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Mayor James Kenney

2023 Speaker

Mayor, City of Philadelphia

MAYOR JAMES KENNEY is a lifelong city resident and grew up the oldest of four in a South Philadelphia rowhouse neighborhood. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, both worked second jobs to put Kenney and his three siblings through parochial school. After graduating from St. Joe’s Prep, Kenney worked his way through La Salle University and became the first in his family to graduate from college. Kenney was elected in 1991 to serve as a Democratic City Councilman At-Large. In City Council, Kenney stood up for Philadelphia’s working families—fighting for a real living wage, increased funding for public education, and community policing measures. A proud progressive, Kenney also led the way on broader protections for LGBTQ Philadelphians, marijuana decriminalization, and a more sensible immigration policy by ending ICE holds that tear families apart. On January 4, 2016, Kenney was sworn in as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. In his inaugural address, the Mayor laid out a vision for an accessible, accountable government that works for everyone in every neighborhood. To make that vision a reality, the Mayor is committed to expanding access to quality pre-k for high-need children, implementing the community school model in Philadelphia, eliminating unconstitutional stop and frisks and investing in our commercial corridors.