, we need to realize that these are people we can stop! We can vote them out of office, and we can stop them from getting INTO office! We can stop this!
-Larry West 10/21/2007
This is the speech given on July 31st, 2007 at 10AM concerning the Larry West for Mayor Campaign.
First and foremost, thanks for coming out today!
Quite frankly, there is no short and easy way for me to state this. I did not get the 2000 signatures needed to get on the ballot; I only collected 200. It was not because I couldn't get people to sign; to the contrary, I've had a great chance of getting the 2000 I needed in only a month. I stopped getting them. I really saw little choice not to.
Despite the best efforts of the voters of Philadelphia, Philadelphia City Council has not even begun talks to change their archaic age requirement for office! Despite the state law stating otherwise, the city of Philadelphia refuses to lower the requirement age for mayor and city council to 18 instead of 25. We are the only major city to have this silly law! I rarely admit defeat, but I must admit that I have not won in my battle to have this changed in order for me to run.
Now, I guess the question that everyone is left asking is just what am I going to do now? What is my plan of action?
I'm not giving up. No, not by a long shot! I, Larry West, will be running as an Independent Write-In in this election!
So just how will this election be won? How will I become the one sitting in Room 215 come January? It won't be easy. I will go to every house I possibly can and introduce myself and my platform to as many people as possible. I will teach them how to write in a candidate. I will show them that there IS a choice in November and that this election is FAR from over!
No, this will not be easy. Democracy is, by it's very nature, difficult. It is an institution, a form of government, that demands that anyone and everyone is allowed to participate in it. It is because of this that we must constantly be vigilant, not by those who reside out it, but from those who would wish to destroy it from within. Every election is another in a battle as old as civilization itself. Who will be the conquering hero? Who will be the one to triumph? It is the classic struggle of good versus evil, played out election after election. Will we elect someone who will strive to keep our democracy in tact, or will we elect someone who wishes to undermined it and establish their own personal tyranny, putting into power underlings that will till their wretched soil for years, if not decades, to come?
While so often it comes to those on the ballot, it is more a choice of “The lesser of two evils,” I say today that there is now a third choice. Depending on how you look at my candidacy, I am either fighting for the greater good, or I truly am the result of the evils of the infected government that we currently live under.
I have a dream for Philadelphia. I see a Philadelphia where your not afraid to leave your house! A Philadelphia where stores are opened later, there are more jobs, and we honor and trust the police! A Philadelphia where we don't live in fear, and the civil rights of all are not lost in the name of what some may call “Safety!” A society where you are happy and allowed to live freely is a society that prospers!
I want you to know who your police officers are and trust them! I want the children of Philadelphia to grow up to be smart and be among the smartest and brightest students in the country! I want us to drink cleaner water, have a public access channel, clean up the disgusting mess in most SEPTA Subway Stations, and give the young people of Philadelphia hope for the future! I want to fix and improve our Recycling program, and allow the citizens of Philadelphia to recall ineffective leaders! I want to provide condoms in our high schools, help the homeless and the poverty-stricken to get back on their feet, and legalize same-sex marriage! I want to bring skateboarding back to LOVE Park and Dilworth Plaza, have more after school programs, and give the youth of Philadelphia someone to talk to when they need help!
The Philadelphia I want is one where we live happily and in peace! I want to give people back their rights, not take them away! I want a Philadelphia where your not afraid of what could happen to you, but a Philadelphia where you can't wait to see what comes next! My campaign is a campaign of hope.
This November, I ask that you remember this:
NO MORE BULL! VOTE LARRY WEST!
Mayoral Candidate Larry West: THE SHOW MUST GO ON! - 7/30/07
Despite all the odds, Larry West hopes to pull a stunning upset and victory this coming November and emerge as the youngest mayor in the history of Philadelphia! Larry West, who is running as an Independent, will be at the Philadelphia County Board of Elections with his petitions to announce that, yes, he IS a candidate and he WILL provide for one of the most important Mayoral Races in decades!
The event will take places at Tuesday, July 31st at 10AM at, as stated before, the Philadelphia County Board of Elections office in City Hall. BE THERE!!!!!
OK, did that catch your attention? Good, I hope to see you there and we can write the next chapter on Philadelphia history together!
The Larry West for Mayor Campaign is feverishly working on getting on the ballot, and we need as many volunteers as possible to make this happen! If you would like to help out, please send us an e-mail at email@example.com! There will be a meeting Thursday, July 12th, at Noon in Center City! We need you to come out and support the cause!
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, fellow citizens, friends, and family. I would like to thank you all for coming out today for this announcement.
On February 19, I made the decision to jump into the race to run for mayor. On that day, I knew it would be an incredibly tough and uphill battle, something I never doubted for a second. On March 1st, I did what I considered to be my civic duty and protested the announcement speech of someone who I thought had no right to run for office himself, Milton Street. I took that chance to make my announcement in front of the Philadelphia media body, and I take this chance today to announce just what the future has in store for this campaign.
It seems that every time I make progress, I wind up taking another 2 steps back. If it wasn't the fact that I was young, the fact I was energetic, a political outsider, or simply because of my hair and how I looked, it has been a non-stop series of battles and fights to even make it to the point I have today. I regret not one single moment of it, and I can't wait to see where this goes to in November when I am elected Mayor of Philadelphia!
On May 29th, I attended a General Meeting for the Green Party of Philadelphia. On May 17, I asked to be put on the agenda for this meeting so that I could ask for their nomination for mayor. When I arrived at the meeting, I was told I was not put on the agenda, and this was done primarily because it would be a hassle for to just simply change an old and archaic law that stated I was too young to run for office. The Green Party of Philadelphia is not endorsing me, but we are having discussions. Until then, I am still a registered Green Party Member, but I will be running as an Independent.
But as I recently stated, the fact of the matter is, and one that has been pointed out time and time again, is that I am, officially, too young to run for office. On May 30th, Philadelphia City Council stated "The City of Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter and the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance reflect broad City policy abhorring discrimination.” This is the exact language that was used to kick out the Boy Scouts of America, one of the oldest and most community-based organizations in America, from their publicly owned building because of their national organizations rule about discriminating against openly gay men.
As soon as I heard that, I realized something far too simple: If the City of Philadelphia realizes that discrimination is wrong, that the City's Fair Practices Ordinance do reflect a broad City-Wide policy that is against discrimination, then why is the city of Philadelphia discriminating against me because of my age?! The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter states that in order to run for the offices of City Council and Mayor, you have to be at least 25. This can be traced back to at least 1913, the last time this article was amended. It is now 2007. In 1971, during the Vietnam War, this nation agreed that if it was drafting 18-year-olds to fight and die in a war that they did not volunteer to go into, that they should have the right to vote. Now, over 35 year later, Philadelphia, a leader in democracy and civil rights, has not met this change!
The state of Pennsylvania agrees with me; The State charter clearly states that anyone running for any county office in this state only has to be 18. So why does the City of Philadelphia feel that it should be exempt from this state-wide law, that they are allowed to discriminate against age when it comes to running for office as they please, and not do the democratic thing and simply let the voters decide? Age discrimination, no matter how old or young the person is, is still age discrimination!
I encourage everyone listening and watching this to write, call, or contact the Philadelphia City Council and DEMAND that they end this discrimination! Allow anyone who's allowed to vote to run for office! Age doesn't determine maturity, maturity determines maturity!
So why is someone so young taking this chance at running for Mayor? First and foremost, nearly all the problems facing Philadelphia today have to deal with the youth of Philadelphia. Crime, education, Public Transportation, and a long list of other issues that are and are not getting any attention.
My candidacy is generated towards the issues that no one else is willing to focus on, let alone address. First and foremost, I want citizens to get involved in their communities and to have a greater say in their government. I want to bring back the right to recall our elected officials! I want to buy back Channel 48 from TBN and make it into a local public access channel. On it, we can televise all City Council Meetings and generate revenue by selling airtime to both local citizens and advertisers. I want the City of Philadelphia to repeal it bans on skateboarding at Dilworth Plaza and LOVE Park so we can re-attract the bright, brilliant, and young minds of Philadelphia who have left us.
Despite what it may feel like, Philadelphia is not in the middle of a “Crime Emergency.” The overall non-violent crime rate in the City of Philadelphia this year has actually decreased this year. I don't believe that the state of living overall in Philadelphia requires stopping and frisking law-abiding citizens and creating a sense that the police are not there to help but harass. I don't believe it warrants limiting the right to protest or, even more simply, to have gatherings on our public sidewalks, nor do I feel it's right to limit the right of a person to move about as they please. It is, in essence, putting away the U.S. Constitution and deciding that the freedom of the citizens of Philadelphia is only secondary to safety.
Most murders in the City of Philadelphia are caused by random people who find no other solution to an argument other than shooting, and possibly killing, another human being. Just why is this happening in this city and at this time? It's happening due to multiple reasons. They may not have been taught differently, they may think they have no future, they may believe that the only thing they have to look forward to in life is emptiness and a world devoid of hope and a real future. They may not have a job, they may not have the ability to get a job. They may feel that they have no fear of being caught and posses no fear of being punished. The problem is complicated, and no short term solution that ignores the fact that the prison population will greatly increase because of it is going to work. We may simply say that getting them off of our streets is enough, but if our prisons become overcrowded, then we must either build new prisons or begin to release prisoners before their debt to society is paid off.
There is, without a doubt, a very real reality that we live in. This reality is that, in certain areas of Philadelphia, it is an urban war zone. In those areas, citizens are afraid of criminals, of being shot, and worry about seeing tomorrow. They wonder just how long drugs will be dealt at the nearby corner and just why the police aren't arresting them. Sadly, in some areas, this is a problem caused by ourselves. It's caused because citizens refuse to call and inform the police of what wrong doing they have seen out of fear for their lives and safety, and the city has done them wrong because we are not able to get more officers on the street and have faster response times.
I've talked to many people in my life, and many more during my run for office. I met someone from the Kensington section of the city. I told them I was glad to see no one was murdered during the Memorial Day weekend, and they told me that wasn't the case, that there were at least one murder a day in their neighborhood! I asked them, “Why isn't anyone reporting this?” And they gave me one of the saddest answers I've ever heard; “Because the police don't care about us. Because when we do call, even if there is a shooting about to take place, it still takes 3 hours for them to come, if they even do come at all.” And what does this all lead to? Increased crime, a lack of trust in the police, and a city getting worst. People begin to no longer care and they let their city rot away.
In order to change this tide of violence as it rises like a flood, we need to start changing attitudes and perceptions! Simply cleaning up a neighborhood and trying to keep it looking clean is not enough; I've been to sections of the city that have done just that, and you can tell that it has not changed at all. That is why I want to launch the Clean Philadelphia Program. In it, we will put one trash can in every 2 block radius. We begin to hire local citizens in our neighborhoods to make sure the area stays clean and that they create a sense of community pride. If people are more involved with their communities, they'll want to make sure it stays a good place to live.
All the while, the City of Philadelphia has declared war not only on crime, but also on music, with the state leading the charge in the war against our children. The fundamental First Amendment right of freedom of expression has been repressed and legislated against in attempts to ban music from Rittenhouse Square and all other public places in the city. That, despite the fact that musicians have played in the park for decades. The recent clampdown by Philadelphia Police, directed by certain members of City Council, of removing and silencing a peaceful group of people is a testament of just what is wrong in Philadelphia; A lack of willingness to take care of the real problems facing this city!
At the same time, the City of Philadelphia has taken a drastic step, one that I have mix feelings on. They have told the Cradle of Liberty branch of the Boy Scouts of America it must leave their headquarters on the Ben Franklin Parkway for the reason I stated earlier; Because their national organization discriminates, in this case, against homosexuals. The local branch is against the national policy, yet are still being told to leave with no option of being allowed to pay rent, despite the fact the building is both a historical landmark, the walls engraved with badges, and was the first building ever for the BSA. I say that while the national policy of discriminating against homosexuals is wrong, the Boy Scouts of America is far too important an organization to Philadelphia to simply kick them out with no hope of compromise. They contribute to the community by feeding the homeless, giving our young people hope, and teaching valuable skills and life lessons, such as serving your country and community service.
Even more so, if the members of City Council are so passionate about making sure that no one practices sexual discrimination in the City of Philadelphia, during my first month of office, Same-Sex Marriage will be made legal in this city. Philadelphia has been a leader of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans gender (LGBT) rights for decades, and this is the next logical progression. This will attract hundreds of new people to the city, increase tourism, and bring in more revenue for the city.
We also need to eliminate the Business Privilege Tax ,or BPT, by 2015. If we also allow new businesses to open in Philadelphia to be exempt of this, the overall amount of revenue in this city will increase, and more and more jobs will then become available. More jobs mean less crime, and less crime means a greater Philadelphia for everyone. And if we ensure that not one more construction project in the city is done with less than 51% of Philadelphia workers, we ensure even more jobs for our citizens!
Philadelphia truly is the next great city if we want it to be just that. If we simply allow it to decay, it will. If we simply allow ourselves to be contempt with the way things are going, we will get just that. In a democracy, people get the type of government they deserve, and unless we prove we deserve better, we'll get just what we put into it!
In what is guaranteed to be the single greatest political announcement press conference in the history of Philadelphia, Mayoral Candidate Larry West will make a press conference concerning his run for mayor on Saturday. The announcement is to be held... on his front lawn. To add an even greater twist to the event, Larry West plans on throwing a small party as well, grilling burgers for anyone interested. And to top it all off, a concert.
Simply put, Larry's plan is as follows: At 12PM, he will start by giving a short, 5 minute long speech detailing what happened at the Green Party Meeting when he asked for their support, what this means for his mayoral bid, his feelings on the primary election, his feelings on the next 5 months, and talk about his platform. He is expected to mention policies of his opponents as well, but has not been available for comment on that. After the speech, a Q & A session with the press and anyone in attendance will be held where Larry will answer any and all questions concerning his election. Following this, Larry West will put on a short, 3-song set of songs. The full set-list will be revealed at the show, but Larry does hint at one song. "I may not have a band backing me up, but I do plan on singing and playing as much of Megadeth "Peace Sells" as possible." Why that song? "Who says I couldn't be the President of the United States of America/ It's still we the people, right?" The lyric speaks for itself.
The event will be Saturday, June 2nd at 12PM and, sadly, not open to the public.
Philadelphia, PA, May 28, 2007 – Normally, a Larry West press release has a few jokes to keep it upbeat and.... well, so you'll actually read it, but not this time! In what promises to be the single biggest shake-up in Philadelphia politics in the election for Mayor, Larry West, who now has legal help to change the age requirement, has state he plans on asking the Green Party of Philadelphia for their support in his mayoral bid. Despite rumors that Kerry Foster was the actual nominee, records indicate that Dr. Kerry Foster did not get the required 2/3rds needed to get the nomination. This left the spot wide-open for Larry West.
On Tuesday, May 29th at 8PM at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square at the General Meeting. Larry West is trying to get on the agenda for the night to be nominated, and is ready to fight. "I've got the single greatest speech I've ever written ready, and if I can get on the agenda, it will be something to rock the political landscape!" General Meetings are open to the public, with only registered Green's allowed to vote on the agenda for the evening.
"My chances are pretty damn good, if you ask me!," remarks Larry, energetic as ever. "I've been talking to Brian Rudnick, the Green Party Candidate for the 8th Council District, and he really supports this! He wants more young people involved in politics, and he wants the Green Party to get real recognition in the city, something that would be a welcomed change. We both agree, the Green Party needs more young people!" Larry West switched registration over to the Green Party shortly after the primary to achieve the nomination. When asked how he feels about the move, Larry remarked, "I like the Green Party as a whole, and they could use the help. If it doesn't work, I'll go back to being an Independent." The Green Party of Philadelphia currently does not have a Chairperson.
You can only imagine how aggravating it is to wake up and see people declaring Nutter "Mayor-Elect"; that, despite the fact the actual mayoral election isn't for another 6 months. All the local media outlets began to join in the chorus, Fox News calling him just that, and all the other stations reminding viewers that Philadelphians have not elected a non-Democrat in over 50 years. But trust me when I say this, I intend on changing that.
When I announced I was running, it was done staring into the face of modern day Philadelphia Corruption in the form of Milton Street. I started out by demanding a change to the way things were done in this city, and I am still going to continue doing so today! I intend on fighting to the end!
There are still 6 months left in this election. I intend on making sure every single day is a day that you learn more about Larry West and my campaign for mayor! I want you to know I intend on making this election one to remember, and one you will tell your children and your children's children about. The story of a young man with a dream, and that dream was to make Philadelphia the single greatest city in America, if not the world. Many have told me that my youth will lead to fresh ideas, fresh takes, and it is a benefit, not a burden, for running for office. I have been through much in my short life, and every single time, I have come out on top, ready to fight until the end and prove myself the best!
A lot can happen in 6 months. I know I've seen my life change in a heartbeat. Being robbed on the street, losing my mother, and becoming the center of the media's attention when I announced I was running... the entire view on something can be changed so much so shortly. I am going to make the most of it all, and even if I can't get TV ad's, you will know the name Larry West by November.
While many may see Nutter's victory as a sign of change and reform in Philadelphia's Democratic party last night, I did not. When you look at the City Council races, it become painfully clear and obvious; the normalcy of corrupt City Council officials already in office remains intact. The reformers, the progressives, the people new to this field of politics, those who had experience elsewhere and those who had the same enthusiasm and want for change that I did, largely lost last night. It is a major disappointment, and one that should give many pause. Just how, exactly, is the next mayor going to clean up city hall if the voters are not with him eye to eye?
The Council Races remind me of commentary relating to the 2006 Mid-Term elections. Everyone in this country demanded change and an end to the glad-handing the President was getting from those in the Senate and Congress. But as someone put it, "People may hate the people in the Senate, but they think their Senator is doing great!" This is, in a nutshell, what we saw last night; No one is content with the people in City Council now, but they like the person they have.
I said it before, and I will say it again; I am the Dawning of a New Age for Philadelphia! An age where we do end corruption, where we can live in peace and harmony, and an age where we can live in a clean and safe city. We will fix our education system, we will fix our neighborhoods, and we will make Philadelphia great together!
To quote a great man, "Do not go gently into that goodnight. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Well, the primary is finally over. The dust has settled, and the winner has been declared. So congratulations to Michael Nutter. I just wanted to say good luck to you, and trust me, I'm going to make sure you get a good fight for for room 215! I also wanted to start by saying that you are a great guy, and I wanted to take the time out to say that I really wish you the best!
It has, without question, been a very long 2 months in the primary season since I declared I was running for office. I met a lot of people yesterday, and I shook a lot of hands. It's interesting, really; Everyone I talked to was really supportive of this campaign. I spoke to 2 people today who raised concern over my hair and they doubted the seriousness of what I was doing. But when they heard me speak and what I wanted to do, they changed their minds and, yes, I now have their support. I am not dropping out of this race, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to win and I shall in November!
What better time than now to address the age requirement issue, the same one that has given many people pause about supporting me. I have spoken to a lawyer, and they are ready to help me fight to change it. We will do everything possible to have it changed before then. But we will need people to support us in this, and in the campaign.
Now, for those who have had their candidate fallen... I want to extend my apologies to the campaigns of Tom Knox, Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah, and Dwight Evans. You all put up wonderful fights and I wish you all could have won. But for those of you who worked for those campaign, now is the chance to give your support to the next mayor of Philadelphia, Larry West! Yes, I may be the underdog, but I have one hell of a bite! My campaign is one of reform and progress, looking at new and different solutions to the problems of today. The solutions others are offering are only the same rhetoric of the past and nothing more! I offer you hope, an alternative, and the prospect of a new tomorrow!
You have talent, you have expertise, and you have knowledge. I am asking you to dedicated that same energy and devotion that you have shown other campaigns to my own. Why let such great talents go to waste by waiting for the next mayoral election, or maybe the next presidential election? There is a momentum you can bring to my campaign, and I will be forever grateful for it!
I extend my hand as a sign of friendship and peace. Please join me and together we can make Philadelphia a better place!
Thank you, and I hope to see you on the Larry West for Mayor Campaign soon!
It's a bit boring right now. I'm talking to people, a lot of people, about just what the plan is after the primaries are over. I know I won't make an official announcement until May 29th, but I'm sure I'll make some sort of announcement of what I want to do. Until then, I'm mainly working on revisions to my platform. The primaries are great for Independents; It let's us look at what everyone else is doing and learn from their mistakes! I'm also working on a strategy to help get out the Larry West vote between June and November, as well as a way to get on the ballot.
Ah yes, the ballot in November. Well, let me say thank you to Sam Katz for dropping the GOP when he did. At this point, I now know how many signatures I need to get on the ballot: 1,967. Not bad, huh? That doesn't seem to hard for me, and I'm sure I can do it. But, oh yes, the age requirement. I'll be frank; If any lawyer is willing to work Pro-Bono, I plan on fighting for my right to run for office. If it has to, I will go to court for this.
Other than that, it's still is dead overall. As you can see, fund-raising is low right now, so please give to my campaign. Everyone else have tons of cash, and we don't. I've been playing the guitar a lot, playing Super Paper Mario for the Wii (Which is AWESOME! Get it if you can!), and watching Reno 911. I've been reading a lot, too; Mostly comic books, like Preacher, Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing, and Hellboy. Oh, and Noam Chomsky, the book Fixing Broken Windows, and some other things here and there. I've done some spring cleaning, mowed the lawn, and started getting ready for, brace yourselves... to take my driving permit test.
Also, I just want to extend his congradulations to the 2007 graduating class of Hussian School of Art! The Senior Showcase was incredible and I sincerely hope you all get work soon in your respective fields! Thank you all for the support, and good luck!
OK, let me see... I've raised about $135 from shoveling sidewalks in March and I got $50 of that from people just simply donating to the campaign. Now, after buying flyers, the permit for the protest to change the age requirement, the cost of buttons... I've got about $20 left right now for the campaign. Out of my own pocket, I would say it's about $3,000 right now that I plan to earmark for the campaign., and that's about it. So, in case your reporting, I have $3,020 for my campaign right now. TREMBLE BEFORE THE MIGHT OF THE ALL MIGHTY FUNDRAISING ABILITY I HAVE! TREMBLE, I SAY!!!!
OK, maybe not. We need your donations now so I can keep fighting later! Stop giving to the other guys and put your money where it's needed; To a nice young man who wants to change Philadelphia for the better.
Over the last few months of running for office, I've met a lot of really nice people... and I also learned about the true nature of some other people. As a registered Independent, I can't vote for anyone this time around, let alone in the heated Democratic Primaries. But since most people in this city are Democrats, I'll leave it to just the Dem's.
1st District: Vern Anastasio - OK, I have a reason for Vern. I first heard about him through a YouTube video called "The Anastasio Team". I had a good laugh but I didn't know much about him. After a while, I went to his site, and simply put, the man is a dedicated reformer. I met him before the Shame of a City preview and he genuinely is trying to make Philadelphia better. He wants to make the streets safer, clean up City Hall, and redo the zoning code. Plus, he's running against Frank DiCicco who has been caught up in the Pay-to-Play Scandal. 'Nuff said!
2nd District: Damon K. Roberts - I heard of Mr. Roberts through MySpace. I got a Friend Request from him. Normally, for politicians, I always have to look at their MySpace page and after seeing that he considers mental health on the same level as other diseases and he is also looking at different solutions to the crime problem. He's running against Anna Verna, who has seen her district become the most crime ridden since being elected in, and I kid you not, 1975.
Only Irv Acklesberg so far has actually gone on the record that he would end the relationship between the "protected and connected" and named the Germantown Settlement as the front for much that is wrong with 8th District politics - - and he is absolutely correct. Irv's background as a community legal services attorney working in the most neglected and politically manipulated section of the District (Germantown from Chelten Avenue to Wayne Junction - interestingly this is Paulmier's ward) gives him insight into what his challenges will be, but they must be amplified to all voters in the entire district in order for folks to focus on the fact that the 8th district, just like the city government at large, has wasted and misappropriated millions and millions of dollars and fallen way short of serving its constituents.
Irv, on top of all that, has 30 years experience in fighting corruption. He stood up to SEPTA and demanded fair customer policies, led the fight against casinos from building next to schools, cleaned up slumlord properties, and helped families avoid foreclosure. After speaking with him personally and hearing what he had to say, I support him! And, he also is in favor of changing the age requirement to run for office!
City Council At-Large:
Frank Rizzo: In the 2 months I have been crying out and trying to change the age requirement to run for office, Frank Rizzo is the ONLY person to respond to me and offer support. The man cares about the citizens of Philadelphia, and he deserves another term!
Rittenhouse Square/Philadelphia -- Last week, we told you about a young man arrested in Rittenhouse Square for singing. He refused to stop singing when a police officer ordered him to do so. No he faces possible jail time for the musical offense. As FOX 29's Gerald Kolpan reports, Anthony Riley says public singing is everyone's right, so he returned to the square. So did the cops.
I know these guys pretty well; They started supporting me the day I told them I was running for Mayor, and when I heard about this and the protest, I was more than happy to help. Anthony is a great singer, and the link has a video that explains everything.
I went over to Delworth Plaza at 3PM Wednesday, May 2nd, to go out and play my guitar a little bit. To my knowledge, there is no law stating you can't play there. After about 20 minutes, an officer came over and told me to leave, and I did.... and went across to the little island across from the plaza to play instead! It was only another 5 minutes there, but it was fun and there was support for the right to play in public. Later that day, after speaking to some officers, they said that it is permitted in certain places, and the place I was playing was perfectly legal. So, there you have it; The police have been stepping-up efforts to enforce the arbitrary Musician Ban in what I call "Operation: Silence is Golden". And, my friends, it blows!
So, what can YOU do to help? EASY! CONTACT CITY COUNCIL!
CALL CITY COUNCIL! - Admittedly, this is a link to my "Refuse to be Denied" site, so PLEASE tell them about the age requirement, too! But, seriously, we now have 2 stupid laws that need to be changed! LET'S GET TO IT!
Also, fell free to call 5th District Councilman Darrell L. Clarke's Office about this: (215) 686-3442, (215) 686-3443.
On March 21st, there was an initial ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) announcing catastrophically high new royalty rates as well as a $500/year minimum per station. Despite the outcry of nearly all web casters, the CRB denied the request for a rehearing and has proceeded with their original ruling.
In response to these new and unfair fees, Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act (HR 2060) on April 26th. This bill will provide immediate relief from the proposed new rates and can save thousands of Internet radio stations from going off the air.
Live365 and the SaveNetRadio Coalition fully support this proposal and are working diligently to see it turned into law. The next step is to line up cosponsors for HR 2060, but time is running short.
We ask that you IMMEDIATELY:
CALL your Representative and ask them to cosponsor HR 2060 -- the Internet Radio Equality Act. Click here to find your Representative's number.
NOTIFY -- YOUR LISTENERS, ARTISTS, and FRIENDS -- and have them call THEIR Representatives with the same request to cosponsor HR 2060.
We thank you again for all of the great support so far. Let's keep the momentum building into a crescendo that everyone can hear.
PS. It looks like Live365 will be observing the "Day of Silence" on May 8th. More information to come...
As an internet radio broadcaster myself, I pay nearly $40 a month to keep my station, Mark Skull Pirate Radio, on the air. These new rates will force small internet radio stations such as mine to go out of business. Also, as someone running for public office, I feel it is my duty to inform citizens of this and have them join me in this fight!
There is no other way to say this than to say that this candidacy just got a LOT more interesting" Your Next President @ MySpace
Sunday, April 15th, I went on 900AM WURD. I would like to thank both the host, David Barnes, and the people in the studio for being so great! They were wonderfully polite people and I have to say, it offered me some new insight into my current platform! I always love hearing new ideas, and I heard some good ones yesterday. Congressman/Mayor Candidate Chaka Fattah was supposed to be in the studio with me, but instead phoned in. I would like to extend my gratitude to Congressman Fattah for being part of the show. It was nice to hear from him again!
But I must publicly state that I am displeased with a comment that was made by one of the callers, Queen Nzinga Ratibisha Heru, International President of The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, or ASCAC. While she made some great points and comments, namely about focusing on helping the poor and the youth by giving them hope and a chance, something I agree with and consider a cornerstone of my platform, the Imus controversy was brought up. Along with the fact that she felt felt bad about the comment Imus made, she said this:
"...this brings to light that, deep down, all white people feel this way."
I asked her, "Did you basically just say that all white people hate blacks?" "Well, " she replied, "I'm sure you could play the tape back, but yes, I do believe that."
Let's all just stop and step back for a moment and reflect on how I felt when she said this. I'm 1/4th white. The bassist in my band is white. Some of my best friends are white. But all that aside, more importantly, the people who support me includes whites. To say something as hurtful, mean, and ill-informed as "all white people feel this way," that they all hate blacks... that is highly disrespectful! Not just to me, my friends, or the people I know and love, but also to all the people, no matter what race, who support me.
I am 100% in favor of trying to have more African-American / Black studies in school and to integrate them with overall high school curriculum. If high schools wish to have African-American / Black History courses, I believe they should. I don't agree with it being mandatory because we live in an age where we strive for equality, and to integrate it with the rest of the history courses does allows all of American History to be taught. But I can not believe that this is what the leader of this organization truly thinks about whites! It is racist, bigoted, and shows a lack of respect, let alone tolerance, towards whites and possibly other races as well.
I will never demand an apology for someone using their god-given right to express themselves and I do not want an apology, nor do I speak for anyone other than myself (right now; when elected, I speak for the people of Philadelphia), but I am asking that she resigns as International President of the ASCAC for her comments. How could someone who wants to promote African American History make her point or further her cause when she does not show toleration for other people's history's and culture's?
This is exactly the type of thinking that made me want to run for office in the first place. The antiquated ideas that one race is better than another is another example of how those of our nations past simply wish to stay content with the way things are and, despite cries for progress, would rather see things remain the same. We need to look forward and realize that if we are to move ahead that instead of focusing on our differences, we need to all focus, instead, that the future of not only Philadelphia, but our country, depends on being able to work together towards our goals instead of constantly fighting amongst ourselves.
I'm asking everyone to contact this organization and tell them how you feel:
ASCAC Contact Page
E-mail Nzinga Ratibisha Heru Directly!
April 14th, 2007 - Wednesday was, so far, the CRAZIEST night of the campaign, and I only got home around 2AM! Let me run it down for you; The screening went well and the article goes into detail about it:
There have been mayoral forums put together by groups with issues ranging from design to senior citizens to lawyers to young urban professionals. And that's just this week.
It's great, of course, that this campaign has been focused so much on the issues, but covering it has been drab at times because of it.
Wednesday night makes up for all of that.
OK, so only one candidate on the stage is actually running in the May mayoral primary, but the forum after the screening of Tigre Hill's The Shame of a City at the Trocadero was a blast.
Consider: Chaka Fattah found himself sitting down next to too-young-to-run candidate Larry West and going back and forth with the 22-year-old and an audience that just sat through a movie that doesn't portray Fattah in a very good light for his role in the bug conspiracy that marred the 2003 campaign between John Street and Sam Katz. (Fattah was Street's campaign chairman).
"I now remember why I'm running against you," West said to Fattah.
Fattah (give him credit for manning up and showing) said that it's important that filmmakers make films like 'Shame.' Then he went on to spin the movie's theme into his own direction.
"We need to focus in on not just the shame of the city shown by this film, but what i think is the real shame of the city," Fattah said, launching into an attack on poverty, which has been the centerpiece of his campaign.
Council candidate Vern Anastasio was on stage, as well, but he mostly stayed out of the Fattah vs. West, Fattah vs. the Troc debate.
Fattah said that he knows John Street to be an honest politician and said he would seek an end to no-bid contracts.
And, then, in what may be the first time it's happened in the campaign, Fattah went a bit negative on one of his challengers.
He noted that Michael Nutter's role as chairman of the Convention Center board includes his having approved no-bid contracts and pointed out that Nutter is a ward leader and politician just like everyone else.
The thought that "Michael Nutter is not involved in politics is nonsense," Fattah said. "We just need to deal with reality here, we're all involved in politics." He went on to say that both he and Nutter are involved in politics in a "public-spirited way."
Nutter plays something of a hero in the documentary, talking about corruption in government. He has used the movie for fundraising, something that Fattah also questioned in an interview last night. There's questions as to whether the movie is an in-kind contribution and whether Nutter should have to report it; Nutter said he doesn't see it that way.
One interesting note: Omar Williams, the film's executive producer, is backing Fattah. He said he plans to vote for him and is looking into some sort of fundraiser for his Bala Cynwyd-based Dacua Communications to put together.
"Some of the mayoral candidates, Fattah and Brady, come off in a bad light," Williams said of the movie." I have seen through some of that [with Fattah]. I think his issues, I like what he's got to say."
Chaka Fattah, for those who don't know, was in second-place in the May Primary that night (By Thursday, he was third), and is currently my congressman. I was just SHOCKED that I was where I was next to him, and I shook his hand and was very polite, and he was, too. But I had wanted to know why he didn't change the age requirement to run when he was my age, which he NEVER answered.
My basic stance is to always be open and honest with people, and if your going to say things behind their backs, you should do the right thing and tell them to their face. There was a lot I was angry about with him, and I told him as much as I could. I focused on the film and how he was tied to John Street's re-election bid by using tactics that I think will hurt him once more people get to see them. Some people have commented that I did speak out of turn at times, and I do apologize for that. It was my first real speaking event, and had it been moderated better (no offense to the moderator!), I think it would have been better for everyone.
Afterwards, a lot of people came up to me, basically shocked and awed... and happy that I did what I did, some saying that I said exactly what they were thinking. I'm glad so many people not only endorse me now because of it, but actually look up to me! Again, thanks a million for all the support! I take as much as I can get!
Also, here are some more articles:
I just wanted to thank everyone again for the support! From Monday to Thursday, I stood in the courtyard of City Hall gathering signatures for the Age Requirement Petitions, and wound up getting about 300 on my own, something I'm rather proud of!It was tough to get them all, and I just want to thank anyone and everyone who signed my petitions for their help! I took them to my council woman, Donna Reed Millers, office and, hopefully, it showed that there is a demand!
Friday was the protest and I just want thank anyone and everyone who came out to show your support! I thank each and every one of you for your support, and I know we made a statement that day that will change the future.
We're working on future public appearances and, well, there is a rather odd turn of events that is happening behind the scenes here. Your just going to have to wait to see what it is, if anything works out from it. I just like being honest with you guys and gals, and the suspense is killing me!
My Next Appearance will be posted Tomorrow.
This was written in response to the comments made on Young Philly Politics Board yesterday regarding the Age Change I am proposing:
I guess everyone here on Young Philly Politics today is now wondering, "Just who is this kid who, out of nowhere, wants to run for mayor?" I spent a lot of time trying to think of the best way to tell everyone on here who I am, and decided that the best thing to do is just to simply post my original announcement speech and a link to my web site. I feel that my speech will address everything you want to know about why I'm running and the link to my web site will tell you everything about me and my platform.
But before we get to the meat and potato's of that, let me just address two misconception about my run for mayor: No, this is not a joke or a stunt. If it was, I would not have gone to the length of trying to change the City Charter so I can run.
Secondly, while I will admit I dislike Milton Street and, yes, seeing that he was allowed to run for office angered me to the point where I said I should run, I want to state that I had considered running in 2007 for a few years now. I was going to wait until 2011, but considering the candidates we have now, and the direction the election was headed, I knew we would be stuck with 2 people who no one really wanted or, in the case of the Republicans, voted for. I looked at their platforms, didn't see much that I liked or thought would make things better, and decided to go ahead and, as they say, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."
So why am I running? Because Philadelphia needs some form of radical change in the next 4 years. We can't sit back and simply allow people who are supposed to work for the people simply become workers of their biggest contributors. We can't allow criminals to run City Hall. If we do, how are we any better than the criminals on the street? We need to end corruption, find realistic solutions to the murder rate, reduce the number of illegal guns on the streets, and give people a greater say in their government!
With all that said, I sincerely hope you enjoy my announcement speech. Thank You.
For those of you who came out today... I wish to thank each and everyone single one of you. To everyone who is watching this, be it on TV or the internet... thank you. You have all made a decision by even listening to me today that you want an alternative to the way things are done in the City of Philadelphia. You have agreed that you are fed up with "business as usual", that the way things were done in the past are not what you want, let alone what you see, as the future or a way to make Philadelphia better.
We are gathered here today in front of Independence Hall because this is the same place where, over 230 years ago, our forefathers demanded an end to the way things were handled in their time. They wanted an end to the oppressive laws and unfair treatment given to them by the British Crown, and in Philadelphia today, we are not much different! While King James and the British Army may no longer be the enemy, they have been replaced. The Red Coats are now the thieves, murders, and petty criminals that roam the street. We are now under their rule, and not that of our own appointed troops! We hide away in our homes out of fear! Fear that these "bad men" will harm us if we cry out against them dealing their drugs in our neighborhoods, against murdering our friends and family! We simply hide and cower while an army of criminals laid siege to our great, noble city of Philadelphia!
Today, I declare independence!
Today, I say that we as a city have had enough! We have held rallies, we have complained to our leaders, to our police, to the world. The results have been non-existent! The crime rate is still rising, our citizens are still being killed daily in the streets, and all we have done is simply stand around and look at the decay! It is time for change! It is time for someone to truly step forward, to cry out, and do something!
Ladies and gentlemen of the great City of Philadelphia, that is why I am now running for Mayor! My name is Lawrence West, and I am the dawning of a new age!
The politics and politicians of the past have failed you, and I am here to lead Philadelphia into its next golden age; an age where we end corruption, stop crime, and improve our communities. The politics and policies of the past dictate more laws and more police; if I am elected, we will have more officers, but we will also reinforce the laws we currently have! I offer you an age where we help our fellow citizen by giving them not only the hope of a new tomorrow, but give them an active chance by giving them the tools needed to have a greater say in their government! If this truly is a government for the people and by the people, then by all means, give the people the ability to exert more control!
The rights to recall elected officials must be returned! The right to know what your city council is doing must be more accessible! The right to live in a society where you feel safe! These are the rights Philadelphians are entitled to, not by their leaders, their government, or even their constitution; these are rights given by birth. They are the rights of any truly righteous and just society. They are the hopes and ideals of any country, of any being, that has every yearned to truly be free. And it is these very same rights that have been taken away or not even offered to you. Why? Because of the thieves, crooks, and murderers that plague this city! Because of the crooks who have been allowed to take away the respectability of the very office of Mayor!
Under my leadership, we will end the corruption that plagues City Hall by televising all City Council meetings, only approving City Contracts through City Council, and dedicated campaign and donation reform. We will attract new businesses to Philadelphia by letting existing businesses stay open later, work with businesses to create a tax system that works, and build incredible new buildings and skyscrapers to reach the very heavens we deserve! I see a Philadelphia where we help the homeless, give treatment to drug abusers instead of scorn. An image of a great and mighty city on the Delaware River! A place where the people feel free and safe to walk the streets, where trash is non-existent, property values are good, and skateboarders can skate in peace! A city where the smog of the past is replaced with fresh air thanks to a better public transportation system, lower fares, and more fuel-efficient cars roam the street. Where children are happy, free to be themselves, and well educated! Where the people, not corporations, control the media.
The terrorists in this city come in the form of those who wish to instill fear in us. They are the drug dealers, the pimps, and the criminal element. They are the people in highest forms of city government who will openly admit and flaunt the fact that they will gladly take a bribe, tell you about it, and wave it in your face knowing you will do nothing to stop them! You can't kill terror, but you can stop criminals!
As your mayor, I will make Philadelphia one of the top cities in the world! We will no longer live by a 7PM curfew, where it's impossible to shop or do anything after dark. If anything, we need more people out there shopping and filling the street to deter criminals from committing crimes! If the people of Philadelphia are happy, murder will go down, crime will decrease, and the quality of life will go up! Give the people jobs, a voice, and a way to express themselves, and you have a content public!
It has been written that those who have the youth have the future. I may be young, but I am the future. The future of Philadelphia.
If you would like to learn more about me, Larry West, and why I'm running for Mayor of Philadelphia, as well as my platform, than please visit my web site at the link below. I'm sure that once you see why I'm running and what I want to do, you will see that I truly am the best choice for mayor. Thank you.
March 20th, 2007
It's been very quite overall on the Larry West front, but that doesn't mean Larry has just sat around and watched South Park! A big announcement will be made on this site tomorrow around noon! This will be the kick-off of the next step of Larry West becoming the Next Great Mayor of Philadelphia! THE DAWNING OF A NEW AGE IS AT HAND!
Good Day Philadelphia Appearance 3/7/07
Or so he was...
Milton Street was suppose to have this huge rally today, stating that if 5000 didn't show up, he would not run for office. Since I believe that we as citizens have the right to protest and peacefully assemble, I took my right to go out there and protest. I had a sign, still wet after an hour, stating "No Criminals in City Hall! / Stop Milton Street!" Since he currently is under indictment for $2 million and was arrested 2 weeks ago for unpaid parking tickets, I think my sign was more than appropriate.
After getting to the rally, I held my sign high and proud and reporters and camera people began to come over to take photos. I was, as it seemed, the only person protesting. There were only 100 people there, and only 10 of them were there to support Milton; the others were reporters, people interested in his policies, and people making fun of him. From what I could tell, the later of which was the majority.
Then, Milton Street himself took me by the shoulder and asked me, "Why do you hate me?" I had a massive smile on my face and felt a little humbled; it takes courage to ask someone that type of question, and I was more than happy to tell him why. "No offense, Mr. Street, but your currently under indictment for $2 million, and if we're trying to end corruption, I just don't think you should run." He then asked me about my idea for stopping crime, and went straight to point #1 on my Anti-Crime policy: Putting into effect the same ideas of Rudy Guiliani, namely having the CompStat program put into effect."
At the same time, about anyone and everyone there from the press gathered around. I took this chance to do exactly what I wanted; "I, Larry West, am officially running for Mayor."
For the next hour, I was surrounded by reporters asking various questions, namely why I was running, why I was against Milton, what my platform was, and what motivated me to run. Someone even asked me if someone put me up to this, and I could only laugh! Interviews and video is forthcoming, as well as any and all articles.
So the race of Larry West for Mayor begins! I didn't plan this, I didn't think it would get this big, but it did. I guess all that's left is waiting to see what happens.
In the past, announcements of candidacy for high offices were done exclusively aloof of the common man! They were never told of when they would take place, and the only ones at these announcements were the press and whatever supporters outside the candidates family was forced to show up.
In this day and age, the Internet, not Television, is becoming the dominate media. While the dinosaurs of the past relied on nothing more than a large media group appearing at their speech, instead we will make it easier by brining the announcement to them via the web. Now, they just simply click on a link and the footage and information is there. All follow-up questions will be answered through interviews.
With that said, we are working on the details of how and when the announcement will be made. Stay put to this web site to find out, as the announcement will be made shortly!
The dawning of a new age for Philadelphia is at hand!