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Former Philadelphia City Councilman and candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia, David Oh, spoke to Penn College Republicans at the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics on Oct. 25.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Republican mayoral candidate David Oh said he would seek to tax Penn as mayor during a College Republicans event held on campus Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Participants engaged in a question and answer style discussion that focused on Oh's mayoral campaign and his platform of improving schools and decreasing crime and the drug usage in the city. College Republicans held the event at the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics in partnership with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy.

Oh will face Democratic mayoral candidate and 2016 Fels Institute of Government graduate Cherelle Parker on Nov. 7. He spoke about Penn's research opportunities, calling it a “fantastic institution” that brings in many international students that add to the city’s diversity. He also said that he would tax Penn given that it operates “kind of like a corporation."

Despite criticism over the years, Penn does not pay Payments in Lieu of Taxes, which originates from the tax-exempt status given by the Internal Revenue Service to non-profit entities, such as universities.

He also said that, if elected, he would make the Penn Police Department coordinate with the City of Philadelphia Police Department.

Oh said crime was the worst issue in the city and discussed the state of the drug market in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. He also said that he thought Philadelphia had worsened in recent years, calling it a “model of failure.”

He also criticized the city education system, saying he would make all nine school board members resign from the school board of Philadelphia, saying that they lacked accountability to the community of Philadelphia. He also said that he would bring back vocational and career training to every school in the district.

Deborah Lee, an event attendee unaffiliated with the University, said that she learned about how big of an issue crime is in Philadelphia. 

“I simply enforce the law," Oh said of his commitment to bringing down crime in the city.