Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sometimes the good guys win!

On January 10, I attended the robing ceremony for newly elected Judge of Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, Giovanni Campbell. I had worked for his election and was so happy that the candidate I strongly supported actually won. (So often, that’s not the case.)

I have long been opposed to Philly’s deeply flawed method of selecting judges. But sometimes somebody really good manages to get through this awful process.

It was a truly inspirational ceremony with moving testimonials to Judge Campbell from his colleagues. And all my friends in the political world were there celebrating. Although we agree on values and issues, we sometimes have serious disagreements about which candidate can best advance those issues. Giovanni Campbell’s campaign was a real unifier. Everybody in the Philadelphia progressive community supported Giovanni!

We might as well enjoy this brief moment of unity because it looks like we are not going to be unified in the upcoming gubernatorial race. When I asked a good friend whose opinion I really respect who he was supporting, he said, “Well, I’ll tell you who I’m not supporting, who’s at the bottom of my list.” It turned out to be the person I’m leaning towards supporting. The conversation with my good friends made it clear to me that my candidate didn’t have much support in the progressive community--at least not much support among this group of committed progressives. For me, one of the hardest parts of electoral politics is dealing with sharp disagreements about candidates with good friends I work with in progressive/ feminist organizations.

But we were all together celebrating Giovanni Campbell’s victory. There was general agreement that his judicial career would go beyond the Court of Common Pleas. The federal bench? The PA Supreme Court?

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