Feb 24, 2017

GrassRoots Politics In Allentown

If you're a student of grassroots politics in Allentown, chances are that you know Robert Trotner. This political and community activist has been encouraging political newcomers for a number of years, through both an internet radio show and coffee house gatherings. His recent meetings at the Coffee House Without Limits has attracted new candidates for mayor, city council and the school board. While their names are mostly new to the general public, all of them are involved in the process already, attending meetings and studying Allentown's problems.

I have been a supporter of local outsider politics for decades. These are the people you see at the meetings, week after week. They are the ones that fight the battle for everyone else.  They are the ones who speak out for the many who remain silent.  While a few get elected and become mainstream, most remain unelected, and unrecognized for their commitment.  Reporting their accomplishments has always been an honor for this blog.

Shown sitting with Trotner is City Council candidate Jessica Lee Ortiz and School Board candidate Phoebe Harris.

ADDENDUM: Political outsider and police officer Luiz D. Garcia has announced his candidacy as a Republican for mayor.  I had reached out to Garcia last fall, and we finally connected at a police event at Sacred Heart Hospital earlier this winter.  He is Allentown's first Hispanic Mayoral candidate.


doug_b said...

From a distance, reading the MCall and your blog, it is obvious to me that it is no longer Allentown. Allentown what it was, is dead. It's only fitting that it be renamed, and any history reset to 1980.

Chris Casey said...

Mike, Marty Velasquez ran against Bill Heydt for Mayor in 1997. I believe he might be considered Hispanic, but I could be wrong

michael molovinsky said...

chris@9:45, you raise a fair point, and i had forgotten about his candidacy. however, i do recall that election, but have no memory of valasquez emphasizing that portion of his ancestry. in that regard, i consider julio the first hispanic elected in allentown.

Luiz Garcia said...

We will try our best! I will emphasize my American heritage aswell. I am for all the people - all Allentonians - all Americans. Please go to my Instagram and enjoy all the Old Glory Pictures I have taken - over 370 now throughout the valley, DC, NY, Maryland etc... I love my country, my city and my heritage! This is going to be a great journey either way.