A lifelong city resident, Jim Kenney grew up the oldest of four in a South Philadelphia rowhouse neighborhood. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, worked second jobs at The Inquirer and The Spectrum to put Jim and his four siblings through parochial school.
In high school, Jim delivered the paper in the morning and washed dishes after school as a member of Local 274, earning his first union card at 17.
After graduating from St. Joe's Prep, Jim worked his way through La Salle University and became the first in his family to graduate from college.
Jim was elected in 1991 to serve as a Democratic City Councilman-at-Large. In City Council, Jim stood up for Philadelphia's working familiesâ€”fighting for a real living wage, increased funding for public education, and to protect the rights of firefighters and police.
A proud progressive, Jim led the way on broader protections for LGBTQ Philadelphians, marijuana decriminalization, and a more sensible immigration policy by ending ICE holds that tear families apart.
Jim served as Chairman of the Committee on Labor & Civil Service, the Committee on Law & Government, the Committee on Environment as well as a member of the Public Health, Fiscal Stability, Technology, and Ethics Committees. Jim resigned from office to run for mayor after serving six consecutive terms in 2015.