By now, you should know the many candidates for mayor of Philadelphia. Many more, however, are running for Philadelphia City Council. (Some of them are facing petition challenges that are pushing them off the ballot on a weekly basis.)
In 2023, all 17 seats on the City’s governing body are up for grabs: 10 geography-based district seats, and seven at-large seats. Democratic and Republican Philadelphia voters have their first chance to vote for the candidates of our choosing in the primary on May 16.
In the primary, voters can choose only members of their own party. Third-party candidates first come into the picture during the municipal election on November 7, alongside Democratic and Republican primary winners. (This means you will not see Working Families Party candidates Kendra Brooks and Nic O’Rourke on the May ballot.)
At-large incumbents running for their jobs again are: Kendra Brooks (Working Families Party / WP), Katherine Gilmore Richardson (Democrat / D), Jim Harrity (D, chosen in 2022 by special election) and Isaiah Thomas (D).
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
District incumbents looking to go another round are: Mark Squilla (D), Kenyatta Johnson (D), Jamie Gauthier (D), Curtis Jones Jr. (D), Mike Driscoll (D), Quetcy Lozada (D, special election), Anthony Phillips (D, special election), Cindy Bass (D) and Brian O’Neill (R).
DISTRICT CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
By March 7, all candidates needed to turn in their signed petitions to be permitted onto the May 16 primary ballot. Between now and primary day, candidates can challenge each other’s signatures.
All seven At-Large seats on Philadelphia City Council are up for grabs in 2023. Three Democratic at-large Councilmembers resigned to run for mayor; two were replaced in a special election; one of these two (Harrity) will run for another term.
Rules dictate that at least two At-Large seats must go to a member of the non-majority party. In recent decades, the minority seats went to Republicans, but currently only Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party occupies a minority seat, since former At-Large Republican David Oh resigned to run for mayor. This means at least one newcomer to City Council will occupy a minority At-Large seat.
Ahmad is a former Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement (the City of Philadelphia office that works on community outreach and engagement), where she launched the Commission on Women. She’s currently state president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and formerly a member of the National Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Barack Obama. Ahmad ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018 and state auditor general in 2020. She says her highest priority is addressing gun violence as a public health issue, for both the physical and the psychological traumas it causes.
At age 21, Ahmad immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her family in Mt. Airy and serves on the board of the Philadelphia Foundation. This would be her first time holding elected office.
Endorsements: Ahmad is in a three-way tie for the At-Large endorsement from the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee with activist Erika Almirón and former Deputy Managing Director Eryn Santamoor. Wards will determine the final endorsements.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $54,386
Alexander is a cyber security attorney for a Virginia-based firm who says he started his civic life as a child in Strawberry Mansion, working alongside his great-grandmother during door-to-door get-out-the-vote efforts. A graduate of Bodine High School and Penn State, he became the first Black student body president of the Commonwealth Campuses Student Government. As a college senior, he ran unsuccessfully to be a City Committeeperson. He then attended law school at the University of Pittsburgh.
This would be Alexander’s first role in government leadership. He has listed his priorities as gun violence and crime prevention (he’d like to establish public access to community surveillance video feeds, concentrate police in crime hot spots, create cognitive bias training for police).
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $10,250
Almirón is a 20-year veteran of social justice organizing and advocating for human rights. As executive director of Juntos, a community and immigrant rights organization, she worked to help establish Philadelphia’s Sanctuary City policy. Almirón is the daughter of immigrants from Paraguay and has aligned herself with Latinx members of City leadership. She has also vowed to campaign without support from corporations, dark money or real estate developers. Her platform is based on her work in social justice and focuses on education reform, affordable housing, and immigrants’ rights.
Almirón ran unsuccessfully for Philadelphia City Council in 2019. This would be her first time holding elected office.
Almirón is currently in a three-way tie for the At-Large endorsement from the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee with Pennsylvania NOW president Nina Ahmad and former Deputy Managing Director Eryn Santamoor. Wards will determine the final endorsements.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $31,655
CHRISTOPHER GLADSTONE BOOTH
Gladstone Booth had a career in government — according to his website, he’s worked for the Dept. of Agriculture, and the International Technology Services Division in the Dept. of Defense — before becoming a public school teacher. He’s on the board of the Woodford Tennis Club and East Mt. Airy Neighbors, and the advisory committee of Pleasant Playground.
This would be the first elected role for Gladstone Booth, who grew up in South Philly and Mt. Airy, where he lives now, and graduated from W.B. Saul High School and Morehouse College. He has listed his priorities as improving education, preventing crime, establishing Philadelphia as a historic and cultural destination, promoting renewable energy and establishing a public bank.
Cohen is a progressive activist and tenant rights attorney who has sued to protect Philadelphia public libraries from closure and sued big tobacco in a landmark class-action case. The daughter of the late Councilmember At-Large David Cohen, she aims to become the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Council and has twice fallen short of making it onto the November ballot. She and her wife live in Ogontz.
Cohen has served in volunteer and leadership positions around the issues of homelessness, all manner of civil rights, and library access. She is a Democratic Party committeeperson and block captain. Cohen has listed her priorities as ending gun violence through community-led public safety programs, improving public schools, opening libraries and recreation centers daily, funding “deeply affordable” housing, establishing prison oversight, ending mass incarceration, and creating a Green New Deal for Philadelphia. This would be Cohen’s first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $5,598
Colón is a Kensington native of proud Puerto Rican heritage who served under Gov. Tom Wolf as executive director of Pennsylvania’s Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA). She has staffed for three members of City Council: Angel Ortiz, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee and is a 20th Ward committeeperson. Colón has been on the boards of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Philadelphia Fight, an HIV/AIDS medical care organization, and co-founded La Liga del Barrio, the city’s first Latino Youth Basketball League. She is the single mother of two.
Colón has cited public safety, equitable economic investment, and improving public education has her top priorities. She has worked in City Hall, but this would be her first time holding elected office.
Dorsey has run for an At-Large seat on Council before.
Edwards is a community organizer and the PA grassroots manager for voting rights organization All Voting is Local. His resume shows a decade-plus of service to organizations that support students of color, involvement in government, addiction treatment, libraries, mentorship for at-risk children, voter participation, City parks, the Committee of Seventy, and the NAACP. Also on the C.V.: working on campaigns for Biden, Bloomberg, Katie McGinty, Obama, and PA Supreme Court Justice David Wecht. He’s been a Democratic Committeeperson for the 42nd (Olney) and 22nd (Mt. Airy) wards and has yet to work in City Hall, as an elected official or in any capacity.
Edwards ran unsuccessfully to represent District 179 (North Philadelphia) in the State House of Representatives in 2018. Improving 911 times for underserved communities, solving illegal dumping, lowering business taxes are among his priorities. Edwards currently lives in Mount Airy.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $5,000
KATHERINE GILMORE RICHARDSON (1-term Incumbent)
In 2020, Gilmore Richardson became the youngest woman to hold citywide office and youngest Black woman to serve on City Council. She’d previously served as chief of staff to Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown, spending 11 years as a legislative aide, and as vice president of the Philadelphia Young Democrats. On Council, she’s known for her efforts toward transparency and collaboration. Her legislative successes include giving grades of career technical education programs in the School District preference in civil service examinations (and therefore easier access to City jobs), requiring public hearings for labor contracts for the Philadelphia Police Department, instituting conflict resolution training in public schools, and advocating for sustainable investing in the pension fund. She is the lone Pennsylvanian to serve on the Local Government Advisory Committee for the EPA.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $256,026
Information not available.
OGBONNA “PAUL” HAGINS
Hagins, aka “Philly Green Man,” believes cleaning and greening are key to positive change in Philadelphia, including through innovating waste management. The retired teacher and self-described recycling guru also lists equitable funding for education, including STEM, and a Green New Deal for Philly. He ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large seat in the 2019 primary. He has never held elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $782
Campaign / Facebook
JIM HARRITY (Incumbent by special election in 2022)
During a November 2022 special election, voters elected Harrity — with 80 percent of the vote on the ballot with Republican Drew Murray and Libertarian Poetica Bey — to City Council to replace Allan Domb, who resigned to run for mayor. Harrity came to politics as executive director of the Office of State Senator Sharif Street, political director of the Philadelphia Democratic Party — right-hand to Party Chairman and former Congressman Bob Brady — and more recently became the political director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party under Street. In Council, he introduced a bill to expand protections under the city’s existing Life Partnership ordinance to protect individuals regardless of gender, and joined Mike Driscoll in introducing a resolution for the City to enact its own minimum wage laws.
Endorsements: Democratic City Committee
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $56,250
Itzkowitz has been the executive director of Old City District since 2014. An attorney with a law degree from Penn, he’s worked for City Council as deputy chief of staff and director of legislation. He co-founded both Young Involved Philadelphia and Friends of Love Park, co-chairs the Board of Philly Fellows, and chaired the zoning committee for the Board of East Point Breeze Neighbors.
Itzkowitz’s focuses are quality-of-life issues such as accessible public transit and clean streets, education, and small businesses. Itzkowitz, his wife and their young daughter live in Point Breeze. Itzkowitz, who is six-foot-seven and uses the tagline “Tall Tasks Require Tall Solutions” would be the tallest member of City Council. It would be his first time holding elected office.
Endorsement: Philly 3.0
JOHN B. KELLY III
Kelly is exactly who you think he is, but would prefer you not to know him as the son of former City Councilmember John B. Kelly II and nephew of Princess Grace. Instead, he touts his qualifications in municipal finance (at PNC), CFO role at Vitara Biomedical, 25 years as a Democratic committeeperson in the 9th Ward (10 as treasurer), founding treasurer of the Philadelphia Police Foundation, and board member of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. He’s also, not surprisingly, involved in local rowing and president of the environmentally active Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA. He has not served in political office or worked in City Hall.
Kelly III’s campaign slogan is “Safer streets. Better schools. Greener city.”
Money as of 12/31/22: $62,740
Landau is a fair housing activist and attorney who worked at Community Legal Services for more than 10 years and spent 12 years in city government, as the director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC). She has taught housing law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, was until recently the director of law and policy at the Philadelphia Bar Association, and is generally considered well-liked and connected in government circles. A member of the LGBTQ+ community, Landau (and her partner) received the first same-sex marriage license in Pennsylvania and reside with their family in Bella Vista.
Although no stranger to City Hall, this would be Landau’s first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $135,577
McIllmurray is a Fishtown native, political organizer, and progressive candidate who ran the campaigns of state Senator Nikil Saval and state Representative Elizabeth Fiedler. She is running on a working-class platform, pushing for wage and labor protections, affordable housing, community safety, and greater investment in public transportation and services. McIllmurray has cited her experience attending Central High School as a guidepost for policies to improve Philadelphia public schools.
McIllmurray was a founder and the political director of Reclaim Philadelphia, a progressive political organization born of Bernie Sanders’s presidential run — and also influential in the campaigns of Larry Krasner, Fielder, and Saval. This would be McIllmurray’s first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $102,480
Prettyman has been a teacher at Olney High School and says her students’ trauma and needs for financial, vocational and other education and skills inspired her to run for elected office. She is married to a 27th Ward committeeperson, the daughter and sister of Air Force veterans, granddaughter of a Civil Rights marcher, mother of three and Cheyney University grad.
Prettyman lists crime reduction, educational reform, and supporting small businesses as priorities. She is a member of the Parent Action Committee for Mastery Charter Schools, the Philadelphia section of National Council of Negro Women, and board of the JayHawks Youth Association in Kingsessing, where she lives. This would be her first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $10,528
Charles Reyes is a former community school coordinator for the for the Mayor’s Office of Children and Families. He’s been honored by Good Morning America for the work he’s done in North Philadelphia, especially for the students of Dobbins High School, including distributing fresh produce and other food and creating a fitness program. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Robbins is a former WURD host and Army combat medic who has been a political strategist for Democrats campaigning for City Council and state office. She has not herself held elected office. Her personal experience as a single parent raising children in the public school system has informed her activism. She lives in Fox Chase.
Robbins believes poverty — access to opportunity — is the root cause of Philadelphia’s most pressing needs for affordable housing access, safe and equitable public schools, and violence. Education solutions she’s proposing include increasing our investment in schools — including from the state — and partnering with local colleges.
Santamoor served as the Deputy Managing Director for the City and Deputy Managing Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Deputy Mayor for Public Safety under Mayor Michael Nutter, where she contributed to the creation of Philly311 and PhillyStat. As Chief of Staff for former At-Large City Councilmember Allan Domb, she became known for her expertise in operations and budgeting and navigating City bureaucracy. In the private sector as a consultant for PFM, she helped other cities manage fiscal crises. She is said to have connections in local politics, especially among Ward leaders, as well as hospitality and corridor organizations. She has stated her priorities as addressing substance use disorders, improving public safety and upgrading basic City services. This would be her first time holding elected office. Santamoor ran an innovative yet unsuccessful campaign for an At-Large Council seat in 2019.
Santamoor is a first-generation college student with a graduate degree in student government administration from Penn. She lives in Chestnut Hill with her family and sits on the board of the nonprofit Uplift Center for Grieving Children.
Endorsements: Santamoor is currently in a three-way tie for the endorsement of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee with activist Erika Almirón and local NOW president Nina Ahmad. Wards will determine the final endorsements.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $126,451
Segers is the assistant principal of school culture at Mastery Charter School Mann Elementary. The Olney resident and Cheyney University grad has said his goals on City Council would be to improve public schools and increase community safety. This would be his first role in government or politics.
ISAIAH THOMAS (1-term Incumbent)
Thomas chairs Council’s Streets and Education Committees and vice chairs the Children and Youth Committee. The East Oak Lane dad’s most talked-about achievement in City Hall was sponsoring the Driving Equality bill, which bans police from making traffic stops for minor offenses like a broken tail light. Thomas introduced a Citizen Watchdog bill to pay residents for reporting quality-of-life issues and joined Councilmember Richardson in creating a $1 Illuminate the Arts grant to give $1,000 to $25,000 to local artists.
He has rallied against gun violence and its outcomes on children — he’s a former athletic director at Sankofa Freedom Academy, former president of the Coaches Association for Public League Boys Basketball, director of community affairs for the Controller’s office, and the co-founder of an end-of-summer camp for at-risk youth. Thomas hosts an annual Black-owned business crawl. He sees a dangerous dichotomy between the business community and low-income Philadelphians, one that affects his top priorities of poverty, affordable housing, gun violence and public education.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $76,203
West is the founder of the Black Business Accelerator and consulting firm Culturally Congruent Solution. He served as president and CEO of the PA African-American Chamber of Commerce in the nine-month runup to Covid. His strengths and support are in the realm of business and economic development, but issues he prioritizes in his campaign also include crime, affordable housing, health care, education, and poverty. He has served on both the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males and the Mayor’s Pathways to Reform, Transformation and Reconciliation Steering Committee, but not in City government.
Endorsement: Philly 3.0
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $17,950
Williams is a social worker and mental health consultant and coach, a nonprofit operator, and a former pastor of Nicetown’s New Inspirational Baptist Church. Williams has rallied against gun violence and served as the president of the board of Bluford Charter School. She ran for a state senate seat in 2016. This would be Williams’ first time in elected office.
Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party
Grisafi has been a Republican leader for the 53rd Ward. According to a letter to the editor he wrote in 2020 to the Northeast Times, he’s a Burholme resident, the owner of Grisafi Music Institute in Bensalem and Ambler, a musician, a music teacher, and a construction safety inspector. He has worked as a constituent services representative for former Councilmember Al Taubenberg and served on his neighborhood town watch and civic association.
Grisafi has previously run without success for the District 7 seat in City Council and for state rep. This would be his first time as an elected official.
Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party
Hasher is a Realtor, real estate agency owner, and the owner-operator of Jimmy’s Timeout Sports Pub in Torresdale. His leadership in youth athletics includes serving on the PA Athletic Commission, presiding over the Torresdale Boys Club, founding a local AAU basketball program, coaching for Torresdale and St. Katherine of Siena, and fundraising for Philly boxers. He’s also been the 65th Ward Leader and a 1994 candidate for the 3rd Congressional District.
Hasher’s top priorities are combating gun violence with improved law enforcement, bringing small businesses back to Philadelphia, and tackling the opioid epidemic by eliminating drug smuggling, making dealers more accountable, and improving drug education. He and his wife live in Torresdale. They have five grown sons. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Republican Party
MARY JANE KELLY
Kelly is a 65th Ward Republican Committee who lives in East Torresdale. A graduate of Saint Boniface Business School, she worked as a clerk in the Philadelphia Court System for 26 years and now works as a hostess at Phillies home games.
Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party
If Murray’s name looks familiar, you probably voted in the November 2022 election, where he ran in a special election for a vacated seat on Council. You might have also seen his name during his 2019 Council run, or his 2020 try for a House seat. (It’s not easy being a Republican in Philly.) Murray is the leader of the 15th Ward. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Murray is a regional sales manager for O’Brien Business Systems in Montco. He’s also been president of the Logan Square Neighbors Association and Friends of Coxe Park, chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition and board member of Center City District. He would like to see Philly take a tougher approach to crime, including misdemeanors. He’s pro-police — he’s posted the blue lives matter flag to his Twitter — opposed to the soda tax and safe injection sites, would like reduced wage and millage taxes, and supports both school choice and universal pre-K.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Republican Party, TWU 234, IATSE 8, Log Cabin Republicans, Rep. Martina White, Councilmembers Brian O’Neill, David Oh, Al Taubenberger.
As of the end of 2022, his campaign had raised $25,290.
Oropeza is a realtor and former boxer and MMA fighter who operates a nonprofit that performs street cleanups. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully — but still managed to receive 43 percent of the vote — for 5th state Senatorial District in the special election. On his social media, he champions police causes and getting rid of encampments of unhoused people. Oropeza’s priorities are safe neighborhoods, education and accountability, according to his website. He told Al Día that reducing crime and gun violence was at the top of his list. Oropeza lives in Bridesburg and works in Kensington. This would be Oropeza’s first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $7,837.
See the Committee of Seventy’s complete set of Councilmanic District maps.
Along the Delaware River from South Philly, through Center City (Old City), Chinatown, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond
MARK SQUILLA (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)
The bread-and-butter of this South Philly native (a Neumann grad and a Mummer) are constituent services — including helping to start Friends of groups and making generous contributions from campaign and discretionary funds to organizations in his district. Squilla chairs Council’s Streets Committee, has showed up to remedy trash and litter, and fought for the ban on single-use plastic bags. Squilla also displayed unconventional initiative when, in 2015, he and his office auctioned off 89 distressed properties in his councilmanic district.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $392,520
Parts of Center City, South and Southwest Philadelphia, including the Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Flyers stadiums, Philadelphia International Airport, the Navy Yard and FDR Park
KENYATTA JOHNSON (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)
This Southwest Philly Councilmember has become known citywide as much for his time in court as his time in City Hall, where he is one of Council’s preeminent joiners. Last year, he — and his wife — were acquitted of a 22-count indictment on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and tax fraud.
Johnson hails from Point Breeze and served as the state rep for the 186th legislative district. He chairs Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention and the Committee on Rules and Transportation and Public Utilities. He also serves on committees for Appropriations, Public Safety, Streets and Services, Licenses and Inspections, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Commerce and Economic Development, Children and Youth, and Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation committees.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $226,615
West and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Belmont, Powelton Village, West Powelton, Kingsessing, Elmwood Park, Mill Creek, Mantua, University City, Cobbs Creek, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Garden Court, Cedar Park
JAMIE GAUTHIER (Democrat / 1-term Incumbent)
Gauthier took office in January 2020 as “only elected official in the City of Philadelphia with a planning degree.” As Chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless, Gauthier pushes policy that encourages new affordable housing construction while preserving existing affordable housing. She has collaborated with former Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez on the Mixed Income Neighborhoods Overlay District (within which large new developments must keep 20 percent of their units affordable), and with former and current Councilmembers Gym and Brooks on the Emergency Housing Protection Act. Her 2022 #JustServicesPHL campaign calls for major investments in marginalized neighborhoods to improve City services to improve parks, add street lights, curtail illegal dumping, and green vacant lots.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $207,103
Allegheny West, Belmont Village, East Falls, Manayunk, Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Roxborough, Wynnefield and sections of West Philadelphia
CURTIS JONES JR. (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)
Jones is the Chairman of the Committees on Public Safety, Commerce & Economic Development and Vice Chair for Parks & Recreation & Cultural Affairs. He was unanimously elected Majority Leader from 2012-2016.
Jones’ legislative achievements include making permanent the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males, amending Philadelphia’s “Ban the Box” legislation to protect job applicants from discrimination based on their criminal record, and the “CVN Bill” that allows police officers to use their discretion for certain minor offenses to avoid an arrest in favor of issuing a civil citation. Jones is a proponent of community-based economic development. He launched a $1 million pilot project for mixed-use developments with the Office of Housing and Community Development, and establishing the Roxborough Environmental Control District to preserve the historic Manatawna Farm, wildlife habitat and greenspace.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $173,055
North Central Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Lower Hunting Park, Ludlow, Yorktown, West Poplar, Fairhill, Brewerytown, Francisville, Spring Garden, Fairmount, Logan Square, and parts of Northwood, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Center City.
JEFFREY YOUNG JR. (Democrat)
Young is an attorney and partner at the Wynnefield-based Legis Group, where he specializes in real estate, government affairs and business law. Clarke’s former legislative council, Young has experience working in the 5th District. He is both a committeeperson for, and counsel to, the 32nd Ward. Young has served on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males (now the Office on Black Male Engagement), the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Union Benevolent Association and the board of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.
Young is a graduate of Girard College, Temple University and Rutgers School of Law in Newark. He has listed the issues he will prioritize as: reduce gun violence, improve educational outcomes, target investment in youth, reform public safety institutions, create economic opportunities, and ensure sustainable and equitable development. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods of Tacony, Mayfair, Holmesburg, Lexington Park, Holme Circle, Ashton, Bridesburg, Wissinoming, Port Richmond, East Torresdale, Castor Gardens, Oxford Circle, Rhawnhurst, Bells Corner, Winchester Park, Academy Gardens, Pennypack and Frankford
MIKE DRISCOLL (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)
Driscoll is a former state representative of the 173rd District who resigned his seat to replace Councilmember Bobby Henon in June 2022, after Henon was found guilty on 10 of 18 federal charges on embezzlement and theft. Driscoll chairs the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Prior to occupying an elected office, he was V.P. of business development for the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union and deputy secretary of the Department of General Services under PA Gov. Bob Casey.
Driscoll’s priorities include developing the Delaware River waterfront and improving educational opportunities for young children and college graduates. He has co-sponsored legislation to reduce truck and trailer parking in his district, increase student pedestrian safety, allow Philadelphia to enact its own minimum wage law, and to change the City’s employee residency requirement. He and his family reside in Torresdale.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $14,450
Castor Gardens, Fairhill, Feltonville, Frankford, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Oxford Circle and Wissinoming.
QUETCY LOZADA (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)
Lozada joined Council in a special election following the 2022 resignation of her former boss, former 7th District Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who is running for mayor. Before Lozada’s election, the Northwood resident was vice president of community engagement and organizing for the Hunting Park Christian service group Esperanza. She also served as director of community engagement for the District Attorney’s office, then as Quiñones Sánchez’s chief of staff. Upon becoming a member of Council, she cited her priorities as combating gun violence and the opioid crisis, which is rampant in her district, especially Kensington.
In her few months on Council, Lozada has introduced a resolution for a “Marshall Plan” for Kensington and co-sponsored Councilmember Phillips’ bill for student pedestrian safety.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $12,000
ANDRÉS CELIN (Democrat)
Celin cites his qualifications for City Council as his decade-plus of work in the 7th District as an educator at Edison High School, family case worker at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and community organizer — along with his time as the outreach director for former Councilmember Gym. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Celin says community safety in the 7th will come by providing more and better treatment, housing, job training and violence interruption for people impacted by opioid addiction. He also wants his community to have a voice in residential development, and to increase affordable housing. Celin’s third main priority: Economic justice in the form of job training, expanding access to union careers, and investing in public education.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $24,615
Northwest Philly, including parts of Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, East Falls, Germantown, Wissahickon, Nicetown, Tioga, Allegheny
CINDY BASS (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)
Bass has represented her district since 2012 and served on the 22nd Ward Democratic Committee since 1998. Council’s Deputy Majority Whip chairs two committees: Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Public Health and Human Services. Bass would like to be known for her championing of quality of life issues. She co-sponsored a bill banning guns in rec centers and playgrounds, proposed tax amnesty for taxes owed from 2009 to 2019, launched a camera program to try to catch illegal dumping, and worked on issues such as maternal mortality rates, zoning, repealing the 10-year tax abatement and improving traffic safety near schools and childcare centers. She and former Councilmember Oh recently proposed the establishment of a music office for the city.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $111,325
SETH ANDERSON-OBERMAN (Democrat)
Anderson-Oberman is a professional labor organizer and long-time advocate for workers’ rights. He currently organizes for SEIU, PA’s largest healthcare union, and previously organized for the AFL-CIO and the NJ chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. His activism includes creating the Philadelphia Labor for Black Lives, who have hosted vigils for George Floyd and protested for University Townhomes residents facing eviction. He serves on the board of the Philadelphia Student Union. This would be his first time being elected to public office.
Anderson-Oberman says poverty reduction will lead to community safety, and that violence is a healthcare issue, requiring investment in infrastructure, outreach, and conflict resolution. He plans to advocate for deeply affordable housing and rent and mortgage relief; reform the Land Bank; end the 10-year tax abatement; ameliorate school buildings; hire more BIPOC educators, and fully fund libraries.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $30,269
Northwest and Northeast including East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme and Oxford Circle.
ANTHONY PHILLIPS (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)
Phillips won a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Councilmember Cherelle Parker when Parker resigned to run for Mayor. He’s the co-founder and former executive director of Youth Action, a program connecting Philly’s middle and high school students to service opportunities to inspire socially responsible leadership, and a former pre-college program director at TeenSHARP, an organization that opens doors for minority youth to achieve scholarships and gain admission to selective universities. Phillips holds an undergraduate degree from Bates College, a Master’s from Yale University, and will soon receive his Ph.D. in Afro-American studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a devout Christian.
Phillips’ actions on Council include introducing bills to protect student pedestrians and to reduce truck parking in Northeast Philly. He has served as a committeeperson and first vice chair of the 50th Ward. His goals upon re-election include: improving public safety through community engagement, improving schools through family engagement, rebuilding the District’s commercial corridors, and improving quality of life.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $42,081
JAMES WILLIAMS (Democrat)
Williams is the publisher of the 9th District Uptown Standard Newspaper and the former Northwest Philly constituent services representative for former Councilmember Oh. He has also been a track and field coach for four area universities and was twice named NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year. He’s also worked in mental health for Philadelphia schools and the director of institutional advancement for two parochial high schools.
If elected, Williams wants to solve the city’s gun violence epidemic by holding gun shops accountable, implementing a public camera-based digital townwatch like Atlantic City’s, recruiting more police officers from the neighborhoods, and follow recommendations made in the audit of the Police Department by the office of former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. He’d like to improve neighborhoods with oversight of: nuisance bars and shops, dangerous properties, illegal parking and dumping, abandoned cars and homes, and open air drug markets.
Williams ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large seat in 2015. This would be the Cedarbrook resident’s first time serving in elected public office.
YVETTE YOUNG (Democrat)
Young is a West Oak Lane native who is director of facilities for Pottsgrove School District. She has worked for the City as a construction auditor for the Controller’s office, project coordinator in Capital Projects, and assistant director of facilities at the School District. Her community service includes board membership on Life Turning Point of Philadelphia, a Biblical nonprofit serving women and children.
Young has listed her priorities as repairing schools, developing programs and procedures to protect the environment, and creating community-based safety programs to mitigate crime and violence. This would be her first time serving in elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $1,335
Far Northeast neighborhoods of Bustleton, Fox Chase, Pennypack, Rhawnhurst, Somerton, Torresdale.
BRIAN O’NEILL (Republican / 11-term Incumbent)
O’Neill was first elected in 1979. He currently serves as Council’s Minority Leader and chair of the Technology and Information Services Committee. O’Neill has a reputation for constituent accessibility; he maintains four full-time offices in his district. He’s a proponent of his district’s public parks, proposed a bill to reduce truck and tractor-trailer parking in the Northeast, and has introduced bills to double the Homestead Exemption, moved to review and reform the zoning code.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Republican Party
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $104,550
GARY MASINO (Democrat)
Masino is the president and business manager of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 and the assistant business manager of the Philadelphia Building Trades Council. His ties to labor and the port are deep, having served as a commissioner on the Delaware River Port Authority board, and served on the board of appeals for the Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He’s also served on the states’ Labor Relations Board and the Convention Center’s board of directors.
Masino told the Northeast Times his “platform is simple: public safety, jobs and education.” In the same piece, he mentioned his concerns over high crime, lower salaries for teachers, and the viability of small businesses. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $188,100
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