Campaign Cleanup

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.”

He continued:

“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, 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

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  1. Sure we should take the word of a guy who told West Philadelphians he wasn’t going to increase the number of police and the police budget. Then turns around and tell Philadelphian’s in the Northeast that it was his number one priority to do the exact opposite. That he was going to increase the number of police and increase the police budget. Sure that’s all believe that guy.At least Cherelle Brown had the guts to be honest with us and tell us flat out ahe eas going to do the same things done for generations in our community. To little positive affect.

    • Yeah I don’t think this is going to change any minds either. I did kind of appreciate though how a lot of the other candidates had literally signed the trash contact they were only too happy to roast Jeff over. As far as hypocrisy goes that’s *chef’s kiss*

      • Yeah, I’m seeing too much hypocrisy in the Mayor’s race, and if hypocrisy isn’t quite the right word, perhaps political incompetence would be a better fit. So much of the nonsense I hear is just stupid unforced errors that even rookies in the political arena should know better than to make.

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