Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke, whose Fifth District includes Main Campus and the surrounding student neighborhood, was supported in his most recent election campaign by a number of Temple administrators, trustees and high-profile donors.
Clarke, a democrat, had his most recent campaign in 2011, when he ran unopposed for reelection. According to records provided by Axis Philly, a nonprofit newsgathering service, those in high-ranking positions at Temple gave $5,000 to Clarke.
Ken Lawrence, the senior vice president of government, community and public affairs, who through his position serves as the chief lobbyist for the university, gave a total of $2,000 in three payments registered in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County.
“My political contributions are made using my personal money and by my personal choice,” Lawrence said in an email. “I support elected officials who I feel are effective, committed and good public servants. Councilman Clarke is one of many elected officials who I support.”
Beverly Coleman, the assistant vice president of community relations and economic development gave $250 from the city’s Fifth Ward.
Coleman declined to comment further than saying that her political contributions were a matter of personal choice.
In addition to those administrators, three trustees donated to Clarke’s campaign. Trustee Joseph “Chip” Marshall, who also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Temple University Health System, gave $750 in 2011 from Whitemarsh, Montgomery County. Cozen O’Connor, the Center City-based national law firm co-founded by Chairman of Temple’s Board of Trustees Patrick O’Connor, donated $1000. Trustee Lon Greenberg gave $1000 from Upper Dublin Township, Montgomery County.
Both O’Connor’s and Marshall’s offices said the trustees were out of the country and could not be reached at press time.
In 2011, Councilman Clarke raised a total of $198,200. Of that total, $125,100 was registered by donors within the city of Philadelphia. $169,150 was registered within Pennsylvania. Carke also received donations from New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Texas and California.
Harold Honickman, the soft-drink mogul, philanthropist and member of the Dean’s Council at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, gave a $2,500 donation from Pennsauken, N.J. His wife, Lynne Honickman, also gave $2,500, registered from the city’s Eighth Ward.
Lynne Honickman, who serves on the Board of Trustees of Project HOME, a non-profit group that seeks to end homelessness Philadelphia, said she and her husband support Councilman Clarke because of his efforts to help underserved communities, including the North Central District around Temple.
Lynee Honickman added that within Clarke’s district, he had combined the resources of Temple and the community to grow educational opportunities.
“When people help you…when they use their ability to connect the right things to the right people, they deserve the right help,” she said.
During his 14-year tenure on City Council, Clarke has dealt with a number of issues related to Temple, perhaps the most high profile of which has been the North Central Neighborhood Improvement District.
Indefinitely tabled after its second City Council Hearing due to community concerns, the district was a bill put forth by Clarke in 2011 to ease tensions between local residents living in the North Central district and the growing Temple student population in the community.
The bill would give the district a first year budget of $450,000, mainly to clean up blighted parts of the district. The funding would have come from a fee on property owners as well as a donation from Temple. The bill was supported by many off-campus developers, but lost traction after community members opposed the bill, saying it gave too much clout to the university in running the neighborhood.
Herb Reid, of the Temple Area Property Association, and Peter Crawford of Crawford Development Group which sells off-campus housing, both contributed to Clarke’s reelection campaign. Reid donated $1,000 dollars from the city’s Eighth Ward. Crawford donated $200 from Upper Makefield, Bucks County.
In 2011, Clarke also proposed a bill to City Council that would limit the availability of student housing in the off-campus area around Temple, that bill was not passed. A similar bill was proposed by Clarke in 2004 limiting student housing in areas to the south and east of campus, which was passed by City Council and signed into law by then-Mayor John Street.
John Moritz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU.