Jeff Brown, the founder and former chair of a 12-store supermarket chain trading under ShopRate and The Fresh Grocer brands, is running for mayor to address poverty, strengthen public education and economic opportunity, and reduce crime, according to his campaign website.
Brown wrote on his site that he founded Uplift Solutions, a nonprofit organization concerned with workforce re-entry for returning citizens.
In a previous interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian, Brown said that he decided to enter politics after learning about food deserts, or impoverished areas with limited access to fresh and healthy food.
Brown’s plan for improving public safety in Philadelphia includes increasing the city’s active police force. He also seeks to improve equity across the Philadelphia public school system by implementing “widespread career and technical education,” addressing heating and cooling issues in school buildings, and working to recruit and retain teachers of color to diversify the district’s workforce.
At a campus event for Penn Democrats in March, Brown previously told the DP that he sees Penn students as integral to the upcoming election.
“The number of votes that are [at Penn] could shift an election, and so, in my mind, the Penn students should take that responsibility,” Brown said. “They should register to vote, they should listen to the candidates and weigh in, and they could shift the outcome. And the outcome could shift the environment that you live in.”
He also discussed the University's role in addressing Philadelphia's affordable housing crisis.
“The tremendous success of Penn and its growth physically has increased the value of real estate — which is good and bad, depending on the circumstance — but has put pressure on affordable housing," Brown said. "I think Penn should be active in affordable housing — I’m not saying which way — but in some way to create new affordable housing and create an environment where lower-income individuals can still live in University City."
Brown's campaign did not respond to a request for comment by publication.