Who are the new members of Philly City Council?
Four seats were filled in yesterdays special elections.
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With the rush for Philadelphia Mayor in 2023 well underway, four Philadelphia City Councilmembers were quick to announce their resignations from the legislative body to either explore or immediately announce runs for the city’s highest office.
Their absences led Council President Darrell Clarke to announce special elections for District 7 and 9, and two at-large seats. By that time, the candidates were already lined up to replace the outgoing councilmembers and usher in a new, albeit short, era of Philadelphia City Council.
It’s an era where experience and youth will reign, led by the previous class of young councilmembers like Kendra Brooks, Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Jamie Gauthier.
They unapologetically push a progressive agenda and demand results until they are heard and acted upon. The four are also hardened by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that hit within two months of their first terms.
Of those joining after the special elections are a slate of four Democrats that offer both that same mix of deep experience and youth. Three are longtime staffers to either former city councilmembers or other leaders in Philadelphia government, and one is a young entrepreneur ready to take his leadership in the city to another level from a district council office.
Get to know them below:
Quetcy Lozada — District 7
AL DÍA was the first on the scene as Philadelphia Democratic Ward leaders in District 7 selected Lozada, a longtime city council staffer and community leader, as the party’s nominee to fill the seat of 14-year city council stalwart María Quiñones-Sánchez.
Unlike her predecessor, who she worked under for almost 11 years as Quiñones-Sánchez’s chief of staff, Lozada is making the effort from the jump to work closer with the Democratic Party establishment, which never supported Quiñones-Sánchez. She won anyway in every election showdown.
Lozada said she learned the necessity of having a strong voice for the district in City Council from people like Quiñones-Sánchez, but also the need to work with others.
“When you work with ward leaders directly, when you work with Congressmen and the folks of the party structure, you're able to resolve things much quicker, and I’ve seen that myself,” she said.
Anthony Phillips — District 9
Phillips is a 33-year-old Ph.D. student, faith leader and founder of the nonprofit, Youth Action, which seeks to inspire and provide mentorship for middle school and high school age kids in Philadelphia. Phillips founded the organization when he was just 14 years old.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillips spoke a lot about the need for things to be “excellent.”
“We have to have excellent commercial corridors. We have to have excellent schools. And we must have excellent quality of life,” he told the Inquirer.
That starts by great representation in districts like his, which comprises many of the city’s “middle neighborhoods.” They are also majority Black and have long been major economic engines in the city.
Sharon Vaughn — At-large
Vaughn’s career in Philly politics extends longer than any in the field this year, having first started in Philadelphia City Hall under then-Councilmember Augusta Clark, the second Black woman to ever be a member of City Council in its history.
That was in 1989, and Vaughn has since held positions in the offices of Marian Tasco and most recently, Derek Green.
Jimmy Harrity — At-large
Harrity is another longtime behind-the-scenes staffer in local government, most recently with State Senator Sharif Street Jr., who he calls his “best friend.”
It is Street’s family that stood by Harrity, a native of Kensington, through all his troubles earlier in life and shaped him into an effective public servant.