Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John F. Street
John Franklin Street is the 97th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. He was first elected to a term beginning on January 3, 2000, and was re-elected to a second term beginning in 2004. He is a Democrat and became mayor after having served 19 years in the Philadelphia City Council, including 7 years as its President, before resigning as required under the Philadelphia City Charter in order to run for Mayor. He followed Ed Rendell as mayor.
Mr. Street was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, received an undergraduate degree in English from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, and his law degree from Temple University. He grew up as a member of farming household, the son of a white father and African-American mother. He is a Seventh Day Adventist, and well known for his evangelical approach to weight loss and healthy living.
As councilman from North Philadelphia and Center City, as Council President, and as Mayor, he has sought to balance the interests of Philadelphia's low income citizens, and the interest of the business community. Somewhat conservative in the context of the politics of Philadelphia's African-American communities, he was backed by the Republican councilmembers for City Council President. When he ran for Mayor, Republican mayoral nominee Sam Katz ran negative ads against his two major Democratic opponents, John White and Marty Weinberg, ostensibly because they were perceived as stronger opposition candidates.
During the re-election campaign against Katz, the FBI acknowledged that it had placed listening devices in the Mayor's office as part of a corruption investigation. There has been no evidence that Street himself is corrupt, but federal prosecutors say the mayor's close friend and fund raiser, Ron White, partially took control of city contracting and used the process to find donations for Street's 2003 re-election campaign. White died before going to trial, but former city treasurer Corey Kemp, a member of Street's administration, and four other defendants were on trial as of April 2005.
Despite his Republican ties, Street is very passionate on the importance of the Democratic Party. He is known to be intrigued by the statewide successes of both Ed Rendell and Barack Obama, and has floated the possibility of being a candidate for statewide office in Pennsylvania.
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