Young Candidate Spotlight: Kris Walski
One in an occasional series highlighting young Philadelphians who are running for office. Young Involved Philadelphia does not endorse any candidate for any office, and this post should not be considered an endorsement of or opposition to any candidate. But we do encourage all young Philadelphians to get more involved civically and politically in their city. To that end, we will occasionally profile young candidates and ask them how and why they decided to get involved.
Name: Kris Walski
Running for: Democratic Committee Person for the 25th Ward’s 1st Division (Port Richmond).
Why Philly? I grew up here – I was born in Philadelphia on the 4th of July and have lived in Port Richmond all my life. I am a graduate of St. Joe’s Prep and Penn.
What do you do? Right now, I’m working on Tom Wolf’s campaign for governor. Before, I worked for City Council with the Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy. I actually found that job through YIP – at a career fair at Penn, I spoke with [Advocacy Committee member] David Laegan, who introduced me to Chris Pienkowski of Councilman David Oh’s office. [Ed. note: Councilman Oh chairs the Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy].
Why did you decide to run? I started attending local community civic group meetings, which made me more interested in getting involved in my neighborhood. That’s also where I met my ward leader, Thomas Johnson, for whom I started volunteering, collecting petition signatures for the Democratic primary.
Any advice for other young people considering a run for office? I went to YIP Events – the Ward Politics 101 event in particular. I also got involved with my local community groups. Attending those meetings gave me the opportunity to meet people who care about the neighborhood.
What kind of challenges have you faced? In local politics, there is a large generational gap. I think more young people would get involved if they knew how and more about the issues. For example, my ward leader said he was happy to see young people get involved. We need to connect people who want to get involved with willing ward leaders. And if someone is more civically-focused, and less politically-focused, there are a ton of groups, like the North Kensington Community Development Corporation, who have opportunities to get involved.