Power List

Mayoral wannabes from City Council chambers

Left-Right: Allan Domb, Helen Gym, Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Cindy Bass

Left-Right: Allan Domb, Helen Gym, Derek Green, Cherelle Parker, Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Cindy Bass Office of City Councilmember Allan Domb; Philadelphia City Council; Jared Piper; Provided

Who might it be in the mix? Any of these six?

There are a lot of things about being the Mayor of Philadelphia that require long and hard thought before you throw your hat in the ring. 

For most of the people running for mayor, keeping your job while running for office is within the realm of possibility. But, if you’re a member of City Council and you want to run for mayor, Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter requires you to quit your job. 

The reason for this is, according to the charter, the elections for Council and mayor are held at the same time. It would create a conflict of interest for someone who is making the laws in Council to then be asked to ratify them as mayor.

The “Resign to Run” rule hasn’t dissuaded anyone from Council who really wants the job of mayor, but you’re taking a chance.

Here are six council members who are rumored to be thinking about taking that chance. 

Of all of the Council members considering a run for mayor, few are better positioned – at least financially – than Allan Domb. Every year, a school in Philadelphia gets a $130,000 donation from City Council that’s over and above what it receives from the city to help with school necessities, financial literacy courses and mentoring and entrepreneurship opportunities. That’s the equivalent of Domb’s Council salary, which he’s never taken in his two terms in office. Domb has spent much of his time in Council focused on ways to help the city reposition itself as no longer the poorest city of its size in the U.S. To that end, he has focused on legislation designed to increase job creation and business growth such as the Wage Tax Credit bill he passed in 2020 to help the city’s lowest wage earners. He also established a working group to help the city’s hospitality industry, particularly small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When she ran for re-election in 2019, City Council member Helen Gym was the top vote getter among all Council members with 187,000 votes. That was just 26,000 short of Mayor Jim Kenney’s total, and she won in 55 of the city’s 66 wards. That’s one of the reasons why when the subject of mayoral candidates comes up, Gym is among the first names mentioned.

Gym first came on the scene as a community organizer fighting the commonwealth’s takeover of the School District of Philadelphia. Since joining City Council, she’s continued her educational activism by successfully lobbying to restore nurses, counselors and other programs to the schools. She’s also working with advocates on a school modernization push that would impact the district’s oldest schools.

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, Gym took on the cause of evictions as residents whose jobs were impacted by the virus found themselves having to deal with possible homelessness. She established an eviction diversion program that is being replicated around the country. Gym is co-chair of Local Progress, a national organization of locally elected officials with the goal of advancing an agenda based on racial and economic justice throughout local government.

Before becoming a member of Council, Derek Green served as special counsel to former Councilmember Marian Tasco and counsel to the chair of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, a position that he still holds. He’s chair of Council’s committees on Finance and People with Disabilities and Special Needs, and that’s where he’s done his most prominent work. He has been championing the creation of a Public Bank for the city, something that he believes would help solve the city’s problem with retaining minority-owned businesses by providing them with access to capital. 

Cherelle Parker, Council’s majority leader, is also chair of the Delaware River Port Authority. During her time on Council, she has focused on making sure workers have retirement security, training for small business owners, and housing preservation loans that would allow current homeowners to repair and maintain their properties. Before getting elected to Council in 2015, Parker served as a state representative for the 200th district in Northwest Philadelphia. While in the state House, she served as chair of the Philadelphia delegation to the House and championed bills that fought off predatory lending and preserved paid sick leave. 

The first Latina to hold elected office in Philadelphia, Maria Quiñones Sánchez won her first term to City Council in 2007 and she’s had to fight off primary challengers and the Democratic City Committee itself to stay in office. But she's managed to do it every time. Quiñones Sánchez chairs Council’s committees on Appropriations and Education and co-chairs Council’s Special Committee on Poverty Reduction & Prevention. As Appropriations chair, she played a big role in last year’s budget negotiations and has advocated for progressive tax reform designed to help small businesses create jobs. She’s also been on the front lines of the opioid crisis, advocating for reforms designed to expand access to drug treatment while keeping residents safe. 

Much of Council member Cindy Bass’s focus has been on neighborhoods. From fighting to regulate bins designed for charity donations to holding businesses accountable for nuisance patrons, she has proven herself a fighter for the city’s neighborhoods. Bass is in her third term in Council after spending time working in Congress and the state Senate. As chair of Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services, Bass put forth legislation that called for hearings to examine the Philadelphia Department of Human Services’ scorecard on the Community Umbrella Agencies that manage and house children under DHS care.

 

NEXT STORY: The 2021 Philly Power 100: 51-100

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.