Candidate Profile: Art Haywood for Pennsylvania State Senate District 4
While many Political Revolution candidates are either political newcomers or seeking to move to a higher seat, we are also supporting incumbents. For the Pennsylvania State Senate District 4, which represents parts of Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, we have Art Haywood.
Art has spent his career supporting low-income neighborhoods and revitalization programs. He has worked as a housing attorney at Regional Housing Legal Services and Community Legal Services. His work has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Art believes in creating a Pennsylvania that works for all. Through his co-sponsorships, he has demonstrated his support for a livable wage of $15 an hour. It is true that he formerly supported raising the wage from $7.25 to $11, but nationwide support for the Fight for 15 has grown exponentially in the last couple of years. As a strong supporter of unions, Art has paid attention to the needs of all types of workers. This includes his support for a single-payer healthcare system which many unions support.
On education, Art believes in issuing a severance tax on fossil fuel drillers in order to expand public education funding. He opposes charter school voucher systems, supporting an alternative method of payment. For this issue and others, Art believes in the cooperation between legislative and community powers. Developing an excellent public school system does not only occur from the government or the community exclusively, but by both working together. This was his philosophy when he was elected to the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners in 2009.
Furthermore, Senator Haywood sponsors summer reading camps for Philadelphia recreation centers and his office offers weekly government assistance to district residents in public spaces.
Art is a supporter in the fight against gun violence and banning semi-automatic rifles. In 2017, he also advocated for a special prosecutor in cases of a police shooting. He believes that the attorney general’s office should be responsible for handling this, as they are typically more independent than the police departments who usually investigate their own members. He clarifies that this is not meant to purposely find officers guilty, but to provide a strong layer of independence and transparency.
Senator Haywood did not receive much support from the Democratic establishment. He was known as a “protest candidate”. Through a grassroots effort of knocking on doors and speaking with the district, Haywood and his supporters made his “Campaign for Compassion” into a State Senate seat. Art is bringing this campaign to support Democrats across the State of Pennsylvania by founding Turn PA Blue. Art believes in having conversations with our neighbors and engaging them with the issues that matter most to Pennsylvanians. When we do this and when we support candidates who will stand up for working and middle-class people, Art’s mission will again become a reality.