By Jessica Dean
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – CBS 3 Eyewitness News spoke with Philadelphia mayoral candidate Doug Oliver.READ MORE: Thousands Protest Outside Philadelphia City Hall After Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
The youngest in the field, Oliver told Eyewitness News it’s his life experiences, both personally and professionally, that make him uniquely qualified to lead this city.
Doug Oliver is a new name in Philadelphia politics.
“I think that this city could use a different perspective on some of the challenges that have faced it for years,” said Doug Oliver.
Challenges on the minds of so many Philadelphians.
“I am very concerned about the children in my city,” said Elestia Jo Williams.
“I share her concern. I have a 12-year-old son,” said Oliver.
“Unfortunately if I only care for mine and I don’t care for yours, I’m not leading to the city that I want.”
Oliver, the former press secretary for the Mayor and executive at Philadelphia Gas Works, is a product of this city.
Growing up in Germantown, he switched schools five times in eight years as his mother searched for the right fit for her son.
(Dean:) “How would you say your childhood has shaped the way that you see so many of these issues?”READ MORE: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Allowing States To Ban Abortion
“When I look at the challenges of the school district, I can’t help but reflect on how I felt as a kid at Pickett Middle School when other kids stole my trumpet and I had to learn how to fight and I stopped getting good grades,” he said.
Oliver ultimately graduated from the Milton Hershey School, a private boarding school for children from lower income families that’s located in Hershey.
But he says children should not have to leave the district to get the education they need.
“We have to invest in schools, the right curriculum, the arts, and the music, the activities, all of the things that make for well-rounded kids and therefore well-rounded adults,” he said.
His childhood also shaped his view on the tensions between communities and police.
He remembers being stopped and frisked as a kid.
“I recognize that my life, my world view about the relationships between neighborhoods and police officers, it’s a flawed relationship. At the same time, I was a part of an administration that had to bury five police officers who were killed in the line of duty,” he said.
“I think that both sides have legitimate tensions and concerns. The Mayor of this city is going to have to recognize that.”
Oliver has never held elected office.
But for him, that’s a benefit.
“To me, my executive experience and my experience on the second floor of City Hall I think uniquely qualifies me for the office to an extent far greater than anybody else who is even running right now,” he said.MORE NEWS: Roe v. Wade Overturned: Officials In Philadelphia Region React To Supreme Court Ruling Allowing States To Ban Abortion