Nelson Diaz has been a force in Philadelphia since moving here in the 1960's. He has shown his force as a civil rights activist at Temple University and as a trailblazer in legal circles.
Diaz is proud of his 'up by the bootstraps' story that has raised him from poverty as a child in New York City who was raised by a single mother.
He says he now has a formula for helping Philadelphia's's impoverished school children. Starting early is a key. Diaz says, "You start in pre-K, you get the advanced opportunity to then get in and then the child can compete."
Diaz hopes Governor Tom Wolf can deliver on plans to increase funding to the public schools. "Until you fully fund the public education system, you have to put a moratorium on the charter schools so that we can take care of the most desperate need of children," says Diaz.
Action News asked Diaz about job creation and tax reform. He believes the two go hand-in-hand this way.
Diaz says, "You've got to get rid of the wage tax. The wage tax is very re-aggressive so the poor and the working class and the middle class and these small businesses pay more than their share of taxes in of taxes in the city."
Diaz embraces the community policing concept which means more cops walking a beat, being part of the community and looking like the racially diverse community.
Diaz, a former judge, says no more of the stop and frisk policy used by Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Diaz says, "What we should do is follow the Constitution. The Constitution says you have to have suspicion. When I was a judge it used to be reasonable cause. So they keep lowering the standard."
And what of Police Commissioner Ramsey? Will Diaz want to put his own choice at the top of the police brass chart?
Diaz says, "I think Ramsey should stay if he's willing to do the community policing that I think we need in the city."
Nelson Diaz believes he has time to build name recognition and close the gap with his democratic rivals to win the mayoral primary on May 19th.
Nelson Diaz Mayoral Candidate Profile