I can’t think of a business more emblematic of New Bethlehem, and more influential in the up and coming Southside business district, than Homebase Skateshop. Andy Po is a skilled businessman and advocate for the city’s youth culture. He has the ear of a lot of people who are not deeply engaged in city politics, so his endorsement and engagement with the Willie Reynolds campaign has the potential to bring out some new voters. It’ll take some work to turn the youngs into a real political coalition, but I’m glad to see Andy getting it started by reminding folks that it took sustained engagement with city politics to get the Skateplaza built:
Dear friends & supporters,
I am writing you on behalf of my friend, J. Willie Reynolds who will be running in the Primary Election for Mayor of Bethlehem this year. Willie and I have known each other since I moved to Bethlehem from San Diego when we attended Liberty High School. Willie played basketball while I skated in the courtyard outside the gym during the games. Even though we ran with different crowds at Liberty he was always supportive and open minded to what I did. By the time we graduated in 1999, I was proud to call Willie a friend.
Fast forward to Homebase Skateshop opening and all the years of pushing to get Bethlehem to build a skatepark for the kids in the community, Willie and I reconnected. Willie served on the City Council of Bethlehem- still does too. Every time I found myself in front of City Council talking about the benefits of skateparks, Willie was up there making sure everyone knew he too supported the idea. Every time he was asked by the press if he thought it was a good idea for the City to build the skateplaza, he gave his approval. Every time we had an milestone event that got us a step closer to the skateplaza opening, Willie was there to support. He has played a big role in getting the Bethlehem Skateplaza built for me, my business, my friends and generations of skaters to come. The community wasn’t always as opened minded about skateboarding as it is now. There were times where his vote to keep progress going on the skateplaza kept the dream alive.
But it’s not just about skateboarding, it’s about keeping the momentum moving forward with the same kind of forward thinking that we have seen in the City of Bethlehem. Forward thinking that brings about progress and growth to our community and the local economy. If you know me, you know I am not a political person but I have witnessed the condition of our City improve, our local business community grow and the quality of my life enriched under the lead of forward thinking leaders. I believe Willie Reynolds can be that type of leader.
Regardless if you live and vote in the City of Bethlehem, if you have seen the benefits the Bethlehem Skateplaza has done for us, please come out to Willie’s Campaign Kick-Off on February 21st at the Comfort Suites from 5:30-7:30pm and shake his hand.
Andrew Po Homebase Skateshop