About Jim Kenney

Mayor Kenney and young child posing for photo in front of a firetruck

About Jim Kenney

A lifelong city resident who grew up in a South Philadelphia row home, Mayor Jim Kenney was described in Governing Magazine as “one of the most effective (mayors) at dealing with things that matter to progressives.”

Since taking office in January 2016, Kenney has fought to make his vision for Philadelphia a reality by focusing on providing a quality education for all of Philadelphia’s children; reforming our justice system; making Philadelphia a city that welcomes and protects all of its citizens, regardless of their immigration status; rebuilding our parks, libraries and recreational centers; and ensuring equity and equality for all Philadelphians.

Under Mayor Kenney, over half a billion dollars in new funding has been invested in our schools and thousands of mostly low-income children have benefited from free, high-quality pre-K.

Philadelphia’s local jail population has been safely reduced by over 40% — resulting in the City’s House of Correction being depopulated. Police-involved shootings have been cut in half.

Kenney decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and took back control of our public schools from the state.    He gave teachers their first pay raise in five years and is creating 20 new community schools – providing comprehensive wrap-around services to our city’s poorest students and their families.

Kenney stopped cooperating with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and defeated the Trump Administration’s attempt to deny federal funds to welcoming cities like Philadelphia that are providing equal protection to all its citizens – regardless of their immigration status.  He launched Rebuild, a comprehensive infrastructure program to improve city parks, libraries and recreational centers funded by hundreds of millions from the city’s Beverage Tax, and Kenney established a $15 minimum wage for all city employees and contractors.

While tackling the opioid crisis, Kenney is garnering all available resources and utilizing a wide range of innovative services to connect individuals to treatment and housing, close homeless encampments in Kensington, and implement harm reduction measures.

First elected as a Democratic City Councilman at-Large in 1991 and resigning in 2015 to run successfully for Mayor, over the course of two decades Kenney earned a reputation for hard work, tackling the tough issues, making difficult decisions, and standing up for Philadelphia’s working families – fighting for a real living wage, increased funding for public education, and community policing initiatives. Kenney led the way on LGBTQ equality by establishing broader legal rights and protections  – making Philadelphia the most LGBTQ-friendly city in the country. Kenney also fought for the decriminalization of marijuana, and a more sensible immigration policy.

On November 3, 2015, the citizens of Philadelphia overwhelmingly voted to elect Jim Kenney the Mayor. To join the broad coalition of people who support Jim Kenney and want to re-elect him to a second term, sign up to receive updates from our team here.