Kenney's cabinet looks to live up to diversity promise
Mayor-elect Kenney’s job has already started. He will officially assume office in January, but before then he has to find and recruit some 70 people to his executive cabinet. These are the people who will shape the culture and policy of the Kenney administration. The question is, who will shape the shapers?
Two days after his election, Kenney launched his transition team: a whopping 169-person task force whose job is to make the City Hall move-in as smooth and informed as possible.
Chiefly, the transition team will guide policy and personnel decisions. Some of them will take jobs within Kenney’s office as well. According to Kenney’s spokesperson Lauren Hitt, however, those persons advising on personnel decisions will not be eligible for job placement. The names of these personnel guides will not be made available.
A lot of eyes — including ours — will be watching this appointment process closely. Kenney made numerous promises during his campaign to build a city government that reflects the city itself, not to mention the “broad and diverse coalition” that helped Kenney secure the Democratic nomination back in May, and who officially elected him to the executive office this week.
The principles of the cabinet are “diversity, excellence, community involvement and objectivity,” and the impressive 170-person list shows it. There is a broad range of backgrounds and talents on display here that suggests Kenney is serious about his promise.
Latinos make up about 10 percent of the transition team, which is impressive considering that most powerful decision-making boards across the city are about one to three percent.
Alba Martinez, transition committee co-chair
Commerce and Economic Development
Cynthia Figueroa, co-chair
Pedro Rodriguez, co-chair
Housing, Planning and Development
Community, Culture and Recreation
Joanna Otero Cruz
Numa St. Louis
Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs
Peter Gonzales, co-chair
Rev. Adan Mairena
Infastructure and transportation
Kenney has launched an online application process to expedite the process and to bring in outside talent.
“At this point we are driving all resumé submissions to that link,” Hitt said. “We are very serious about having the community involved and trying to get the best talent from both in and outside Philadelphia. As wide-reaching as our network is through Jim’s 23 years in government, the 170 people on this committee, we’re very open to the fact there may be someone else isn’t connected to that network.”