Activist Pharaoh Clark has worked with City Council through his community organizing in the past. The 33-year-old helped co-found the Black Lives Matter-aligned Reliable Revolutionaries and protested against the presence of a Confederate statue in Travis Park that was ultimately removed in 2017. But now, Clark has thrown his hat in the ring for the May municipal elections.

Clark announced his candidacy for City Council’s District 2 seat at Eastside pizzeria Tank’s Pizza on Friday night. 

“The path ahead is going to be hard, but we are not afraid of the challenges,” he said, surrounded by friends and family. “We are not afraid of adversity. We are not afraid of the future. We are going to fight fear, we’re going to fight inequality, and we are going to fight hatred.”

Clark, who is Black, has been working with community members to organize against police brutality following George Floyd’s death in May. He plans to surround himself with a diverse team, he said, and his platform will focus on educational attainment, investing in small businesses, and finding funding to address racism as a public health crisis.

Clark’s fellow Reliable Revolutionaries member Josey Garcia is co-managing his campaign with Anthony Cruz, a local Democratic organizer who has worked on Bexar County Democratic Party Chair Monica Alcantara’s two campaigns and organized locally for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) when she was running for president earlier this year.

Clark did not raise any issues with Andrews-Sullivan’s leadership, nor did his campaign managers. Cruz said he wanted to work with Clark after getting to know him and seeing his character.

“When I see him, I believe that’s someone that would be representing District 2. … No councilperson [for District 2] has ever reached their term limit,” he said. “It’s always a constant turnover. I believe he can give that stability that everyone needs.”

Since 2013, District 2 has had six people representing them on City Council. Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan (D2) will end her first term next year. No individual has served more than three terms as District 2 City Council member since 1991; a four-term limit was put in place in 2008.

Clark was joined by his mother Florence Harris on Friday. He told reporters that she instilled in her son the importance of giving back to the community from an early age. Harris is a childcare worker and raised him and his two sisters.

Harris said she was proud to see the person her son has become.

“We need more diversity in leadership … and he’s the one that’s going to make that change because as I’ve seen him work in the community,” she said.

All 11 City Council seats, including the mayor, are up for election in May 2021.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect Pharaoh Clark’s role in the Travis Park Confederate statue removal.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.