This week, City Cast Philly is interviewing both candidates running to be the 100th mayor of Philadelphia in next Tuesday’s election. First up: three questions with David Oh, a longtime city council member running as the Republican candidate.
What's one thing that you want voters to remember that you've done during your time in council?
“I did a veterans hiring tax credit. And so for returning veterans, if someone employs them, they get $5,000 off their business taxes for each year that veteran is hired, up to three years. And so that's $15,000 off their business taxes for hiring a returning veteran. What that does, by the way, is it retains employers who might be looking to leave our city, because they are hiring very skilled people that have got a lot of training, who come in to fill those needs.”
We haven't had a Republican mayor since the 1950s. What's your pitch to voters who wouldn't normally pick a GOP candidate?
“My pitch is, it's time for change. Unfortunately, after years of elected officials getting elected because they are backed by a political machine, the machine becomes more important than the people. And so many candidates do not even really campaign to the people. They vie for the backing of the political powers. The political powers will bring them the money, the endorsements, the machinery for them to get elected. And then when those persons are elected, they serve the interests of the political system, rather than the people ... And so I think people very much want to change. Without that change, we will not get to good schools, we will not get to better libraries, we will not get to good social services.”
What do you love about Philly?
“It's the people, right? We have such fantastic people ... even in our most difficult places, you have people who are just so resilient. ... They're very inspirational. We are a rough-and-tumble city. ... Whether you're in North Philly, or you’re in South Philly, people are so plain-spoken. And you know, they have an edge on them. That's what comes from living in parts of our city. But once you're there, they really open up, they're very warm.”