The people of Philadelphia are getting excited about a fresh new take on Philly politics with the Sam Oropeza campaign for city council at-large. In a city with an overwhelming democratic majority, people of all parties and backgrounds are getting behind republican Sam Oropeza’s “People First” campaign. With a campaign slogan of “Every block, every neighborhood”, Oropeza is gaining momentum leading up to May 16th’s Republican Primary. “I want to focus more on the people of Philadelphia and their daily needs and less about the drama of national politics that can divide us in a time where we all just need to work together,” says Oropeza.
The Oropeza campaign has stayed true to its promise of running a city-wide campaign. Oropeza, a Port Richmond resident, has a strong base in the Riverwards but can be seen all over the city on any given day. For example, Sam was a panelist on a youth gun violence forum in Northwest Philadelphia. He attended a violence seminar in West Philadelphia. He was on scene speaking with community members the day after a double homicide at a Chinese store in Southwest Philadelphia. He’s been active with his clean-up non-profit RSCU in Harrowgate, Fairhill, Kensington, Bridesburg, and Parkwood, just to name a few.
When asked about the city-wide strategy Oropeza said, “I’m running for an office that is supposed to represent everyone in this city, no matter your political party or which neighborhood you live in. I want to show the people that I care about the under-served neighborhoods that often get neglected by City Hall”.
Instead of arguing over national political topics that the City Council cannot legislate, Sam likes to focus the conversation on issues that affect quality of life. “I want to make sure the trash is picked up. I want to make sure the police are staffed adequately so they can serve us efficiently. I want to make sure our kids get a quality education in a safe environment and I want to make sure City Hall uses our tax dollars correctly” said Oropeza.
There have been two recent city-wide polls by Pew and Lenfest that both came to similar conclusions. Philadelphian’s of all backgrounds and political ideologies want the same thing. They want to be safe, crime is their number one concern, and the vast majority want more police officers on the street. If that’s the case for you, then you probably already know that Sam Oropeza landed the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 endorsement. The rest of Philadelphia law enforcement is also getting behind the Oropeza campaign after the Temple University Police Association and the University of Penn Police FOP Lodge also endorsed Sam for City council at-large.
According to public records, Oropeza gathered over 1,700 Philadelphia republican signatures in the 21 day petition period to get on the ballot. The addresses of the signers paint the same city-wide picture. Oropeza grabbed signatures from voters from dozens of different political wards all throughout the city. The signatures were so solid, that no opponent could challenge a single one. Oropeza said “ I circulated a large majority of these petitions myself because I wanted to be face to face with the voter to earn their vote, instead of just asking for it through a proxy”.
Oropeza is becoming so popular among voters that his opponent, the Philly GOP, is running 5 other candidates against him. Challengers Drew Murray and Jim Hasher ran in last November’s race, but the Philly GOP decided to put up 3 additional “blockers” who have no public profile and little to no city-wide name recognition in an attempt to crowd the ballot and skim votes from Oropeza. When asked about this strategy Oropeza took the high road. “These are the games in Philly that have put us in the dire position that we are in. I wish all the candidates well.I know how hard it is to run for public office, but at the end of the day, I believe the people of Philadelphia see how hard I’m working and will cast their votes for someone who will actually fight for Philly”.