Fighting for Safer Streets – Ban Ski Masks, Hold Gun Shops Accountable

We ended 2021 with 562 homicides and we just ended 2022 with 516 homicides. Philadelphians should not have to fear being the victim of a violent crime. Reducing violent crimes and crime in general requires a combination of strong non-bias prosecution, along with well-funded prevention programs. In addition, we must move to “Ban Ski Mask” in Philadelphia. The ski mask has emboldened criminals and provided them with a sense of security, in regards to making it more difficult to identify them by eyewitnesses  or cameras. 

We must hold gun shops that have a history of illegal sales and straw purchases of guns accountable. According to an examination of Pennsylvania firearms tracing data by the gun control group Brady, the most comprehensive analysis of its kind in decades: “From 2014 to 2020, six small retailers in south and northeast Philadelphia sold more than 11,000 weapons that were later recovered in criminal investigations or confiscated from owners who had obtained them illegally.” 

Given this research, we must put public pressure on these locations and find ways to better regulate how gun shops operate within our city limits. I will establish a Digital Town-Watch Program by providing cameras registered with the PPD Safe Cam program to commercial businesses and residents in key intersections throughout the 9th District. This will be very similar to the program that Atlantic City currently uses with great success.

I support increasing our police force to reflect the diversity of the demographic that they serve. Our police are out gunned and out manned. I will support all means and measures to grow a more diverse, highly trained, and well equipped police force. I fully support following all of the recommendations presented by the Controller’s Office, under former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. In addition, we need an elected police review board in every district to ensure public trust with the increase of officers.

My office will work with the District Attorney’s Office, the Philadelphia Police Department, State Police, and community stakeholders to help citizens in the 9th District to address neighborhood problems. This includes, but is not limited to, nuisance bars and stores, dangerous properties, public dumping, abandoned cars and houses, illegal parking, open air drug markets, businesses illegally serving minors, and neglectful landlords. 

We also must focus on the truancy problem in our schools. It is known that chronic truancy tends to lead to juveniles being involved in criminal activity. ‘55,586 of the 115,000 students in Philadelphia were chronically truant during the 2021-22 school year’, which is 48% of students based on the district’s records. We must use every resource available and ensure that our school district has the funding to decrease chronic truancy. Considering that we are experiencing an uptick in juvenile crime, I believe that engaging with the students that are frequently truant is the best way to prevent future criminal activity with these youth by getting them in programs or eventually holding the parents accountable by fines for their chronically truant child. 

Uptown Standard Newspaper Publisher James Williams entering the Democratic Primary for the 9th Council District

Real solutions based on experience and practice, not theory and talking points.   

PHILADELPHIA, PA– Uptown Standard Newspaper Publisher and Co-Founder will be seeking the Democratic Nomination for the 9th Council District. 

James Williams is a lifelong resident of the Cedarbrook section of Philadelphia, where he resides with his wife, Sheena. He is a graduate of Saint Raymond Grade School, Bishop McDevitt High School, and Cabrini University. 

James brings a wealth of experience and leadership into the race. He has served as a Constituent Services Representative in City Council in the Office of Councilman David Oh, where he was responsible for the Blue-Chip Initiative, the Youth Non-Profit Symposium, the Black Film Advisory Committee, and was Councilman Oh’s liaison to several Community Organizations and RCO’s in Northwest Philadelphia. He understands how to manage the core responsibilities of the office and the importance of providing quality constituent service from firsthand experience. 

His ability to lead is unquestionable; he was an NCAA Head Track & Field Coach for 15 years coaching at West Chester University, Gwynedd Mercy University, Cabrini University, and Cheyney University. While at Cabrini University, he was named the NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year twice. 

While at Cheyney, he was elected APSCUF Coaches Union President and At-Large Delegate. He handled members’ grievances with the universities leadership and fought for fair wages and employee rights. 

James understands the issues that Philadelphia is experiencing with Juvenile Crime; he has worked as a mental health worker in Philadelphia Schools and as a Youth Advocate for at-risk youths. In addition, he was the Director of Institutional Advancement at Bishop McDevitt HS and Martin Saints HS; he brings firsthand experience operating schools as a school administrator. He understands the needs of our schools and what it takes to raise the quality of education that we offer in our public schools.  

As the owner of the Uptown Standard Newspaper, on a regular basis, he hears the concerns of the residents and businesses in the 9th District. James has the experience to help solves these issues and address the concerns. From his experience as a successful small business owner, he knows how to help grow our small business economy and our commercial corridors.  

Please join us on Feb 18, 2023 from 7pm-9pm at the Commodore Barry Club for the James Williams for City Council Campaign Kickoff. 

For more information visit:

Our Youth: Education & Recreation

We need to allocate more resources to kids’ programming. We need more outlets for recreation and sports that are staffed, safe, and open to the public. In the 9th District through Private-Public partnerships, I plan to launch and fundraise for a Capital Campaign initiative to open an indoor track & field/sport performance training facility in the 9th District. This facility will be used for various youth & high school sports, summer camps, and academic enrichment.

We need to make sure that our schools have the resources to provide our children with the skills they need, not just academically, but in the trades and emerging industries. Our kids should leave our schools prepared for college or prepared to go straight into the workforce. We also must focus on our truancy problem in our schools. It is known that chronic truancy tends to lead to juveniles being involved in criminal activity. “55,586 of the 115,000 students in Philadelphia was chronically truant during the 2021-22 school year”, which is 48% of students based on the district’s records. We must use every resource available and ensure that our school district has the funding to decrease chronic truancy.

Clean Energy & Water

As one of the oldest cities in the US, we have one of the oldest water infrastructures in the country. Our water infrastructure has too many contaminants; such as lead, chromium 6, PFAS, and disinfection byproducts, making us a city that can not provide our citizens with safe drinking water.

We also must move to making solar and wind as our primary sources of energy instead of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels should be our last option, because solar and wind energy is safer for residents and the environment. This will allow us to have clean, reliable energy while lowering gas and electric bills.

We need to address these problems immediately with focused and impactful legislation and funding.

My Goals:
1. Ensure all food businesses and Philadelphia schools have water filtration, even for washing dishes.
2. Strictly holding PWD accountable in making sure they are exceeding federal guidelines and properly funding the Green City Clean Waters program.
3. Give tax incentives for businesses and residents to add solar panels and power walls.

For more information contact:

Commercial Corridors Revitalization Plan

As a small business owner on one of Philadelphia’s most vibrant commercial corridors, I understand the importance of strong community development corporations, progressive business taxes, smart zoning, supporting local small business owners, and protecting local business and their customers from being robbed.

My Goals:
1. Tax breaks for local businesses/landlords to switch to solar power.
2. Tax breaks for local businesses to add cameras and join the Safe Cam Program.
3. Tax breaks to local businesses to use other local businesses as vendors.
4. Provide more incentives for small businesses to compete for employees with large to mid-size businesses by providing tax incentives and grants. In addition, I want to expand the Pre-K program to employees who work in small businesses on our commercial corridors to send their children to childcare providers on the same corridor.
5. Provide more Grant funding to CDC for commercial corridors maintenance, cleaningguy, and snow removal. In addition, I want to replace PPA parking meters with 2 hour parking and CDC managed parking lots on our commercial corridors to stimulate local shopping and provide free parking for employees of corridor businesses. I want to encourage and make shopping on our commercial corridors safe and accessible.

For more information contact:

The Fight against Housing Inequality and Homelessness

I strongly oppose the Tax Abatement. If elected, I will do everything in my power to make sure that this unfair policy ends. We must restore equality in our housing market by passing legislation that establishes rent control and provides more market affordable housing for all Philadelphians. This includes creating sustainable permanent housing solutions for our homeless population. I will make sure zoning maintains the historical aesthetics of our neighborhoods in the 9th District.

My Goals:
1. End the Tax Abatement
2. Provide incentives for Market Affordable Housing
3. Rent Control based on the market.
4. Create sustainable permanent housing solutions for our homeless population.
5. Make sure zoning maintains the historical asthetics of our neighborhoods.

For more information contact:

James Williams Exploratory Committee Website

Philadelphia, PA- James Williams for Philadelphia’s 9th Councilmatic District Exploratory Committee Announces New Campaign Website.

“The web is a great tool for engaging voters to gauge their support for the possibility of my candidacy,” said Williams

“This site was created to address the most important issues facing the 9th District.”

“As the site grows, we will be adding additional news
and information about the campaign and addressing the 9th District’s issues that matter most to voters.”

More information about James Williams can be found at:

This site includes biographical information, a calendar of upcoming events, and his position on many of the important issues affecting Philadelphia’s 9th District.

For more information contact:

James Williams Exploring run for the 9th Councilmatic District

Philadelphia, PA- After much personal discernment and an abundance of support from my wife Sheena, I have decided to launch an Exploratory Committee to explore entering the 2023 Democratic Primary for Philadelphia’s 9th District.

With all of the issues facing our city and our neighborhood, I feel that my experience as: a Council Staffer in City Hall, a small business owner in one of Northwest Philadelphia’s busiest commercial corridors, a newspaper publisher in Uptown Philadelphia, a behavior health worker in Philadelphia’s public schools, and a Union Delegate at Cheyney University would be beneficial to moving the 9th District and the city forward.

During this period, I will talk to my neighbors and local business owners in the 9th District to hear their issues and concerns. My decision will not be about how much support I can garner from the Philadelphia political elites, instead will be based on how much support I can garner from the people of the 9th District.


For more information contact: