We take issue with Iain Levison’s characterization of our June 8 rally outside City Hall against the mayor’s tax proposal – and with the photograph he attached to his piece.
We agree with Levison that the administration used children as props to pass a proposal that was much less about pre-K than advertised, but we also want to clarify the nature of the event and the size of our coalition.
The fact of the matter is that 300 to 400 people attended the rally to clearly express their opposition to the tax. They came from many races and walks of life – from grocery store owners to Teamsters to plant workers – but they were united by concern that this tax will harm Philadelphia families.
It’s difficult to get hundreds of supporters to take time off work to attend a mid-day Center City, but we were able to accomplish this because of the outrage that Philadelphians feel about this regressive tax on more than 1,000 common beverages.
Levison also only attended one event of a broad-ranging coalition with more than 30,000 members and 1,600 small businesses and local organizations. Dozens of opponents of the tax testified in multiple City Council hearings, and hundreds attended an earlier rally against the proposal.
By contrast, many fewer people attended rallies organized by the mayor to support his proposals, which match our poll results showing that 58 percent of Philadelphians oppose this tax.
Anthony Campisi is a spokesman for the No Philly Grocery Tax Coalition.