Man in the Movement

Andre Carroll energizes progressive voters with his 2024 bid for PA State Rep in the 201st District.   

In 2022, Andre Carroll was the young Germantown activist and a candidate for PA State Representative who almost upset ten-year incumbent Stephen Kinsey by winning 43% of the district’s vote, despite never having run for office before. In 2024, he’s taking another shot!

Andre announced his run December 9th to enthusiastic supporters at Our House Culture Center. Speaking to a multi-racial, multi-generational crowd, he shared challenges he faced growing up in a single-parent household, and also of his own life as a gay Black man. Raised by his grandmother on a fixed income, with both parents absent due to addiction and incarceration, his lived experience resonates with voters and helps inform his policy-making.

Andre champions affordable housing, accessible healthcare, fully-funded schools, and equal rights & protections for LGBTQ+ folks. He’s worked in Philadelphia schools, non-profits, and City Hall. After losing his grandmother to liver cancer in 2009, he’s especially mindful of the great value of seniors as community reserves of history, culture, and connection. With a full 60% of the District over age 60, he feels strongly that investing in their safety and well-being strengthens neighborhoods from the roots up.

Above all, Andre sees his campaign as a fight for everyone who’s sick of seeing the same faces at the same tables, who’s tired of losing out, feeling ignored, and coming up short, who’s ready to do the work that can help change all this. Learn more @AndreDCarroll.

An inspiring line-up of Philly progressives spoke at Andre’s launch party, including City Council superstars Isaiah Thomas and Nicolas O’Rourke who shared great stories about working with Andre.

T-Bah, though, stole the show with her electrifying words of trust, strength, and conviction as a fellow neighbor and Germantown service leader. It’s hard to imagine a more welcome energy for residents in the 201st. Transcribed here:

I’m glad to be here. I don’t come here to play today. I’m emotional. Many of us are. We lost so many, so much. And it doesn’t have to be that way moving forward.

COVID did a job on us and swept through communities like the plague. But way before COVID, we had a killer on the loose. A killer that showed up economically in our homes, at the workplace and in our schools and our religious institutions and on many of our streets. They are known as the deniers.

They deny, they decline, and they devastate. And for too many of us, our lived experiences left us searching for relief, which led us to addiction, incarceration and devastation. And so now we’re less forgiving. Hardly any patience left and not easily fooled. Credibility matters.

It matters to the son or daughter visiting a mother or father incarcerated instead of being rehabilitated. Credibility matters.

It matters to students unable to keep up in class because they slept on a relative’s sofa while Mommy worked the overnight shift at a low wage paying job. Credibility matters.

It matters to the seniors, our elderly trying to patch together dilapidated homes that they finally managed to pay off but are trapped in as new development’s crushing down block by block in your suddenly-noticed, formerly-redlined area.

Just ask the mother that’s exhausted but needed by her child who depends on her for their bathing, for their clothing, for their toileting, and for their food. Just ask that mom, because she looks just like me. Credibility matters and we didn’t come here to play. So what does all this mean?

Here’s Andre Carroll, looks good in a suit. Sure does. And Andre knows the struggle of single-parent households, mental health issues, disability, and the threat of living while Black and Brown in an over-policed area. Andre understands today — not two terms from now — that resources, not military-style responses, are needed in schools now.

Andre feels the immediacy. So that each generation coming up eats, sleeps and exists in healthy, humane ways. We did not come here to play. We are not patient anymore. We won’t be forgiving or gentle. We expect results — not just votes and bills and amendments and meetings.

See this long-ass extension cord here? I want you to be grateful if you’ve never needed to use it to provide electric to a family on your block, or for yourself. Our pain, past, and memories are real and credibility matters. Who’s stepping up to work with us? Who will represent us today and tomorrow as our credible messenger?

That is Andre Carroll. He is my choice, he is our vote, he is our voice, and he is my friend. And he will be our next state rep in the 201.

T-Bah photographed by Jose Mazariegos at Andre’s launch 12/9/23

T-Bah (Tonya Bah) is a longtime local activist for social, economic, and racial justice. As the Executive Director of Free The Ballot, she leads efforts to educate and organize people both inside and outside of prison walls to abolish unjust laws and get communities what they need to thrive. | @freetheballotpennsylvania

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