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PGN_alt_The Philadelphia Gay News

Sen. Farnese could not be reached for comment as of presstime.

Farnese faces Nikil Saval as a senatorial contestant. A journalist and community organizer, Saval was the first Asian American to be elected ward leader in Philadelphia. As a big player in the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, he co-founded Reclaim Philadelphia, where he continued to foster a progressive majority in the city. The team played an integral role in getting Larry Krasner to run for district attorney. As a journalist who wrote about urbanism and housing planning, Saval’s main priorities in Pennsylvania is addressing the housing crisis.

“It affects the poorest among us — working class youth, Black and Brown people; 40 percent of homeless youth identify as queer,” Saval said. “This is a crisis that is really [affected] by who you are. We need a really strong solution to it.” As such, Saval is calling for a Homes Guarantee, “which would focus on building new affordable units, preserving the units that we have and also converting a lot of existing stock to affordable units,” Saval said.

He feels strongly about bills like the Fairness Act to protect LGBTQ folks and also hopes to perpetuate antidiscrimination in public accommodations to education, foster care and adoption. “There’s so many areas in which this is a pervasive problem,” he said.

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