Victory Fund focuses on Philadelphia City Council

 A national organization that promotes openly LGBTQ candidates for elected office just announced three additional endorsements in Philadelphia’s upcoming primaries.

The Victory Fund previously endorsed three candidates for the city’s judiciary and now is promoting Council candidates as well, citing a chance to make history.

“While Philadelphia has a vibrant LGBTQ community, they have never had representation on the City Council, whose legislation and policies deeply affect their lives,” said Annise Parker, Victory Fund’s president and CEO, and Houston’s mayor from 2010-16. “Now we have three opportunities to change that, with extraordinary and diverse LGBTQ candidates who will each bring unique and important perspectives to the Council when elected. Philadelphians have an opportunity to make history come November — and Victory Fund is all in to help make it happen.”

The organization is endorsing Adrian Rivera Reyes and Deja Lynn Alvarez, who are running for Council at-Large seats, and Lauren Vidas in the Second District against incumbent Kenyatta Johnson.

Rivera Reyes and Alvarez will be listed first and second, respectively, on the ballot of 30 Democrats. Ballot position is arguably the most important factor in winning a crowded race.

“Those ballot positions and their robust campaigns make them strong contenders for the May primary election,” stated Victory Fund in a press release.

All three candidates expressed appreciation and excitement for Victory Fund’s support.

“I am beyond grateful, humbled and honored to receive the national endorsements of both the Victory Fund and the Trans United Fund. To be amongst a group of such leaders is an honor,” said Alvarez.

“There is power in representation, and currently the LGBTQ-plus community has no representation on City Council,” Rivera Reyes said. “Our voices deserve a seat at the table. As a member of City Council, I will be the warrior for equality and opportunity that our community deserves. With Victory Fund’s help, we will make history in Philadelphia!”

There are seven Council at-Large seats up for grabs and 37 candidates — down from 41 — running for them. The top five of 30 Democrats and seven Republicans will each advance to the November general election, when the seven seats will be determined.

Meanwhile, Vidas is facing an incumbent who also served as a state representative.

“It’s an honor to join this list of so many barrier-breaking candidates and elected officials,” she said. “If elected, I will aggressively fight to ensure every member of our community has access to affordable housing, critical health services and the family-sustaining job opportunities that we so desperately need in Philadelphia.”

The Victory Fund had already endorsed three LGBT Democratic candidates to be judges on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Two of them remain: Tiffany Palmer and Henry Sias. Wade Albert has since dropped out.

There are now 33 candidates — 32 Democrats and one Republican — running for six judgeships. There had been 40. Winners serve 10-year terms.

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