State representative Vanessa Lowery Brown has served several terms for the 190th legislative district in West Philadelphia, but if one resident has her say, this will be her last.
Wanda Logan discussed her passion for the community, her vision and her reasons for challenging the incumbent for a second time.
“We really haven’t had a really strong representative in a very long time,” said Logan.
“There were more dog and pony shows, feeding people for a day or whatever but nothing that have come to the table for survival and right now we are not surviving,” said Logan.
Logan said that people are being forced out of their communities, struggle with utilities and finding employment and said she wants to be the one to help address these concerns.
“The average gas bill is $300 a month almost, even with our electric company, most of these companies pay no taxes and when they pay no taxes that means that they are not giving anything to the community.”
They are also not hiring from the community either, said Logan.
“When you call customer service, you are getting a foreigner so they’re not taking care of the community as they should be. Imagine how frustrated our seniors get when they call someone and can’t understand the person on the other end.”
Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Logan said growing up she never witnessed the crime so prevalent today and has watched the community change significantly in her lifetime.
“I don’t think our young people want to be out here on these streets and we need more opportunities for them,” said Logan.
Asked to describe the incumbent, Brown, Long pointed to the current sting operation in which several elected officials were caught taking money from a lobbyist which has become viral on the Internet and played out in the media.
“I think the proof is in the pudding. Although she has been given a pass for taking money, the bottom line is that it is thievery. Even if the House doesn’t strip her of her rights, how can she truly go back on the floor and be respected?,” Logan said.
Logan said that she would have more integrity as an official if elected.
“One, I don’t think I would take money. I think that honesty and integrity, the character of the person who you put in there, that is the person who represents you out here on the streets, in the neighborhood and in Harrisburg and at this point that has been tainted,” said Logan.
One group which has publicly endorsed Logan’s candidacy is Action United, a grassroots organization formed in 2010 to advocate for economic justice.
Kia Philpot Hinton chairs the education committee of Action United and said that the group supports Logan’s candidacy, not only because she is a member herself but also because she has stood with them on key issues surrounding education.
“Action United supports Wanda Logan, she is a fellow member and she has always stood with us on our issues involving education,” she said.
Hinton said that one major difference between Logan and Brown is that Logan doesn’t support a bill that would diminish teacher seniority.
“We feel that any legislation that attacks senior teachers is not in our favor,” said Hinton.
She said even before her run for office, Logan regularly attended Action United meetings and supported their efforts to fight for the improvement of education in the city.
“We just felt like this was a member, this was the one who stood with us and it just seemed smart and a better choice to support Wanda,” said Hinton.