Helen Gym endorsed for Philadelphia Mayor by the Working Families Party
The announcement was made at a press conference outside of City Hall featuring some of the party’s heavy hitters.
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The Working Families Party announced its endorsement of former City Councilmember Helen Gym for 2023 Philadelphia Mayor earlier in the day on Monday, Jan. 30.
In a press conference held outside City Hall on North Broad Street, the Mayoral candidate was present with speakers that included WFP candidate for City Council Nicolas O’Rourke, and WFP Councilmember Kendra Brooks.
“Helen Gym is the mayor Philadelphia needs,” said Brooks. “I first met Helen as a mom fighting for our kids' schools. When privatizers tried to close schools in Black and Brown communities, Helen took them on and won.”
Gym is one of 11 Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination, and now the grassroots political party will organize and mobilize its members and volunteers to help her win in the crowded primary.
“There’s a reason the WFP has endorsed Helen in every election she has run,” said O’Rourke, the former WFP Organizing Director. “Helen combines visionary leadership with a focus on results and delivering for the people. As Mayor, she will work hard to make sure everyone in this city feels safe and is safe, by focusing on getting illegal guns off the street and addressing the root causes of violence.”
Gym will look to add her name to a growing list of elected officials that have seen success with the help of the WFP since its creation in 2015. In Philadelphia, those officials include State Rep. Chris Rabb, State Rep. Tarik Khan, District Attorney Larry Krasner and U.S. Senator John Fetterman.
This is not the first time Gym has been supported by the WFP. Her initial council race back in 2015 was one of the first races WFP supported in all of Pennsylvania. Brooks — the first third party at-large City Councilmember in history — spoke more to Gym’s accomplishments.
“As a Councilmember, she won historic protections for renters, fair schedules for hourly workers, and put Philadelphia’s youth first. It was a joy to organize with her as a mom and movement leader then and an honor to work alongside her as a council colleague over the last four years. Helen gets things done for working families. She will do the same as Mayor, and we’re excited to support her,” she added.
Dallas Herbert, a WFP State Committee Member, and 215 People’s Alliance steering committee member, was also a speaker along with Tim Brown of Neighborhood Networks, a former grassroots organization and now progressive political organization.
“The Working Families Party is going to oust the Republican Party from Philadelphia this year, but our work can’t stop there,” said Herbert. “We need partners in the Democratic Party who will be accountable to the people, not the powerful. Leaders who will fight for the workers, not the bosses. And in this primary, our choice couldn’t be clearer. We’re all in for Helen Gym.”
The daughter of immigrants, a former educator, and a longtime organizer, Gym was first elected to City Council in 2016.
There she helped end the state takeover of Philly public schools, passed the most expansive “fair workweek” scheduling law in the country, and led the first reform of the 10-year tax abatement to help support communities and children.
“I want the eyes of the nation to be on Philadelphia, to be on a city that has been working for years and years to rise up,” she said. “For people who have often been left to the margins by career politicians, austerity bureaucrats, and too much of the wealthy and privileged in Philadelphia to show what a truly just and safe city looks like.”
With the late Philly Latina lesbian civil rights leader and activist, Gloria Casarez’ state historical marker just behind Gym, she also touched on her plans to deliver a safe Philadelphia as Mayor, which includes declaring a state of emergency.
“That's why I've made clear that on day one, I will issue a state of emergency on gun violence and coordinate every single one of our city agencies to work together in an all hands on deck effort to bring resources and support services into the neighborhoods most impacted,” Gym said. “This is about keeping our longtime residents here in Philadelphia and attracting new ones who can help grow our city. I have made it very clear I am not running for 2023, I am running for 2033 with a vision for where the city must be and how people must live, and where Philadelphia can grow.”