Philadelphia Mayoral Race: Blowback from debate comment on Philly's trash in Chester continues

Representative Carol Kazeem is reacting to comments made Tuesday evening during the FOX 29 Democratic Mayoral Debate broadcast on FOX 29.

During the debate, FOX 29's Shiba Russell asked candidate Jeff Brown about the concerns of Chester residents related to Philadelphia's trash. Brown, believed to be one of the leading candidates in the sprawling campaign for mayor, said, "Chester is Chester. I’m worried about Philadelphians and how their lives are. What will come first to me is what will be best for Philadelphians."

Russell followed up with Brown, asking Brown if he didn’t care about Chester? Brown said he does care, but said he will not work for them if he’s mayor.

Brown’s comment drew an immediate rebuke from his competitors and was shared widely on social media. In a statement released after the debate, a spokesperson for the Brown campaign wrote to suggest his comments were racist, "…is a lie and the kind of distortion we’ve come to expect from some of the other candidates."


The Philadelphia Streets Department reports the Covanta waste-to-energy plant in Chester takes 90,000 tons yearly in city trash. A Covanta spokesperson told FOX 29, "Studies indicate modern waste to energy facilities do not pose a significant health risk to those living nearby and Covanta operates well below its federally regulated standards for emissions."

Representative Kazeem is unimpressed and said she’ll work to stop Chester from being the region’s dumping ground.

Watch the full debate here or on FOX 29's YouTube page, here.