James Francis Kenney is an American politician who is the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. He was elected on November 3, 2015, defeating his Republican rival Melissa Murray Bailey after winning the crowded Democratic primary by a landslide on May 19. Before he became mayor, Kenney was a member of the Philadelphia City Council for 23 years, serving as a Councilman at Large from January 1992 until January 29, 2015.
About Jim Kenney in brief
James Francis Kenney is an American politician who is the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. He was elected on November 3, 2015, defeating his Republican rival Melissa Murray Bailey after winning the crowded Democratic primary by a landslide on May 19. Before he became mayor, Kenney was a member of the Philadelphia City Council for 23 years, serving as a Councilman at Large from January 1992 until January 29, 2015. Kenney was re-elected to a second term as mayor on November 5, 2019. His term will expire in 2024. He is the first in his family to graduate from college. He graduated from Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School in 1976 and in 1980 received a political science bachelor’s degree from La Salle University. His father was a firefighter and his mother was a homemaker. His parents both worked second jobs to put Jim and his four siblings through private Catholic schools. In high school, he was a newspaper deliveryman and busboy. In 2014, he successfully introduced legislation that ended arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. In advocating for the bill, he cited the disproportionate effect of arrests for small amount of marijuana on African-Americans. He proposed a citywide soda tax that would raise the price of soda at three cents per ounce, originally with the intent to raise money for universal pre-K. At the time, it was the biggest soda tax proposal in the U.S. He promoted using tax revenue to fund pre-k development, which he expected would raise USD 400 million over five years.
The idea of a soda tax quickly became a national issue in the 2016 United States presidential election. The American Beverage Association took a stand against Kenney’s proposal. Senator Bernie Sanders said that the tax would hurt the poor, while Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, said that she was very supportive of the idea. The proposal was brought to the national spotlight and divided key members of the Democratic Party. In 2010, he sided with the local firefighters’ union when Mayor Nutter took action to remove the collective bargaining rights of paramedics. He gave up his positions as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania when he was elected mayor in 2015. He also worked as a consultant at Vitetta Architects and Engineers, served on the Independence Blue Cross board, and was an adjunct Professor of Architecture. He received more than 80% of the vote in the general election. Kenney, first elected in 2015, was reelected. The Democratic primary was held on May 21, 2019 and defeated former City Controller Alan Butkovitz and Pennsylvania State Senate member Anthony Hardy Williams with 67% of. the vote. On November5, 2019, Kenneys won re-election and defeated Billy Ciancaglini, a Philadelphia defense attorney and fellow LaSalle grad, in thegeneral election. He won the primary in a landslide with 55. 83% of vote, defeating a crowded field of five other Democratic candidates, including Anthony H. Williams and former District Attorney Lynn Abraham.