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Nikil Saval Campaign Raises over $100,000 by First Filing Deadline

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Nikil Saval, a progressive challenger for State Senate in the First Senate District in Philadelphia who launched his campaign on December 8th, has finished the year having raised $119,635 from 774 individual contributions as of December 31, 2019. This fundraising total reflects significant grassroots support for the campaign, and a groundswell for progressive change in the First Senate District. It is among the highest posted by a challenger to an incumbent in the district.

“This fundraising number is unprecedented from a first time candidate challenging an incumbent. It reflects the strength and depth of the progressive movement in Philadelphia,” said campaign manager Amanda McIllmurray. “People are standing up to say that we must fight climate change, make housing a human right, and build a society that cares for all of us.”

Other numbers to note:
Most common profession: educator
Median Contribution: $50

The financial investment, in addition to Saval’s grassroots support and early endorsements from UNITE HERE Locals 274, 634, and 54, are an indication of the support Nikil Saval’s campaign has built. The campaign has received media attention in local outlets, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, South Philly Review, and Plan Philly, as well as national coverage in The Nation, Jacobin, and Teen Vogue.

Saval launched his campaign on December 8th in South Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife and young child. The campaign launched with more than 200 supporters, and the endorsement of UNITE HERE Locals 274, 634, and 54. His campaign is focused on promoting affordable housing and tenants’ rights, paid family leave, long-term elder care and childcare, and a Green New Deal for Pennsylvania. Saval, a freelance journalist, began organizing in the labor movement in 2009 as a volunteer with UNITE HERE, where he organized customer boycotts to promote the rights of hotel workers. In 2013, when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s budget cuts forced the layoff of 1,000 cafeteria workers and student climate staff from the Philadelphia School District, Saval helped organize the campaign that successfully won those workers their jobs back.

After emerging as a local leader in Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, Saval co-founded Reclaim Philadelphia, an organization which has fought to elect progressive candidates like Larry Krasner, Elizabeth Fiedler, Helen Gym, Isaiah Thomas and Kendra Brooks. In 2018 Saval was elected leader of South Philadelphia’s Second Ward, becoming the first Asian American ward leader in Philadelphia history. He and the committee people of the Second Ward have driven substantial increases in voter turnout and continue to work for a more transparent and progressive Democratic Party.

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