Toby Rich, the "Mayor of Girard Avenue," grew up in East Germantown. Rich, 57, was raised by his father after the death of his mother when he was 8 years old. A younger brother, David, lives in Miami. A sister, Cheryl, died of cancer in 2009.
He attended John Jenks Elementary School, where he became the first African-American school president, then attended Germantown High School, but was kicked out at 16 after cops busted him for selling and using dope. Nearly 10 years later, he received his GED during a short stint in a detention center. Rich has two children, daughter Dior, 34, and son Cobie, 35; and five grandchildren.
Here's a taste of what the Mayor of Girard Avenue has to say:
* At a March 2009 news conference at which Mayor Nutter announced that the city had received $13.5 million in federal grant money to pay for law-enforcement costs:
"I know it might be impractical, but is there any way there could be bought a bulletproof head device? Because a lot of these fools that are trying to aim at the police officers aim at their heads. I don't know if it's possible but if there's some kind of head gear . . . ?"
* From his weekly SCOOP U.S.A. column:
May 6, 2011: "You see it's easy to be a phony but being real takes guts. It means not everybody is going to like you. It means you stand for something. It means you are somebody. That's being real. It's hard but fair. So if you want something out of your life, make it something real."
May 27, 2011: "Well, to all the haters and naysayers, Milton Street did not win. There were some people who voted for him. . . . As for how I feel about his run, well that's another story. I don't think he could have beat me as Mayor of Girard Avenue so I can only question how effective he would be as Mayor of the City."
- Jan Ransom