Philadelphia mayoral Helen Gym has a visionary plan for education — but first she’ll have to win a contentious democratic primary.
Over the past 3 decades, Philadelphia has endured some of the worst forms of privatization. Philadelphia public schools are in dangerous disrepair, many have no air conditioning, asbestos, and even lead in their water.
Gym—a former public school teacher, community organizer, and city council member—has already fought for, and won, stronger safety standards to ensure every school has clean drinking water.
Now she has her sights set on an even bigger infrastructure investment. She’s proposed a $10 billion “green new deal” to modernize school buildings and make them safer for students. Gym has support from the Philadelphia Teachers Union, Working Families Party, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.
The mayoral race has been flooded with untraceable donations from dark money groups. One of Gym’s opponents, Jeff Brown, has been accused of illegally coordinating with the super PAC that supports him.
If Gym wins on May 16th, she has a chance to implement visionary policy that could reverberate across the country.