FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
NICOLAS O’ROURKE & KENDRA BROOKS DECLARE VICTORY IN AT-LARGE COUNCIL RACE
“Philly is Now a Two-Party Town: the Working Families Party and the Democrats”
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — City Councilmember Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke, two Working Families Party candidates for Philadelphia City Council At-Large, declared victory in their elections for City Council At-Large, shutting out Republicans and making history.
“We just left the Republican Party to the dustbin of history by running on a positive vision for Philadelphia,” said O’Rourke. “Philly can be a city where everybody can get a good job, send their kids to a good school, and feel safe in their neighborhoods. Kendra and I are ready to fight for a city where everyone can thrive, not just the powerful or the privileged.”
The victories for the Working Families Party slate deny Republicans two at-large city council seats they held for decades until Brooks’ breakthrough win in 2019.
“Since my election in 2019 our movement has only grown bigger and stronger, and no billionaire Republican or machine politicians could stop us,” said Councilmember Brooks. “The Working Families Party isn’t just here to stay — we’re just getting started. I’m looking forward to building on the accomplishments of my first term with Nicolas at my side. The best is yet to come.”
This year, Brooks and O’Rourke ran their strongest campaigns yet, and certainly the strongest minor party campaign in Philadelphia’s history. The candidates raised more than $1,000,000 — mostly small-dollar contributions from everyday Philadelphians. Meanwhile, the Working Families Party National PAC coordinated a separate and independent effort, working alongside allies like UNITE HERE and OnePA to knock 250,000 doors and talk to voters about Kendra, Nicolas, and Democratic Supreme Court candidate Daniel McCaffery.
“Philadelphia is officially a two-party town,” said Working Families Party National Director Maurice Mitchell. “But it’s not the Republicans and Democrats, it’s the Working Families Party and the Democrats. We are so proud of our two champions Kendra and Nicolas, and we know they’re going to wake up every day ready to fight for quality schools, clean air and water, and housing you can afford. The future of Philadelphia just got a little brighter.”
Brooks and O’Rourke’s wins were hard fought. Republican billionaires and real estate developers attacked them on the airwaves in an unprecedented independent expenditure, and the local Democratic machine organized against them.
Their campaigns earned endorsements from grassroots organizations including Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), AFSCME DC 33, AFSCME DC 47, SEIU Local 32BJ, SEIU Healthcare PA, SEIU 668, SEIU State Council, Unite HERE, PASNAP, AFT Local 2026, the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP), One PA, APIPA, Make the Road Action, Reclaim Philadelphia, Philly DSA, Philly Now, Free the Ballot, Amistad Movement Power, Straight Ahead, and the Black Clergy of Philadelphia.
Endorsing Democratic Philadelphia elected officials include District Attorney Larry Krasner, City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, State Senator Nikil Saval, State Rep. Rick Krajewski, State Rep. Chris Rabb, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, State Rep. Ben Waxman and State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler. They joined U.S. Senator John Fetterman in supporting the slate and Governor Josh Shapiro in supporting Councilmember Brooks. State Senator Art Haywood endorsed Nicolas O’Rourke.
The Working Families Party was founded twenty-five years ago by a coalition of labor unions, community organizations, and activists. Since then, it has expanded to seventeen states and runs WFP candidates in every region of the country. It has recruited, trained, and elected thousands of candidates to office at every level of government, from city hall to Congress. WFP elected leaders have gone on to raise wages, guarantee paid sick time and family leave, and strengthen voting rights for millions of working people.