Milton Street

Thomas Milton Street, Sr. (born April 25, 1941)[1] is an American entrepreneur, a former Pennsylvania state senator from Philadelphia, and the brother of former Philadelphia mayor John Street. Originally a street hot dog vendor, he rose to prominence as an activist challenging the city's vending and housing ordinances.[2]

Milton Street
Milton Street.jpg
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 6, 1981 – November 30, 1984
Preceded byHerbert Arlene
Succeeded byRoxanne Jones
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 181st district
In office
January 2, 1979 – November 30, 1980
Preceded byUlysses Shelton
Succeeded byAlphonso Deal
Personal details
Thomas Milton Street

(1941-04-25) April 25, 1941 (age 79)
Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
ResidenceMoorestown, New Jersey, U.S.
Milton Street rally.jpg

Political careerEdit

State legislatureEdit

Street was elected to the 181st District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1978, and to the Pennsylvania State Senate as a Democrat in 1980. However, shortly after his election, he switched parties to a Republican in order to give the Republicans control of the State Senate. He was rewarded with a committee chairmanship and a finer office that was previously State Senator Vince Fumo's.[3] He was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress against incumbent Representative Bill Gray in 1982,[4] and an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for re-election as State Senator in 1984.[5]

2007 Mayoral candidacyEdit

Street declared his candidacy in the 2007 Philadelphia mayoral election, while awaiting his trial. His candidacy was denounced by many, including eventual Mayor Michael Nutter, who called Street's candidacy a distraction from important issues.[6] Street was later arrested on February 19 in New Jersey for failure to pay multiple traffic tickets, though he asserted upon release that his campaign would continue.[7]

Street had announced that if 5,000 people did not attend a noontime rally at City Hall plaza on March 1, 2007, he would give up his candidacy for mayor. Media reports placed attendance at about 200, many of those curious passersby. Street was undeterred, saying he "underestimated" his passion and vowed to continue in the race, not wanting it to be considered a "publicity stunt."[8]

2007 City Council candidacyEdit

Five days later Street withdrew, announcing his intention to run for one of the five Democratic at-large council seats on the last day to file nominating petitions. This would place him in contention with his nephew, Sharif Street, son of the former mayor of Philadelphia. Street himself pointed out that the city residency requirement for a council candidate is one year instead of the three years for a mayoral candidate. There has been some question as to where Street officially resides, in Philadelphia or Moorestown, New Jersey.[9] On March 12, 2007, Street's petition's was challenged in court by a voter, since Street turned in only 894 validated signatures into City Hall and the requirement to be placed on the Democratic Primary ballot is 1,000. He did get on the ballot and was unsuccessful in his bid, finishing 17th of 19 candidates (for five spots) with 1.47% of the vote.

2011 Mayoral candidacyEdit

Street was once again running for mayor in the 2011 election. He challenged incumbent mayor Michael Nutter in the Democratic primary, and lost, accumulating 24.07% of the primary vote.[10]

2015 Mayoral candidacyEdit

On March 10, 2015, Street filed as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia.[11] As with previous years, violence prevention was a central theme of his campaign. He received 1.68 percent of the vote, finishing last in 6th place.[12]

Shortly after his failed campaign, Street announced a proposal to train 5,000 residents in martial arts to support law enforcement.[13]

2018 State House campaignEdit

Street ran for his old seat in the 181st Pennsylvania House district as the Republican nominee. He received 4.66% of the vote, losing to Democrat Malcolm Kenyatta.

2019 mayoral candidacyEdit

On May 15, 2019, Street announced his candidacy in the 2019 mayoral election. Having announced too late to run on either party's ticket, he ran an independent write-in campaign. He had until August 1, 2019 to submit the necessary paperwork and petition with the required signatures.[14]

Business venturesEdit

He later returned to prominence during the 1990s through his many business ventures, including a local amphibious tour bus company and vending and consulting contracts with the city and Philadelphia International Airport.[15] Often accused of impropriety by the local media, in 2006 he was indicted under charges of corruption and tax evasion.[16]

Trial and convictionEdit

During his trial, Street used the tax protester argument that the federal income tax on wages is illegal, saying: "I could not find in the IRS code the statute that authorizes the Internal Revenue [Service] to levy and collect a direct tax on the American people's wages. And I will say to you, [. . . ] if you find that law for me and bring it in here for me, I will plead guilty to all these charges."[17]

On February 22, 2008, Street was convicted of three counts of tax evasion for years 2002, 2003 and 2004. He was acquitted on mail and wire fraud charges. Street was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.[18] Street appealed, but his conviction was affirmed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.[19]


  1. ^ Gale Group (2002). Who's Who Among African Americans. Gale Research International, Limited. ISBN 9780787657291. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions | John F. Street: Biography". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  3. ^ Paul Nussbaum, Sept. 27, 2008, "A long, strange trip for Milton Street," Philadelphia Inquirer, at [1].
  4. ^ Barone, Michael; and Ujifusa, Grant. The Almanac of American Politics 1988', p. 1015. National Journal, 1987.
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania State Street - T. Milton Street Biography". Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  6. ^ "KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia - Nutter Calls Milton Street Candidacy ''A Distraction''".
  7. ^ "KYW Newsradio 1060 Philadelphia - Milton Street Booked for Ignoring Traffic Tickets".
  8. ^ Gelbart, Marcia (2007-03-02). "For Milton Street, numbers add up He said he'd quit the race for mayor if a rally didn't draw 5,000. He fell 4,800 short. And he's staying in". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Gelbart, Marcia. "Nutter easily defeats Street in primary", "", May 18, 2011, accessed 5 August 2011.
  11. ^ Dean, Mensah (11 March 2015). "6 Dems, 1 GOPer, make deadline to run for mayor". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Prior Year Election Results". Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  13. ^ Hickey, Brian. Philly Voice, May 15, 2019, "Milton Street says he's running for Philly Mayor as an independent". Accessed May 17, 2019.
  14. ^ WHYY, May 15, 2019, "[ Facebook Twitter Email Former state Sen. Milton Street announces candidacy for mayor]". Accessed May 17, 2019.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Tony Hanson, Feb. 14, 2008, "Milton Street Claims IRS Isn't Allowed to Collect Taxes on Wages," KYW Radio News, at [2][permanent dead link].
  18. ^ Joseph A. Gambardello, Feb. 22, 2008, "Milton Street verdict is mixed," Philadelphia Inquirer, at [3].
  19. ^ Tax Notes Today, 2010 TNT 48-10 (3/12/2010).