Who is Amen Brown?

The freshman state rep for West Philadelphia aims to preside over all of Philly as mayor. Here’s what we know about him

Who is Amen Brown?

The freshman state rep for West Philadelphia aims to preside over all of Philly as mayor. Here’s what we know about him

Amen Brown is serving his first term as the Pennsylvania State Representative for the 190th district, which incorporates seven wards in West Philadelphia. In 2021, Brown became the third state rep to serve the district in four years after two predecessors’ illegal dealings ended their terms early. Brown declared his intention to join the race for mayor of Philadelphia in mid-December 2022. At 35, he is the youngest candidate in the race.

Brown says he grew up in West Philadelphia as one of eight kids with a single mom and incarcerated dad. He often talks about his childhood experiences with gun violence, including losing a friend to a shooting and being shot himself as a middle schooler. Also as a young person, Brown spent 19 days in jail, which he says influences his views on criminal justice. He graduated from Overbrook High School and attended Community College of Philadelphia.

He has been described as a moderate Democrat whose main issues are fighting crime and advancing development.

Prior to serving in Harrisburg, Brown ran daycare centers, explored entrepreneurial real estate and founded a community empowerment center in Overbrook. He is currently being sued by former partners and creditors for $144,000 in unpaid debt. He has a record of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes from his business dealings and has been implicated in deed fraud.

Although a freshman representative with little name recognition, Brown’s campaign for mayor is rumored to have deep pockets behind it. Among the most visible is New York real estate mogul Marty Burger, who has development projects in Brown’s district and announced Brown’s intention to run at PA Society in early December.

Here’s what else we know about Amen Brown

Amen Brown, Pennsylvania State Rep, 190th District
  1. HE MADE WAVES IN HIS OWN PARTY by supporting legislation for increased mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for people rearrested within five years of committing a felony. (Democrats typically oppose mandatory minimums.)
  2. HE HAS CALLED FOR INCREASED SECURITY — surveillance cameras, doors that lock — in Philly schools.
  3. HE SUPPORTS TRANS KIDS’ RIGHTS, and voted against a 2022 bill passed by the PA General Assembly (and vetoed by Governor Wolf) that obligated students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their assigned gender. Brown also objected to threats to patients and providers of gender-affirming care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 
  4. HE IS STILL ESTABLISHING HIS LEGISLATIVE STANCES in Harrisburg, having, for example, voted for, then against, a statewide school voucher program.
  5. LIKE ANTHONY HARDY WILLIAMS, HE HAS RECEIVED CAMPAIGN DONATIONS from PACS affiliated with Jeff Yass, PA’s wealthiest resident, who has given millions to support public charter schools and to fight taxes. Brown has been a strong proponent of charter schools and vouchers for low-income students. He was the only House Democrat to vote for a bill that would create a school voucher program.
  6. HE MADE AN EARLY GAFFE by underestimating the City’s budget by approximately $10 billion during an on-screen interview — and then asking the reporter to ask him the question again.

Press coverage of Amen Brown

Audio featuring Amen Brown

Amen Brown on the Dom Giordano show

Videos featuring Amen Brown

Post announcement interview with Fox29’s Jeff Cole (the one where Brown goofs on estimating the City’s budget)

On gun violence and criminal justice reform

On gun violence prevention


More ways to learn about Amen Brown

Visit Amen Brown’s campaign website.

Follow Amen Brown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sign up for the Citizen newsletter to keep track of the latest on mayoral candidates, the November 8 election, and ways you can help make Philadelphia better for all of us.


Every Voice, Every Vote is a collaborative project managed by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, the Wyncote Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, among others. To learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters, visit Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.