For Immediate Release: Monday, Jan. 30, 2023
Philadelphia, PA — The Working Families Party endorsed former City Councilmember Helen Gym for Mayor of Philadelphia at a press conference outside City Hall today.
“Helen Gym is the mayor Philadelphia needs,” said Working Families Councilmember Kendra 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. 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.”
The grassroots political party will mobilize its organizers, members, and volunteers to help progressive champion Gym prevail in the crowded Democratic primary.
“No other candidate in this race has fought harder for Philly’s working families,” said Gym. “I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the Working Families Party, which has led a nationwide effort for a fair economy, a safer, more just nation, and a government that works for the people, not special interests.”
“The eyes of the nation should be on this race in Philadelphia,” Gym continued. “We are running an inclusive, multiracial campaign to raise up Philadelphia block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood and with the strength of families and our youth. Together we’ve led the way for housing and economic justice laws that have influenced the nation. In 2023, a true people’s movement will help lead Philadelphia into the future that all of us have been working for and deserve.”
Gym is the daughter of immigrants, a former educator, and a longtime organizer. First elected to the Philadelphia City Council in 2016, Helen led a movement to end the state takeover of Philadelphia public schools, passed the most expansive “fair workweek” scheduling law in the nation, and led the first reform of the 10-year tax abatement to help support our kids and communities.
“There’s a reason the WFP has endorsed Helen in every election she has run,” said Nicolas O’Rourke, former Pennsylvania WFP Organizing Director and current WFP candidate for an at-large city council seat. “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.”
The Working Families Party is the grassroots political party of the multiracial working class, fighting for a nation that cares for all of us. Over the past two decades, it has elected hundreds of progressive leaders at every level of government in states across the country. In Philadelphia, WFP made history in 2019 when City Councilmember Kendra Brooks claimed an at-large council seat historically reserved for Republicans. This November, WFP will compete for two more at-large seats and a city commissioner seat to solidify its status as Philadelphia’s dominant minority party.
“The Working Families Party is going to oust the Republican Party from Philadelphia this year, but our work can’t stop there,” said Dallas Herbert, a WFP State Committee Member, and 215 People’s Alliance steering committee member. “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.”
Since it was established in 2015, the Pennsylvania Working Families Party has helped to elect a host of Working Families Democrats to city, state, and federal government, from Chris Rabb and Tarik Khan to Larry Krasner and John Fetterman. Councilmember Helen Gym’s initial council race was one of the first races the Pennsylvania Working Families Party supported in the commonwealth. The Working Families Party played a central role in the defense against Republicans’ efforts to overturn the will of the Philadelphia voters who backed Joe Biden in 2020.
“Helen is a proven fighter who has tackled some of the city’s toughest challenges, whether it’s inhumane conditions for kids in our juvenile welfare and justice system or tenants being priced out of their own homes and onto the street,” said Tim Brown of Neighborhood Networks. “We need someone in City Hall who will fight for working families in City Hall, and that’s Helen.”
Nationally, the Working Families Party is building a movement of everyday people fighting for a nation that cares for all of us. It is organizing in more than a dozen states and wages and wins electoral campaigns in every part of the country. Last year, it helped Working Families Democrats win competitive Congressional primaries, strengthening the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives.