Mayor Jim Kenney

2017 Speaker

MAYOR JIM KENNEY is a lifelong Philadelphia resident. He grew up the oldest of four children in a South Philadelphia rowhome. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, both worked second jobs to help their children pursue their education and, in 1980, Kenney became the first in his family to graduate from college. Just a decade later, Philadelphians elected him to serve as a city councilman at-large and, over the next twenty years, he stood up for Philadelphia’s working families—fighting for a real living wage and increased funding for public education. A proud progressive, Kenney led the way on broader protections for LGBTQ Philadelphians, marijuana decriminalization, and fighting for a more sensible immigration policy.

On January 4, 2016, Kenney was sworn in as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. In his first budget, he worked closely with City Council to fund bold anti-poverty initiatives – including expansion of quality pre-k, the creation of twenty five community schools and a $300 million investment in parks, rec centers and libraries. One month later, Philadelphia shined on an international stage while hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention, winning praise for the Philadelphia police department’s positive interactions with demonstrators and for the city’s overall management of this large-scale event.

Also in his first year as mayor, Philadelphia became the largest grant award recipient of the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, receiving $3.5 million to reduce jail population by 34% over three years. Kenney officially ended the police department’s stop and frisk policy on which his predecessor campaigned in 2008, significantly reducing unconstitutional pedestrian stops and increasing the number of illegal gun confiscations.  Furthermore, he increased efforts to spur economic growth in the city’s commercial corridors, launching a capital consortium for small businesses, creating a small business coach program, and expanding supports, including financial grants and loans, to small and immigrant businesses. @phillymayor

Subscribe to e-News