ABOVE PHOTO: Malcolm Kenyatta, Church of the Advocate Vicar Rev. Renee McKenzie-Hayward, Gov. Ed Rendell, Nick Bayer (CEO Saxby’s) (Photo: Kelly Burkhardt)
Candidate for State Rep. of 181st Dist. hosts fun-filled holiday reception
A reception for Malcolm Kenyatta, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s 181st Legislative District, drew a host of elected officials and community, civil rights, business and religious leaders to Saxby’s Headquarters, 2300 Chestnut Street, Wednesday, Dec. 19.
The event opened with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell introducing Kenyatta to an enthusiastic crowd that also included Church of the Advocate Vicar, Rev. Renee McKenzie-Hayward; civil rights activist Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania; Kevin Harden Jr., former head of the Barristers Association, and others.
“I spent eight years in Harrisburg, and I saw what a difference a legislator can make,” Rendell said. “Malcolm is perfect for the job. … His energy and passion are going to make a real difference for people in his district.”
A third-generation North Philadelphian and Temple University graduate, Kenyatta is the grandson of Muhammad Kenyatta, a civil rights activist who ran for mayor in 1975. He was overwhelmingly elected as a delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and most recently led the Chamber of Commerce’s diversity and inclusion initiative.
“Businesses like ours have to be at the core of the solution,” Nick Bayer, CEO for Saxby’s, said at the reception, speaking on the issue of income disparity. “The only way for that to happen is to have our elected officials like Malcolm represent their people so well that they can reach into the business community and get business people like us involved to provide those jobs, those careers, those changes in the lives of the people that he’s going to represent.”
Kenyatta told the reception crowd, “This campaign is simply about what our neighborhood can and should be. It’s about changing the trajectory of communities like ours that have been held back and held down, but not once have they ever given up.”
Pennsylvania’s primary election takes place May 15, 2018. The 181st District covers parts of North and North Central Philadelphia, West Poplar, Glenwood, Yorktown, Francisville, Northern Liberties and Kensington.