By Chris May
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS 3 spoke with Philadelphia mayoral candidate T. Milton Street.READ MORE: Fired-Up Sixers Fans Pack Wells Fargo Center For Home Opener
Former state lawmaker and entrepreneur, Street says he is ready to lead Philadelphia.
Walking around North Philadelphia with Street is like taking a master class in retail politics.
“You and your brother helped my mom get her house in 1975-1974,” a female who approached Street says.
Street enthusiastically replies, “I’m still here!”
He’s been a fixture in this community, a self-styled voice for the poor.
“He was letting people know what was right and what was wrong when I was a kid. I’m 44, he’s been doing this then. He never changed,” a pedestrian says.
At 74, he says the secret to his longevity is simple.
“I’m like a postage stamp. I’ll stick to it until I get there.”READ MORE: Student Shoots Himself In Leg Inside West Philadelphia School With Metal Detectors, Police Say
Street is the brother of former mayor John Street.
May: “How would having Milton Street in the mayor’s office be different than having John Street?”
“It’s a different time, different issues. It’s a different attitude,” Street says.
His issue is crime and making streets safer. He envisions hiring members of the community to patrol their own neighborhoods, as a kind of quick response team to work alongside the police.
“We had 2,500 mothers in this city since 2007 who have lost their child. And none of these candidates seem to give a fat rat’s hind legs.”
Street is not without baggage. He’s spent time in federal prison for tax evasion, and opinion columns often debate his ethics and honesty, but Street laughs it all off.
He says he’s misunderstood.
“The establishment now can’t deal with me because I’m not a go along to get along. I don’t go along to get along. I stand alone.”
But will he stand alone at City Hall as Philadelphia’s next mayor? He believes the time is right and that the people are ready.MORE NEWS: Man Shot, Killed Inside West Philadelphia Corner Store, Police Say
“I feel an energy in the poor community this time that I’ve never felt. I actually think that we’re going to shake up this city. I think the city is going to wake up and say ‘oh my God, Milton Street.'”