Democratic leaders, protestors on site at Mastriano’s rally in North Philly
Rep. Danilo Burgos, Sen. Sharif Street, and Quetcy Lozada were among the crowd protesting the Republican gubernatorial candidate.
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PA Republican Gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano held his first rally in the city in North Philadelphia today at the Deja Vu Social Club. Along with the rally it was also a meeting between Mastriano and Hispanic business owners in a town hall, hosted by Small Business Union, Inc.
The state gubernatorial race is heating up as election day is now a little over a month away.
Democratic candidate Attorney General Josh Shapiro, according to the latest polls from WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill, is leading Mastriano by more than 10 points. Shapiro has extended his lead, as he held just a three point advantage in August.
In the poll of 1,000 likely state voters, Shapiro received 50.6% support which is more than 10% higher than Mastriano, at 40.5%. About 6.5% said they were undecided while 2.3% picked a third-party candidate.
Across the street from the Deja Vu Social Club, city Democratic leaders spoke out against Mastriano’s visit, as he met with a majority Latino crowd inside the club. A protest of over 20 individuals started outside of the club with microphones and loud chants going after the Republican state senator.
In what Shapiro’s camp has labeled Mastriano’s “No Comment Express,” the Republican candidate is under fire for his extremism and dangerous political agenda. In all other state visits thus far, media has had a tough time getting a chance to ask him any questions. Philly leaders Sen. Sharif Street, Rep. Danilo Burgos, and Quetcy Lozada gathered outside the venue and denounced Mastriano’s visit.
During the counter press conference held across the street, Burgos spoke on what it would mean if Mastriano were to win on Nov. 8.
“ If by any chance Mastriano does win, it will be going back in time, it will mean destroying what we have been working for for the past eight years through Governor Wolf,” he said.
Burgos also rought up what dangers lie ahead for residents of the state if Mastriano were to come into power regarding education, abortion, and voting rights.
“It will mean defunding our schools. It will mean women losing their rights to their health care. It will mean possibly having to show proof to be able to vote,” he said. “Going back in time for me, means destroying my community, continuing to rely on my community, and continuing to disenfranchise my community. I do not accept that and I will not stand for it. And neither will my community.”
As the protest grew in size and volume, they’re message became more unified.
Daniel Alvalle, Pennsylvania State Director of CASA, reiterated some of Burgos' same points in an interview with AL DÍA.
“It's clear as day that Mastriano is not for the people. He’s not for the rights of the people. We're talking about someone who their top 10 things is to make abortion a crime and he wants to take away the rights of women. He wants to cut education funding to the most impacted in hybrid schools,” said Alvalle. “He does not represent the people, especially people of color.”
Mastriano’s campaign representatives also spoke to AL DÍA prior to the event inside the venue and said the senator has been recently speaking more to the Latino community and that he has received a great reception from them.
When asked about the campaign’s claims, Alvalle called them “false promises.”
“He's never been for these communities, never been for the at-risk communities. He hasn't done anything for us in the past and there's no expectation that he's going to do anything for the Latino community in the future,” he said.
Alvalle also mentioned that Mastriano has not reached out to his organization for any dialogue.
Candidate for Philly City Council’s District 7 Quetcy Lozada expressed similar opposing sentiments against the Republican gubernatorial candidates and what his presence in the Latino community shows. She said Mastriano “represents everything that is wrong with our community.”
State Senator Sharif Street, who has represented the 3rd district since 2017, worked with Mastriano during their time in the state senate and relayed some of his experiences with the Republican’s voting record, especially regarding gun violence.
“Mastriano has voted against the reporting of law. He is opposed to the reporting of lost and stolen handguns. He has voted to have open carry to put more guns on our streets, even in the midst of the death that's going on right now in our communities,” said Street. “He has done nothing to make our community safer, but grandstands about we have deaths in our community.”
Street also went after Mastriano’s involvement in the January 6 insurrection and the pandering for immigrant and Latino votes.
“Mastriano marched with racists and white supremacists on January 6. He paid for people to go to the insurrection. Yet he comes here and asks for our votes when he has disrespected us and has already talked about decertifying voting machines in the city,” said Street. “He's targeting the votes of our people. They don't understand what we deal with. They are people who rail against immigrants, and then come into a community full of people with family members who have immigrated.”
Following the counter press conference, back across the street outside of the Deja Vu Social Club, the Mastriano protest continued and could be heard from inside the club where Mastriano supporters and his camp tried to carry on. The Republican nominee did not arrive for another hour or so and even then, the protests carried on.
“When we fight, we win!” the protestors chanted.
Election Day is Nov. 8.