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Who is Maria Quiñones-Sánchez?

The four-term, city councilmember is now running to be Philadelphia's first Latina (or Latino) mayor. Here’s what you need to know about her

Who is Maria Quiñones-Sánchez?

The four-term, city councilmember is now running to be Philadelphia's first Latina (or Latino) mayor. Here’s what you need to know about her

On September 6, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez became one of the first candidates to announce she is officially running to be the next Philadelphia mayor, following Jim Kenney’s eight-year tenure. If elected, Quiñones-Sánchez — who represented North Philly’s 7th District — would be the first woman and first Latino to hold the office in this city.

Quiñones-Sánchez has represented some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, North Philadelphia’s 7th District, since 2008, when she became the first Latina to serve as a district councilperson. She’s a former accountant, founding member of the Pennsylvania Statewide Latino Coalition and worked as the regional director for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.

When she started her fourth term in 2019, Quiñones-Sánchez said of the most pressing issues in the city: “I think there is a recognition by the leadership in the City of Philadelphia that incremental change has not increased the quality of life for folks in the city and poverty and equity are important.”

What we’ve learned about Maria Quiñones-Sánchez

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez smiles from behind her desk in the chamber of Philadelphia City Council
Photo courtesy Philadelphia City Council / Flickr

1. SHE’S A MAVERICK, who has won four City Council races in her district — all without the support of the city’s Democratic machine.

2. SHE WAS THE ONLY CITY COUNCILPERSON WHO SPOKE OUT after the corruption convictions of labor leader John Dougherty and her fellow Councilmember Bobby Henon.

3. SHE IS A PROGRESSIVE, WHO IS ALSO A PRAGMATIST, as evidenced by the types of policies she introduces and supports:

4. SHE IS WILLING TO BOTH PUSH BUSINESS LEADERS and work with them to make change, as evidenced by her call upon businesses to make long-term investments in Black and Brown communities and her assertion that a new approach is necessary to improve Philadelphia’s school system in the long term instead of “throwing good money after bad policy.”

5. SHE IS IN FAVOR OF COUNCILMANIC PREROGATIVE. Here’s a primer on what that means.

Our best and most recent coverage of Maria Quiñones-Sánchez

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez on film

More ways voters can learn about Maria Quiñones-Sánchez

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez is a candidate for mayor of Philadelphia in 2023

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Header photo by Sabina Louise Pierce

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