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Derek Green kicked off his mayoral run Wednesday, September 7.
Derek Green kicked off his mayoral run Wednesday, September 7. Photo: Alan Nunez

Derek Green officially kicks off his run for Philadelphia Mayor

Green announced his run on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at ESPM Barbershop in West Philly.

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Philly Councilmember Derek Green officially launched his campaign for Mayor Wednesday, Sept, 7 at an announcement press conference at ESPM Barbershop in West Philadelphia, surrounded by supporters and his wife. 

Photo: Alan Nunez

In a prior interview with WHYY, Green explained how his prior experience as an attorney and time in city council has prepared him to run for Mayor. 

“When I look at my track record in my career, all the different experiences I’ve had, I’ve also been a small business owner with my wife. I know the issues of education because I’m a teacher’s kid and my mother taught for 31 years in a school district,” he said. “Philadelphia — When you look at all the issues we’re dealing with, and having someone who understands how the city works, and has been a prosecutor, and has been a small business owner, and has been involved in education, I think I have the capabilities that will be successful as mayor of the city.”

The first issue he touched upon at his announcement, which will likely be a focal point for many candidates running in 2023, was public safety.  

“As someone who’s been a prosecutor and understands the criminal justice system, we do have a lot of issues and need to address public safety. And it’s doing it in a comprehensive fashion,” said Green. “It’s about bringing more police officers into the city.”

Green officially resigned from his at-large seat on Philly City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 6 along with former District 7 Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sanchez who is also running for Mayor. Green won his at-large and held it since 2016. Prior to serving on city council, Green was an attorney for over 16 years and an Assistant District Attorney for a time. 

Photo: Alan Nunez

He got his Bachelors from the University of Virginia in Philosophy and Communications, and went to law school at Temple University. Green spent some time before his long stint as an attorney as an Assistant Branch Manager for Meridian Bank, Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice, Deputy Solicitor for the city, and was on the Special Counsel for Philly City Council. 

“The voters in the city of Philadelphia have been told they have to choose between one position or another — And if you just look at the budget process we just came through, I was able to put together a plan that was able to reduce taxes and put together more funding for police officers,” Green said, referring to his time as chair of City Council’s Financial Committee.

“Philadelphia is now one of the nation’s leading cities, and so people are invested and concerned about how Philadelphia is. It is the birthplace of this nation, and it needs to take its place again in leading the country on what happens in our nation,” he continued. 

Green lives in East Mount Airy with his wife and son. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer in another interview that under the right leadership, the city can experience growth such as Atlanta under Maynard Jackson in the 1990s. 

“We’ve got a lot of issues, but when I get out around the city, I see so many community members, nonprofits, small-business owners who are doing a lot and making great impact in our city — We can be a global leader in so many things,” he said. 

Photo: Alan Nunez

Green also spoke at his announcement press conference about what the next mayor needs to have. 

“Listening to a lot of people all around the city of Philadelphia, listening to homeowners in West Philadelphia or the Northeast. Listening to employers who are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, listening to my colleagues and having a real strong understand of how the budget works, how the city works — you have to be able to do all that,” he said. 

On the city council side, his absence along with the two others who have resigned, has left three vacant seats on the 17-member elected body. Green has made public safety, affordable housing, and economic development as his top issues to address. As homicides specifically grow in Philadelphia and are on pace to break a record for the second year in a row, Green says economic growth in neighborhoods is the key to a reduction. 

He says the city can “reduce gun violence in our city without violating the rights of our citizens.”

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