On September 6, 2022 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. On April 9, 2023, the week after the campaign finance reporting deadline, she told the Inquirer she is suspending her campaign because of the “obnoxious, obscene amount of money” flowing through other candidates.
Quiñones Sánchez represented North Philly’s 7th District on Philadelphia City Council. Had she been elected, she would have been the first woman and first person of Latino descent 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
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:
- In 2019, she was behind the City’s historic domestic workers bill of rights.
- She is opposed to the tax on sugary beverages, one of Mayor Kenney’s signature policies, and to opening a safe injection site in her neighborhood.
- She has worked to quell parking wars in the city.
- She was one of the Councilmembers who pushed for a cut in business taxes as a way to spur economic growth.
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.
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MORE MAYORAL RACE COVERAGE FROM THE CITIZENHeader photo by Sabina Louise Pierce