Latest in a series of posts on candidates for election
Candidate for City Council incumbent Bryan Callahan at the Lehigh Valley for All “Meet the Candidates” event February 17.
As many of you know, I am a long-time educator in the Bethlehem Area School District. I teach at Northeast Middle School. I have been a union member my whole entire life. My very first job was in Local 54 down in Atlantic City. When I was in college I was a member down there. And then when I became a teacher I became a building rep at Freedom High School. And then after I became the building rep, I became the vice-president for the BEA for the high schools, for Liberty and Freedom. I have also owned and operated a very successful small business here in Bethlehem for the last 12 years, and I am supported by a very long list of local unions . . . You know, all the building trades and many of the other unions in the City of Bethlehem and in the Lehigh Valley are long-time supporters of mine. Probably the most proudest thing I’ve done in my life is, unfortunately, a lot of you know that I lost my wife Lucia to cancer 14 years ago. I had a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old at the time, and I’m so proud of them. I raised two great kids and have been very successful and are doing very well in their lives. And that’s really the crowning achievement of my life. You know, that I got them through the disaster of losing their mom. And it was a tough thing to do for the first 4-5 years, bit once they started getting off and driving and getting off on there own, things started easing off a little bit. And that’s really my pride and joy. I have B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations. I have a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. I also have my Masters in Education. I was the chair of the Finance Committee, Community and Economic Development, and Human Resources, and I’ve been on Public Works also. I am also on the Bethlehem Mental Health Board which I sit on. I will be running for my third term on City Council. As many of you know, I have a great love for and passion for our city. I’m a Nitschmann Lion and Liberty Hurricane till the day I die. There is a perception and an idea by a few people in our City that all that good that has happened in our City over the last 20 years was just inevitable. And they think that the rebirth and renaissance our City has been through in the past 20 years . . . that simply is not true. There are countless cities littered and scattered through the northeast and the midwest of the Unites States where progressive, forward thinking and leadership did not happen. I am proud of my years in service on City Council. I will finish up by saying that in the years I’ve been on I passed the wage equality ordinance that prevents the perpetuation of gender-based wage inequality, and I also proposed and passed the no gifts ban that prohibits City Council members from accepting gifts from those trying to influence public policy, along with improvements to the Rose Garden and the Municipal Golf Course and more funding for ADA ramps. Next month I’ll be bringing forward a new ordinance that give local businesses, especially minority, female, and veteran-owned businesses advantage in the bidding process in local jobs. . . . I also supported, and this is something I am extremely proud of, I probably gave more money to Democrats in Northampton-Lehigh county, good, hard-working progressive Democrats, than any candidate in the City. I take great pride in trying to help people out financially, so we can get those people elected to office.
There are 6 candidates running for 4 seats on City Council. The other candidates are Grace Crampsie Smith, Hillary Kwiatek, Rachel Leon, Adam Waldron, Kiera Wilhelm.