Americans for Democratic Action Southeastern Pennsylvania congratulates the candidates who won Democratic nomination in the May 16th primary election.

ADA endorsed Larry Krasner for District Attorney given his civil rights litigation record and campaign platform centered on criminal justice reform, including reversing mass incarceration, eliminating cash bail for nonviolent offenders, a practice which effectively criminalizes being poor, and correcting the abuses of civil asset forfeiture. ADA and its members will continue organizing around the progressive vision presented by Krasner and working to make Philadelphia a safer and more equitable and just city.

ADA has long been a strong advocate for ethical and accountable government. Rebecca Rhynhart, the Democratic nominee for City Controller, has pledged to increase government transparency and efficiency by releasing expenditure data to the public and annually auditing each city department. ADA supports these measures and looks forward to Rhynhart delivering on these promises of a more open and effective city government.

The following candidates for judge were endorsed by ADA and won Democratic nomination:

Superior Court
Carolyn H Nichols
Geoffrey Moulton
Maria McLaughlin
Debbie Kunselman.

Commonwealth Court
Ellen Ceisler

Court of Common Pleas
Stella Tsai
Vikki Kristiansson
Lucretia Clemons

Municipal Court
Matt Wolf
Marissa Brumbach

Judicial races tend to receive less attention than others. ADA assists voters by conducting thorough reviews of judicial candidates and offering endorsements. Given the extensive evaluation processes taken on by the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association, ADA does not consider judicial candidates who have not been recommended or highly recommended by the associations.



Endorsements for the May 16, 2017 Primary Election

Americans for Democratic Action Southeastern PA has endorsed the following candidates in the May 16, 2017 primary election.

District Attorney
#57 Larry Krasner

City Controller
#62 Alan Butkovitz

Superior Court
#2 Carolyn H Nichols
#3 Geoffrey Moulton
#4 Maria McLaughlin
#5 Debbie Kunselman

Commonwealth Court
#9 Ellen Ceisler
#10 Todd Eagen

Court of Common Pleas
#13 Stella Tsai
#14 Vikki Kristiansson
#16 John Macoretta
#24 Daniel R Sulman
#29 Wendi Barish
#30 Leonard Deutchman
#32 Jennifer Schultz
#36 David Conroy
#40 Lucretia C Clemons

Municipal Court
#44 Matt Wolf
#45 Marissa Brumbach


Philadelphia Ballot Questions

Question #1: “Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the award of certain contracts based on best value to the City?”

Recommended Vote: No

Question #2: “Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation of a Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission to be charged with recommending coordinated community reinvestment strategies for the City of Philadelphia by identifying opportunities for public, private, and philanthropic entities to collaborate and leverage their resources for the public good?”

Recommended Vote: Yes


ADA Annual Membership Meeting

The Membership Meeting of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of ADA has been scheduled for the evening of April 17th at the William Way LGBT Community Center. This is a combined biannual Membership Meeting as required by our bylaws and an open public event. Senator Daylin Leach, the new National President of Americans for Democratic, will be speaking during the public portion of the meeting.

More information


President Hillary Clinton #101
Vice Pres. Tim Kaine
U.S. Senate Katie McGinty # 102

PA Statewide Offices
Attorney General
Josh Shapiro #103
Auditor General Eugene Pasquale #104
State Treasurer Joe Torsella#105

U.S. Congress #106
District 2 Dwight Evans #106
District 7 Mary Ellen Balchunis #106
District 8 Steve Santarsiero #106

PA State Senate #107
District 1 Lawrence Farnese #107
District 9 Martin Molloy #107
District 16 Nancy Dean #107
District 17 Daylin Leach #108

PA State Representative #108
District 61 Robert Wilkerson #108
District 146 Joe Ciresi #108
District 161 Leanne Krueger-Braneky #108
District 177 Joe Hohenstein #108
District 182 Brian Sims
District 183 Phillip Armstrong #108
District 200 Chris Rabb #108
District 202 Jared Solomon #108
District 188 James Roebuck #108

Ballot Question: Mandatory Judicial Retirement Age (Statewide)
Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75?

Vote NO. Please note: this would be a change from the current retirement age of 70.

Ballot Question: City Bond (Philadelphia Only)
Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED EIGHT-FOUR MILLION THREE HUNDRED THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($184,303,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Vote YES.

ADA of Southeastern PA gives Hillary Clinton our wholehearted and unreserved support for President. As President Obama said at the Democratic Convention, she is more qualified than he or Bill Clinton ever were. Her experience as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State gives her a deep understanding of both domestic and foreign issues.

As qualified and smart as she surely is, she will be as stymied as President Obama

has been if we do not elect a Democratic Senate. Electing Katie McGinty is key to Democratsgetting back control of the Senate and thus allowing Hillary to appoint new members to the Supreme Court.

The next president will no doubt have the opportunity to nominate several new justices who then must be confirmed by Senate Democrats if we are to secure women’s rights, voter rights, Obama care, preservation of the environment, regulation of business and a chance to overturn Citizens United. We cannot overemphasize the critical importance the Supreme Court will have on our future and that of our children and grandchildren.

Help get out the vote for the progressive slate of candidates ADA has endorsed at all levels of government.

Hillary Clinton:

Katie McGinty
Phone: 215-253-6220 (Philadelphia)
Email: [email protected]
Volunteer Requests: [email protected]

For Hillary and Katie:
Neighborhood Networks and Move On (Philadelphia and suburbs)

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers 


ADA Civil Rights Commemoration Event

Photo gallery:

Press coverage:

Congressman John Lewis Honored In Philadelphia | CBS Philly

Civil rights icon finds Trump goals frighteningly familiar | Newsworks


On July 27th, ADA Commemorates the 1948 Civil Rights Plank with U.S. Representative John Lewis (GA)

US Rep John LewisThis free event commemorates the adoption of a strong civil rights plank at the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. U.S. Representative John Lewis, former President of ADA, will discuss the relevancy of the 1948 plank to contemporary civil rights issues.

1948 marked the last occasion when the Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia. ADA had been founded 18 months before and the Philadelphia Chapter was among the first and strongest organized. It is with pride that we look back at the important role our local leaders played in persuading the young Hubert Humphrey, an ADA member, to introduce a strong civil rights plank at the convention. As the Democratic Party again holds its convention in our city, it is fitting that we come together to highlight our past success and discuss how we might, working together, have success in the future.

Host Committee: Thomas Paine Cronin, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., William J. Green, III, Henry Nicholas, Michael Nutter, Edward Rendell, John Street, Shelly Yanoff.

Ticketleap Registration

Donate or Sponsor the Event



2016 Pennsylvania Primary Endorsements & Recommendations

The National Board of Americans for Democratic Action, the nation’s most experienced liberal advocacy group, has announced that ADA has voted overwhelmingly to endorse for
Democratic nomination for President of the United States: Senator Bernie Sanders

Monday, April 4th, the Board of Americans for Democratic Action, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, made its endorsements in the April 26th Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. ADA did not endorse in races in which the Democratic candidate has no primary opposition. ADA is a nonpartisan organization and sometimes endorses in Republican primary elections, however, there are no Republican primary elections in which ADA has an interest. You may view all questionnaires submitted by candidates here.

Pennsylvania Attorney General: Josh Shapiro

U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania: Joe Sestak

U.S. Congress, 2nd Pennsylvania District: Dwight Evans

U.S. Congress, 7th Pennsylvania District: Mary Ellen Balchunis

Pennsylvania State Senate, 1st District: Lawrence Farnese

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 182nd District: Brian Sims

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 183rd District: Phillips Armstrong, Sr.

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 190th District: Movita Johnson-Harrell

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 200th District: Christopher Rabb

Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 202th District: Jared Solomon

Ballot Question Recommendations

On postcards mailed to our members, we apologize for omitting the statewide ballot question to amend the mandatory judicial retirement age.

Statewide Ballot

On the Proposed Constitutional Amendment, Amending the Mandatory Judicial Retirement Age

ADA recommends a “NO” vote

On the Proposed Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendment, Abolition of the Philadelphia Traffic Court

ADA recommends a “YES” vote

Philadelphia Ballot

Philadelphia Question#3: On the Proposed Charter Change Question, “Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation, appointment, powers and duties of an independent Commission on African American Males, which would study and recommend responses to challenges facing African-American males in Philadelphia?
ADA recommends a “NO” vote
While we see the value of such a commission and support its creation, our position has always been that these matters do not belong in the Charter are best left to legislation and executive action.

Democratic Primary Candidate Forum

2nd Congressional District

Candidates: Dwight Evans, Chaka Fattah (incumbent), Brian Gordon, Dan Muroff James Jones

Moderator: Holly Otterbein

Thursday, March 10th 7 pm (doors open at 6:15 pm)

William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia

Open to the public

Co-Sponsors: Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, Philadelphia NOW, Philly for Change


Global Refugee Crisis Flier 3 2015


Press Release from the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia

Global Refugee Crisis, Philadelphia’s Response

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania-December 1, 2015. On December 10th, 2015, the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia (UNAGP), will host* a discussion on the Global Refugee Crisis, Philadelphia’s Response. The keynote speaker will be Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The program will be from 6 to 8:30 pm at The Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 Rittenhouse Square.

Also, from 5 to 5:45 PM there will be an Interfaith Prayer Vigil in support of refugees in Rittenhouse Square sponsored by the Interfaith Peace Walk, Grannies for Peace and New Sanctuary Movement.

According to UNHCR, there are nearly 11.7 million refugees in the world today including more than 4 million from Syria. This does not include over 1 million asylum seekers and 24 million persons displaced in their own countries. This ongoing humanitarian crisis, the largest since World War II, has now been complicated by recent terrorist attacks and varying responses by politicians. The Program on December 10 will focus on these issues and ways Philadelphia can be part of the humanitarian response to it.

Ms. Mason will be joined on the panel by two local experts: Carrie Fox-Kline, Director of Refugee Programming and Planning, HIAS-Pennsylvania and Juliane Ramic, Senior Director for Refugee and Community Integration, Nationalities Services Center.

UNAGP annually celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10. It recognizes the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and honors the tremendous leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt in gaining its approval by the United Nations in 1948.

 *This event is co-sponsored by Amnesty International-Philadelphia, Middle East Center-University of Pennsylvania, HIAS-Pennsylvania, Nationalities Services Center, New Sanctuary Movement, Africom Philly, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, Brandywine Peace Community, PA Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and The Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia.

For further information contact: Bob Groves of UNAGP ( at [email protected] or 267-973-3265.



Letter in Support of NOW Petition to remove Three Asst. District Attorneys

December 1, 2015

To Whom it May Concern,

Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern PA joins the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, all the City Councilwomen of Philadelphia, and many progressive civic organizations in demanding the ouster of Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Blessington, Marc Costanzo, and Frank Fina.

While employed by the state and before they were hired by the Philadelphia District Attorney, Blessington, Costanzo, and Fina exchanged e-mails — racist, misogynistic, and homophobic – among themselves and others, including judges. By engaging in this activity, they manifested contempt for well over half the citizens they were appointed to serve impartially.

We believe it is clear that they should not continue to serve citizens they hold in such disdain. Their conduct in sending these e-mails has brought the entire criminal justice system into question, and raises concern about their judgment in all aspects of their work. Can African Americans, members of the LGBT community, and women, whether they are victims or possible criminal actors, feel secure that their matters will be investigated fairly and impartially? We think not.

The criminal justice system must be above reproach. The public must have absolute assurance that the system acts with probity and integrity.

District Attorney Seth Williams was elected to serve all of the people. He has the power, and the responsibility, to mitigate this problem. He should immediately demand the resignations of Fina, Costanzo and Blessington.

Very truly yours,

Glenavie Norton, Chair
Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern PA



Please Join ADA in signing this petition.

“The Women of City Council of Philadelphia have stood with Phila-NOW to express solidarity and join us in denouncing the dissemination of the misogynistic, racist and homophobic emails by prosecutors and have unequivocally demanded the removal of these three prosecutors from the Philadelphia DA’s Office. State Senator Anthony H. Williams also convened community leaders to express outrage regarding the compromised judicial system in Pennsylvania, and is asking for a special Prosecutor to be appointed by the Attorney General. He is encouraging everyone to sign the Philadelphia NOW petition. We ask all of you to sign our petition to remove Assistant DA’s: Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo & Patrick Blessington from the DA’s office so we can restore public trust in that office.”



Congratulations to ADA Board Members on Kenney Transition Team Positions



Congratulations to board members Pedro Rodriguez, Andy Toy, and Marwan Kreidie for being named to Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team.

Marwan Kreidie as Co-Chair of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.
Pedro Rodriguez as Co-Chair of City Administrative Services.
Andy Toy part of Commerce and Economic Development.


ADA would also like to congratulate former board members Numa St. Louis and Kay Kyungsun for also being named to Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team.



Candidate Recommendations for November 3, 2015 General Election

Your vote for all three Democratic Supreme Court candidates is vital for school funding, voter rights, redistricting, prison/sentencing reform, & other issues critical to the future of PA.

Supreme Court:
#101 David Wecht
#102 Kevin Dougherty
#103 Christine Donohue

PA Superior Court:
#104 Alice Dubrow

PA Commonwealth Court:
#105 Michael Wojcik

Common Pleas Court Phila:
#106 Kenneth Powell
#107 Kai Scott
#109 Abbe Fletman
#112 Rainy Papademetriou
#115 Chris Mallios

# 121 Jim Kenney

City Council At-Large:
#126 Derek Green
#129 William Greenlee
#130 Helen Gym
#426 Kristen Combs
#826 Andrew Stober

7th District City Council:
#131 Maria Quinones-Sanchez

Retention Election:
ADA urges a “No” vote on Judge Dawn Segal.

Ballot Question #1:
ADA strongly supports LGBT rights, but believes this is a legislative/administrative action that does not belong in the Charter.

Ballot Question #2:
Vote Yes

Bond Issue:
Vote Yes



PHONE BANKS for Progressive Supreme Court Candidates David Wecht, Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty

Land Title Building
office of America Votes
100 S. Broad St., Ste. 701
Philadelphia 19102


  • Monday, October 19, 6 to 8 pm
  • Thursday, October 22, 6 to 8 pm
  • Tuesday, October 27, 6 to 8 pm
  • Sunday, November 1, 2 to 5 pm

Please bring your cellphones and your laptops.

We will provide training and light refreshments

Tell us if you cannot come but are willing to make calls from your home. 


Contact person:
Glenavie Norton
[email protected]
267 879-0208 (c)
215 235-3719 (h)

Merit Selection Bill in the House Needs Your Active Support

On June 15, 2015, Lynn Marks of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) notified the ADA board that House Bill 1336, a constitutional amendment to select statewide appellate court judges through a merit selection process, was introduced in the house. This bill is sponsored by Representatives Bryan Cutler (R-Peachbottom) and Madeleine Dean (D- Montgomery).

These legislators, along with Reform Coalition partners and PMC/PMCAction executive director Lynn A. Marks, have worked tirelessly in Harrisburg and across Pennsylvania to garner support for this essential reform.

As an organization which has long supported merit selection and as a PMC Court Reform Coalition Partner, ADA strongly supports this effort.  

Please take these steps to demonstrate your support:   

Contact your legislator and members of the House Judiciary Committee. Tell them how important merit selection of statewide appellate court judges is to you.

For more information about the specifics of the bill click HERE.

For more information about why we need merit selection, check out the PMC blog Judges on Merit.

To follow the progress of the bill, use this link:







Primary Election

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Polls open 7 AM – 8PM

From the Chair
Glenavie Norton

ADA believes that it is critical to elect the most qualified judges and have only considered candidates found “recommended” or “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. We want to make sure that those we endorse possess the integrity, knowledge, experience and temperament for serving as judges.   We especially want to have the most qualified candidates possible to face off next fall for the 3 Supreme Court vacancies since electing Democrats to that court will be vital to future legislative redistricting.

In Philadelphia, we have endorsed Jim Kenney for Mayor. He has demonstrated his commitment on a wide range of concerns that ADA supports from welcoming immigrants, supporting universal pre-k, opposing school vouchers, decriminalizing marijuana, to approving gay marriage and raising the minimum wage.  These positions reflect a strong track record in making Philadelphia a city that works for all its citizens, especially those historically disadvantaged who rely on public officials and public policy to level the playing field.
Although we found there were an unusual group of worthy candidates for city council at large, we have only endorsed four. We also recommend voting only for Carol Jenkins for City Commissioner.

We urge you to vote and please remind your friends and colleagues to do so as well.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court (vote 3):

  • #1 Judges David Wecht
  • #3 Kevin Dougherty
  • #5 Anne E. Lazarus

Pennsylvania Superior Court (vote 1):

  • #7 Judge Alice Beck Dubow

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (vote 1):

  • #9 Judge Todd Eagen

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court (vote 12):

  • #12 Ken Powell
  • #18 Brian T. Ortelere
  • #21 Jennifer Schultz
  • #22 Rainy Papademetriou
  • #23 Abbe Fletman
  • #28 Leon A. King II
  • #30 Anthony Kyriakakis
  • #35 Stella Tsai
  • #36 Kai Scott
  • #42 Jodi Lobel
  • #44 Betsy Wahl
  • #46 Chris Mallios
  • #51 Chris McCabe

Philadelphia Municipal Court (vote 3):

  • #56 Joffie C. Pittman
  • #57 Matthew Perks
  • #63 Daniel R. Sulman

Philadelphia Mayor:

  • #68 Jim Kenney

Philadelphia City Commissioner (vote 2):

  • # 76 Carol Jenkins

Philadelphia City Council-at-Large (vote 5):

  • #93 Sherrie Cohen
  • #94 William K. Greenlee
  • #95 Helen Gym
  • #99 W. Wilson Goode, Jr.

Philadelphia City Council District 7:

  • #101 Maria Quinones Sanchez

Philadelphia Charter Amendments:

  • ADA made no recommendation because we believe these are legislative/administrative matters that do not belong in the Charter.





Philly ADA’s Supreme Court Forum


We at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action welcome you to attend our upcoming mayoral forum at the The Friends Center located at 1515 Cherry Street on March 10th from 7 to 9 PM.

This event is free and open to the public; however, we politely request there be no solicitation of funds for political or campaign purposes.

We look forward to meeting you and the next mayor of Philadelphia.

phillyada banner

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is one of the oldest liberal political organizations in the country, founded in 1947 by progressive leaders spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt and Hubert Humphrey.

From the drafting of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter in 1951 to the movement to recall Mayor Frank Rizzo, the history of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of ADA is the history of progressive politics in the Philadelphia region. We continue as a leading local watchdog for Progressive Values, Good Government and the Advancement of Democracy.