Local 302 Allentown International Association of Firefighters have made their picks in Allentown's municipal election, which will be held one week from today. These are the guys who keep you safe. They put their lives on the line for you every day. So what they think about who's best equipped to keep you alive matters. They've endorsed persons of color running for the Court of Common Pleas (Maraleen Shields), Commonwealth Court (Judge Lori Dumas) and Superior Court (Judge Timika Lane). They endorsed five women, including Patricia Fuentes Mulqueen for Lehigh County Courts. Their picks for Allentown City offices make sense as well.
Mayor Ray O'Connell has weathered several public safety storms during his years in office, and has ensured that finally, the fire department has the equipment it needs. Daryl Hendricks and Ed Zucal are both retired police officers who know more than a bit about public safety. Zucal routinely tossed me from Allen basketball games, which likely saved countless lives.
Tino Babayan is representative of a segment of the community that has been overlooked for far too long. Allentown is home to what may very well be the largest Syrian community in the United States. It has never had representation on City Council. Tino is a Syrian immigrant who has prospered in this country, and he has taken an active interest in city government for many years.
Santo Napoli, son of Sicilian immigrants, is a small business owner who has had two urban wear shops on Hamilton Street. He also rents out a few properties. He understands the plight of mom-and -pop shops and is naturally concerned about public safety.
Convicted felon Hasshan Batts, who led a mob with cries of "Fuck the Police!" last summer, is perturbed that firefighters failed to pick any of the persons of color who are running. That's because they're lousy candidates.
Justan Parker Fields, who led a mob that banged on the doors and windows of City Council during meetings last summer, is currently on ARD for having made false reports. Patrick Palmer has falsely proclaimed he belongs on several city boards. Cynthia Mota failed to disclose that she worked for Batts when repeatedly trying to get him appointed as Mayor. Erik Rodriguez, Natalie Santos and Justan Parker Fields have all failed to file pre-primary campaign finance reports, which are required by law unless there is a waiver.
Gerlach, who dropped a minor at a tent city, is in no position to claim she cares about public safety. She also Voted No to needed police officers and to grants for the police department.
Blogger's Update, 8:08 am: The version of the mailer above is a draft. I have been sent the actual mailer, which also endorses Zac Cohen and Patricia Fuentes Mulqueen for Judge. I am having some technical difficulty uploading the actual mailer.
(Originally published 12:00 am)