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Openly gay politicians seek to make history in 181st

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They are young North Philadelphians — Kenyatta is 27 and Deering is 34 — who are passionate about poverty, discrimination and raising the wages of the poor. Both are community advocates, and both are interested in bettering the sometimes-frayed relationship between expanding Temple University and its surrounding community.

“I am a lot of different things,” said Kenyatta, who announced his candidacy shortly after Deering, who announced on Dec. 1. “When I stepped up to run I recognized that there are parts of who I am that are going to inspire some folks. If there are folks who look and say, ‘hey, there has never been an LGBT person of color,’ and if that inspires them, that’s wonderful. But I’m running because people in my community have struggled for far too long and that is unacceptable.”

A third-generation native of North Philadelphia, Kenyatta is the grandson of Muhammad Kenyatta, a civil rights minister who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1975. He was elected as a delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2016 Democratic Convention. He is focused on issues such as systemic poverty, making education more affordable, and making government more accountable to its citizens, especially disadvantaged, low-income families.

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