Our Revolution, a leading grassroots-funded progressive political organizing group, handed out a pair of key endorsements on Monday night to Helen Gym for mayor of Philadelphia and Rep. Sara Innamorato for Allegheny County Executive.
“These are two incredible progressive women who are building power in cities with a real chance to win,” said Aaron Chappell, political director for the organization. “They’ve both shown an incredible capacity to stand up on issues that are important to progressives.
“We’re not a money organization,” said Chappell. “We’re a person organization. We’ll be working to turn out nearly 100,000 members in Philadelphia and Allegheny County to propel them to victory and deliver progressive change.”
Gym, the former City Councilwoman, was once known as Philadelphia’s “preeminent public agitator.” A former teacher, she spent years advocating for improved public schools and was active in the city’s Asian-American community. Gym is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has also received endorsements from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFSCME District Council 47, and the Jane Fonda Climate PAC.
“I’m standing here because of the work that Our Revolution has done all over the country,” she said. “What we know is that voters don’t want a return to politics of old. We know what’s at stake in these municipal elections, especially here in Philly. We have a chance to elect a mayor who is actually going to deliver on the promise of public education, of having criminal justice reform be on the ballot, making sure that large corporations don’t run city halls and that we actually deliver a vision for housing, justice for all, and for equality.
“This isn’t just an endorsement to me. Bernie Sanders stood with me when Hahnemann Hospital closed down after a greedy private equity vulture just ran that public hospital into the ground. You reminded us that this work is about what connects all of us together. That the fights here in Philadelphia are echoed throughout the country.
“We’re going up against two self-funding multimillionaires with a people’s movement that’s not just ready to take on City Hall but to take on the entrenched status quo politics that have held people down too long.”
Innamorato, a third term state representative from Allegheny County, is a member of the House Finance, Labor and Industry, Transportation, and Urban Affairs committees, and on the boards of the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Allegheny County Housing Authority. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Innamorato has proposed that the Allegheny County executive and all county employees should be banned from receiving gifts as part of their government duties. She has also been endorsed by SEIU BJ32 and the Jane Fonda Climate PAC.
“When the rubber meets the road, it is local government that gets to be progressive and be effective,” she said. “It’s local government that gets to make the changes in people’s lives here in Allegheny County. We make them real, tangible for the people we represent. We show people what is possible and how we build a better world and what that better world looks like in their day-to-day lives.
“Governing is a team sport. No one elected official does this work alone. It requires building coalitions within the halls of government. We’re achieving political alignment in that sense, so we’re all rowing in the same direction. And we all got there because of grassroots organizing. We got there because thousands of people donated $5, $10, $50. We got there because we made tens of thousands of phone calls. And you can’t do it without the work of the entire community.”
Our Revolution, originally launched by Sen. Bernie Sanders, backed a pair of successful Pennsylvania candidates in 2022 – Rep. Summer Lee in the 12th Congressional District and Sen. John Fetterman for the U.S. Senate.
It is a 501(c)(4) organization and tax exempt according to the Internal Revenue Code. These “social welfare” groups are permitted to engage in partisan political campaign activity and lobbying, as long as it’s not their “primary” purpose or activity. And when these groups spend money on politics, they report that spending to the FEC. These (c)(4) groups do not have to publicly report who originally gave them the money. The identity of those donors remains private.