Maria Quiñones Sánchez resigns from Philly council, launches bid for mayor

File photo: Former Councilmember Maria Quinones Sanchez. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

File photo: Former Councilmember Maria Quinones Sanchez. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Another member of Philadelphia City Council has resigned, but this time there is no doubt that Maria Quiñones Sánchez is running for mayor of Philadelphia.

Quiñones Sánchez came out and said it directly in an interview with WHYY News. “I am a candidate for mayor, the first official candidate in the historic election.”

She said that she wants to fix what she believes is a “broken city” and cited her work in the Kensington neighborhood and elsewhere as why she is qualified to become the first female and Latina mayor of the city.

“The work we’ve done around immigration and diversity, small business tax reform, housing work. We think we’re going to put together a very good coalition of folks who know that the next person has to come in willing to buck the system, buck the party and serve people.”

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Quiñones Sánchez specifically cited Kensington as a place where current elected leaders are not doing what is necessary to fix the problem.

“I think that exchanging five million needles in Kensington is unfair to the residents of Kensington when 70% of the people that are dying are dying in their homes. Right in their basements or their bedrooms. This is a city problem. It’s visible. And the lack of political will to say ‘Black or brown poor people shouldn’t be trapped’ is what has gotten us into this.”

She said people in Philadelphia neighborhoods are up for the challenge of overcoming the issues facing Philadelphia.

“All I see in my district are really resilient people that, despite the structural racism and some of the challenges, wake up every day — they became essential workers during COVID. I mean, all those things,” she said. “I want to do the work, and I think for [Mayor Jim] Kenney, getting into the weeds of that work was not what he wanted to do. It is exactly what I want to do.”

Quiñones Sánchez enters a race that could have a half-dozen or more candidates on the Democratic ticket before all is said and done. Many of those possible opponents are either in council or resigned from council recently, such as Allan Domb. Domb resigned last month to launch a “listening tour” that’s expected to be a precursor for his campaign announcement.

“I think we are at a moment in time in particular, where we need our allies to really stand with the highly qualified people of color. This is not one of those times when we need a rich person to come in and save us,” she said.

Quiñones Sánchez says her “lived experience” will do her well in gathering support, adding she has been “battle tested.”

Quiñones Sánchez is confident she can put together a coalition to gain the 30 to 35% of the vote that will be needed to win next year in what’s expected to be a crowded field.

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