Jeff Brown apologizes for controversial comments in an exclusive We Talk Weekly interview
Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jeff Brown has found himself in hot water after comments he made during a recent debate panel were criticized by opponents and residents alike. Brown was called out for his response to a question about the city’s waste disposal contracts and the environmental impact of the trash. When asked if he would keep or change the existing contracts, Brown replied, “Chester is Chester, I’m worried about Philadelphians.” This remark was seen as insensitive and dismissive by some, prompting calls for Brown to apologize.
In an interview with We Talk Weekly’s Charles Gregory, Brown sought to clarify his comments and explain his position. He emphasized that he did not mean to diminish the importance of Chester, but was simply stating that their self-governance should be respected. “At no time did I intend to offend a Chester,” Brown said. “What I meant is their self-governance. Their decisions are their decisions.” For Brown, City Hall’s place isn’t to interfere with Chester’s government.
Brown also pointed out that Chester’s waste disposal plant was a legal operation that employs thousands. The City’s contract with was signed by Mayor Kenney and all the former councilmembers who shared the dais with him that night. The current legal obligation meant that there was little he could do at the moment. “When the contract is up, we could rebid it. And then at that time we could also look at environmental impact.”
Still, Brown acknowledged the ecological impact of trash disposal and expressed his commitment to reducing his carbon footprint. “I’ve eliminated 90% of the trash in my ShopRite markets, we started with a program called Philly Food Rescue, where grocery stories donate surpluses to the Share food bank program. And we recycle on top of this so that we’re almost zero waste,” he said, adding “I’ve done an incredible job of reducing my carbon footprint.”
“I care about Chester and all the residents of Philadelphia. My focus is on finding the best solution for everyone while respecting each community’s autonomy. I apologize for any unintended offense caused by my comments.”
Brown thanked Charles Gregory and We Talk Weekly for providing him the platform to clarify his position – the only local media to give him an audience. Will it matter, so close to the Democratic primary? Regardless of Brown’s well-reasoned explanations, this dustup highlights his inexperience and poor communication skills.
And while he may have had good intentions, his dismissive tone towards Chester struck many as cold and disrespectful as well. With May 16th approaching fast, Brown needs to take every opportunity to reframe these narratives and demonstrate he’s got what it takes to succeed as Philadelphia’s next mayor, if he is to achieve his goal.
YOUR VOTE MATTERS THIS MAY! Please make your plan for Election Day, May 16th. See the Philadelphia Citizen for candidate info and voting locations in your area.
About We Talk Weekly
We Talk Weekly is an online organization dedicated to empowering women through engaging and informative content. The weekly podcast, hosted by four diverse and dynamic women, covers a wide range of topics relevant to modern women, such as career, relationships, wellness, and social issues.
The organization is also proud to have Charles Gregory as a frequent guest on their podcast. A celebrity stylist with 12+ years in broadcasting and video production, Charles is also owner/founder of HouseofCharlesGregory.com, a style and branding firm on the cutting edge of digital innovation.
A partner in WHYY’s N.I.C.E grassroots media collaborative, We Talk Weekly continues to be committed to creating a supportive and inclusive community where women can share their stories, connect with others, and gain inspiration and motivation to pursue their goals. Learn more at wetalkweekly.com.