Pedro Rodriguez is known to the GFS community as a substitute Spanish teacher. Mr. Rodriguez, however, has much more on his mind than high school Spanish.
After the November election, Rodriguez is releasing a discussion paper describing a plan to bring a third party into City Council, the Green Party. “There are 120,000 voters who see themselves as independent, left wing progressives,” said Rodriguez. “All we need is 60,000 voters in the election who will vote for the three Green Party candidates to become the minority party into City Council.” Rodriguez’s paper will argue why this third party is needed. He is waiting for the presidential election to be over to release his paper so that there will be less distracting from his proposal.
The three Green Party candidates are not yet decided. Two would go to City Council and one would be eligible for the position of City Commissioner. Rodriguez agrees that these candidates must have wide appeal and must speak clearly about the issues. They would begin campaigning two years before the deciding election would take place. Rodriguez said that he would not likely become a candidate himself “because of my position in the city, I am limited and have other priorities, but I am not discounting it. But I can do academic exercises and theorize. I am able to put theories in papers for people to read and decide” if those ideas are good ones or not. “I do this because people have asked me what are the possibilities of a third party.”
The Green Party is described as a left wing, progressive party that wishes to bring more transparency to Philadelphia. The party’s platform includes such issues as Philadelphia School District policies, property taxes, attracting new industries to the city, retaining a young population in Philadelphia and improving sustainability. “The Republican Party is keeping our city corrupt,” said Rodriguez. Rodriguez noted that issues with the Parking Authority were an example of this corruption.
Mr. Rodriguez’s shared some of his personal ideas on how to keep young people in Philadelphia and said, “We must eliminate social barriers, cultivate the arts, and expand facilities for people to engage in.” He added that it is important to “beautify the waterfront and make housing affordable” and “progress in eliminating crime, violence and assault.”
Rodriguez will release his paper next month and hopes to begin signing people up in support of the Green Party.