Incumbents on Review: Derek Green

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COUNCILMAN at Large Derek Green

Despite having incumbent status and all the attendant benefits – visibility, extant platforms, media coverage – City Councilman Derek Green says that this year’s race is harder in a way than his 2015 campaign.

“It’s more challenging just from the perspective of my day job” at City Hall, he explains. “I represent not just one part of the city, but the whole city. But as an incumbent, I have certain advantages.

“I’m running because I have the experience, leadership, and vision for a better Philadelphia,” Green says.

Even though he is a freshman Councilman, experience is indeed one of his hallmarks. Green has been a fixture in the city’s political firmament for many years in a myriad of roles, including as Special Counsel to then-Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, a deputy City solicitor, and as an assistant district attorney. His involvement in bettering the city has long extended beyond the workweek, as his raft of volunteering stints for causes from autism – his teenage son is on the spectrum – to the Germantown YMCA and serving on numerous nonprofit boards shows.

Green has advocated for a quality education to be available to all city students at their neighborhood school, and he is pushing for the rehabilitation of the district’s infrastructure, especially mold and lead remediation.

The second plank of Green’s reelection campaign is criminal-justice reform, which he has been working on via his office’s own reentry program to help returning citizens find jobs. Green says, “We have done a lot of job fairs, a lot through social media – we have been able to interview about 190 people in our office to help them prepare resumes and to get them ready for interviewing. Out of the 190, 105 have been hired.”

Green’s top priority is poverty. To that end, he has used his background in banking to pass legislation to make it easier for small businesses to do business with the City of Philadelphia, a local procurement initiative, and to make credit more accessible for citizens. “With my experience, we were able to create the Philadelphia Lending Network, which is a network of 30 different lenders like Wells Fargo and smaller community institutions, which citizens can access through the City’s Commerce Department website,” he recounts.

Green remains unflinchingly positive about his campaign. “I have never stopped running,” he says.

“From the time I was fortunate enough to win in 2015 to now, I have stayed engaged in the community. I hope that the citizens of Philadelphia will rehire me.”

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