A longtime resident of Torresdale, Jim Hasher decided to run for one of City Council’s seven at-large seats after seeing what COVID restrictions did to small businesses, including his own.
Along with brokerage Hasher Realty, which he founded in 1991, he owns and operates Jimmy’s Timeout Sports Pub, a neighborhood restaurant on Linden Avenue. Both temporarily shut down during the pandemic.
Outside of his business ventures, the 60-year-old has a history of leadership and youth-oriented activism in his community. He has served as athletic director and president of the Torresdale Boys Club for over 25 years, and is the founder of Northeast Sting, an AAU basketball program connecting young athletes with tournaments and players across the country. He also coaches at St. Katherine of Siena Catholic Church, where he attends weekly Mass, according to his campaign site.
A native Philadelphian and father to five sons — his second eldest, Patrick, is his campaign manager — Hasher believes a centrist approach is the best way to address the city’s problems “rather than labeling them Republican or Democratic issues,” he told the Committee of Seventy.
He’s a strong supporter of the proposed Sixers’ arena, and the tax revenue and employment opportunities he believes it’ll bring to the city. He is the only Republican to receive an endorsement from the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council — which is one of the most politically influential and well-funded organizations in the state — largely due to his arena support.
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Hasher lists public safety and gun violence among his top priorities, advocating for increased sentences for charges of illegal gun use. He’d also like to see larger fines for motorbike and ATV racing on public streets.
To support small businesses, Hasher is calling for a decrease in the city’s business and wage taxes. If elected, he says he’ll work with the Small Businesses Association to create more funding opportunities for new establishments.
While citing the opioid epidemic as a main concern, he opposes supervised injection sites, suggesting instead increased funding for support and prevention programs.
On education, Hasher is pushing for early access to labor programs and trade schools in all Philadelphia high schools to provide marketable skill sets to students before graduation.
Previously, he served as a leader for the 65th ward and as chief deputy for community affairs for the Pa. Athletic Commission. He also ran an unsuccessful bid as a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in 1994.
Hasher’s campaign finance situation
The most recent campaign finance report filed by Hasher’s campaign shows 45 contributions under $250 (adding up to $8,166), and 22 contributions of larger amounts that brought in another $20,900. It also reveals political committee contributions from 16 local unions — including operating engineers, electricians, plumbers, firefighters and paramedics — culminating in an additional $88,000.