Kenyatta Johnson (Democrat)
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Kenyatta Johnson (Democrat)


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What is one life experience you have that voters should know about?

In 1998, while I was serving in the City Year Americorps National Service Program, one of my cousins was murdered due to senseless gun violence. Several close childhood friends were also murdered during this period. As a result, I created the Peace Not Guns Initiative. Peace Not Guns focuses on teaching young adults conflict resolution, anger management, and anti-street education. The goal is to avoid the situations that lead young people to pick up guns in the first place. It has become my life’s mission to create a city of peace, not guns.

What would be your top three policy priorities in office?

Gun violence prevention, economic development, and affordable workforce housing. After my cousin was murdered in 1998, I was compelled to get involved - so no other family would have to go through what mine did. Since then, I’ve worked to end gun violence in Philadelphia, founding and co-chairing the City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence. In my next term, I will continue to fight to lower gun violence in the city with a particular focus on ensuring our children have engaging extracurricular opportunities that will prevent them from picking up a gun in the first place. I will also work to ensure the Second District remains the most dynamic in the city, ensuring it’s a welcoming place for new and old residents alike. Finally, I will continue to work to provide tax relief to homeowners and expand assistance to renters.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

My track record of working for and with the community for the last 25 years. I am deeply connected to the Second District of Philadelphia, having been born and raised in Point Breeze and now raising my family here as well. Knowing this neighborhood and its residents so well has allowed me to deliver for my constituents and support them both personally and professionally since I was first elected to City Council in 2012. I will continue to push for the Second District’s priorities - as decided and communicated by its residents.

How do you plan to work across ideological lines to achieve shared goals?

During my time on City Council thus far, I have worked with any colleague interested in bettering our city, regardless of ideology. I believe that, across the Council and the city itself, we have more values and goals that bring us together than those that divide us. In my next term, I will continue to find common ground to decrease gun violence in the city and make it a more affordable, enjoyable, and thriving place to live for all Philadelphians.

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