Amanda McIllmurray is an Philadelphia Pennsylvania activist. She is a founder of Reclaim Philadelphia and is currently the Political Director of the organization. She was a delegate and field organizer for Bernie 2016, and she was the campaign manager for the Elizabeth Fiedler campaign.
In 2023 Candidate Amanda McIllmurray was a candidate for Philadelphia City Council At Large.
Nikil Saval’s campaign manager
- "We must hold the establishment, corporate elite and party leaders accountable. We must make this country an equitable one where the color of your skin, your genitalia, your gender expression, your economic status, your place of birth or your religion no longer hinder your desired path in life."
Kendra Brooks victory
On Tuesday November 5 2019, Kendra Brooks, running on the Working Families Party ticket, won one of two at-large Council seats that Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter effectively reserves for non-Democrats. Both seats have been held by Republicans for almost 70 years. In January, she will become the first Council member from outside the two major parties in the 100 years since the body adopted a modern legislative structure.
Without the infrastructure of a major party, Brooks and her campaign manager, Arielle Klagsbrun, largely built their operation from scratch. But they could not have won without the efforts of a preexisting network of groups whose members knocked on thousands of doors, held fund-raisers, and posted constantly on social media for Brooks and her fellow Working Families Party candidate Nicolas O'Rourke, who came up short in his Council bid.
Tapping into the organizational strengths of grassroots groups was always part of the plan. Brooks sits on the steering committee of 215 People’s Alliance, and O’Rourke is an organizer with POWER, an interfaith progressive organization. When dozens of groups came together last year to write the People’s Platform for a Just Philadelphia — a manifesto of the city’s left — Brooks and Klagsbrun led the effort.
Increasingly focused on electoral politics, the groups have worked together in recent years to score major victories, including those of District Attorney Larry Krasner, City Councilwoman Helen Gym, and several state representatives. But those candidates ran in Democratic primaries against party-backed opponents. The Working Families Party campaign for Council marked a new level of ambition and coordination for the local progressive movement — and the clearest demonstration yet of its power in city politics.
Most of 215 People’s Alliance members are in Southwest Philadelphia and the western half of South Philadelphia — mirroring the turf led by Williams’ political progeny. Reclaim Philadelphia is strongest in South Philadelphia and the river wards — the historically Irish American neighborhoods long controlled by the trades unions
Reclaim Philadelphia shares an office with 10 other progressive groups on the fifth floor of a building in Chinatown. They call it “the People’s Headquarters.”
Sitting in a room lined with campaign posters and voting precinct maps two weeks before the election, Amanda McIllmurray, Reclaim’s political director, ran through past instances in which her group had worked with Brooks: Krasner’s election, the fight to restore local control of Philadelphia schools, State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler’s campaign.
“She’s just someone who has always been there and has always shown up,” McIllmurray said.
The activist groups that carried the Working Families Party banner this year didn’t just aid Brooks’ campaign. In many ways, they were the campaign.
“This is our movement. It’s bigger than Nicolas and Kendra,” Brooks said at a rally in Northeast Philadelphia two weeks before the election. ”There’s so many organizations that have supported this campaign, and there’s so many folks that are going to take us all the way.”
Reclaim Philadelphia organizers
Reclaim Philadelphia organizers, 2019.
- Amanda McIllmurray - Lead Organizer
- Kelly Morton - Organizer & Chair of the Democratic Party Transformation Taskforce
- Rick Krajewski - Organizer, Mass Liberation and Philadelphia Coalition for a Just District Attorney
- Lev Hirschhorn - Organizer
- Madusa Carter - Mass Liberation Organizer
Amanda McIllmurray May 4 2018:
Campaigning in Lancaster
Amanda McIllmurray November 4 2018:
LadenPele IL May 17, 2017: Last night, as the results for Larry Krasner were coming in and it was becoming clear that we had won, the community coalition gathered towards the middle of the election party room.
Together, 215 People's Alliance, Reclaim Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Student Power Network, B.L.O.C. Party, and Neighborhood Networks knocked over 60,000 doors to talk to voters about Larry Krasner for DA and ending ending mass incarceration in Philadelphia.
It's a beautiful beautiful thing when a coalition can come together to try and do something big, like really big, and win like this.
I can't stop smiling about it.
I'm so so grateful to have been a part of this team even if only for the last couple weeks of the campaign. I learned so much from everyone involved and know that this is just the beginning of something really exciting in the city of Philadelphia
Huge thanks James Cersonsky for getting me involved and for all the work you did supporting this campaign along with the million other things you do for students all over the state.
Shout out to Lev Hirschhorn, Amanda McIllmurray, Nicolas Pastore, Ociele Hawkins, Arielle Klagsbrun, Bryan Mercer, Meghna Chandra and everyone from the coalition who poured their hearts into this campaign. I really learned so much from y'all and am excited to see what comes next.
And finally, to the best student team ever
Pennsylvania Student Power Network. Y'all are a part of history now. We knocked doors day after day for two weeks in Powelton Village and throughout the 24th ward. It was surreal when we reported back on election day, and most people we had talked to had already voted for Krasner or were planning on it. The commitment, passion, and hard work this team put in deserves more praise than I can muster with words. Amazing job Zaire Best, Avy Srinivasan, Tess Kerins, Jaid Munczinski, Shahmar Beasley, Nicky Dulepski, Becky Cave, Eli Cummin, and the whole team!
Now who are we going to elect next? I guess you'll just have to wait and see.
"WHAT IS SOCIALISM?" Teach-ins at UPenn, Drexel, and Temple"
Thursday 4 February 2016, organized by Tina Ngo "WHAT IS SOCIALISM?" Teach-ins at UPenn, Drexel, and Temple".
- DYK? "Socialism" was the most searched word on Merriam-Webster in 2015.
- The student chapters of Philly Socialists would like to invite everyone to join our student-led teach-ins on what socialism means. The teach-ins will consist of three panels: The History of Marxism: Pre-Marxism and Post-Marxism; Race and Socialism; Gender and Socialism.
- Dates, location, and time are still to be determined. Updates coming soon!
People signalling their intention to attend on Wherevent included Stephanie Altimari, Jj Rodriguez , Jon Lange, Melissa Stafford, Brandon Do, Rhiannon Wright, Christopher Hauff, Klyde Breitton, Nhoj Matthews, Constance Lee, John T. Kaye, Akshay Walia, Jake Kinzey, Dan Beccaria, Jr., M. Harlan Hoke, Alan Warsaw, Peirce Law, Michelle Freeman, Adriane Coleman, Maddie Bird, Pearl Joslyn, Brandon Slattery, David Thompson, Samantha Valentino, Isabella Jayme, Maní Martinez, Christopher Hauff, Amani Bey, Tim Horras, Madeline Connor, Kellen O'Connor, Cornelius Moody, Christopher Turner, Alaina Pell, Gabriella Upadhyay, Rina Mascitti, John Lesmeister, Andrew Macaroni, Carlisle Quinn, Charles Sansone, Miranda Krause, Samantha Schwartz, Scott Jenkins, Frankie Bosco, Hoe Chi Minh, Michelle Freeman, Lucas Lipatti, Amanda McIllmurray, Norah Andrea La Torre, Shannon Myers, Alex Sobrinski, Carolyn Esposito, Mara Henao, Jorge Mancilla, Alaina Pell, Cornelius Moody.
"Debate On Marxism-Leninism"
2605 S. Darien St. Philadelphia, February 6, 2016 "Debate On Marxism-Leninism" organized by Jake Kinzey.
- Come out and talk about Marxism-Leninism! What is it? What can we learn from it?
Those indicating attendance on the Wherevent website included Andrew Macaroni, Nat Turner-Jackson, Azzizah Abdullah, Kate Faust, Isabella Jayme, Jake Kinzey, Bruce Haskin, John T. Kaye, Bunny Juarez, Samar Shraim, Magdalene Moy, Norah Andrea La Torre, Scott Jenkins, Daniel Pitt, Tim Horras, Constance Lee, Gabriel Salgado, Adam Bleiman, Rina Mascitti, John Lesmeister, Isabell Welsh, Nhoj Matthews, Samantha Valentino, Sasha Lubarskai, Cranford Coulter, Brandon Slattery, Amanda McIllmurray, Hypatia Nacheinander, Akshay Walia, M. Harlan Hoke, Mark R. Eisenstædt, Elsy Marie, Mackenzie Morris, Lucas Lipatti, Jon Lange, Greg Gabrellas, Panagiotis Alexiou, Alan Warsaw, Nelson Maserota, Ethan Jury.
Democratic Socialists of America
Media Mobilizing Project April 7, 2017:
- Support DSA Delegates at the DNC
- Philadelphia Inquirer, How Kendra Brooks and the Working Families Party beat the odds to win in Philadelphia by Sean Collins Walsh, Updated: November 6, 2019
- Wherevent "WHAT IS SOCIALISM?" Teach-ins at UPenn, Drexel, and Temple"
- Wherevent "Debate On Marxism-Leninism"