Seated in 2016, Councilwoman Helen Gym is the first Asian American woman to serve on Philadelphia’s City Council. Prior to her election, she spent more than two decades as one of the city’s leading community organizers in the areas of public education and immigrant rights.
As chair of City Council’s Children and Youth Committee, she has won historic investments for public schools, expanded pre-kindergarten programs, and invested in infrastructure safety. She established new city funds to address youth homelessness as well as a legal defense fund for tenants facing wrongful evictions. She is a leading national voice for immigrant rights and is a co-sponsor of a municipal ID card program and a resolution supporting the Adoptee Citizenship Act.
Councilwoman Gym is on the advisory board of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and is national Vice-Chair of Local Progress, a network of more than 600 municipal officials building a national progressive agenda around racial and economic justice and civil rights.
A second generation Korean American, Councilwoman Gym is the recipient of numerous awards including the Philadelphia Inquirer Citizen of the Year, the White House Cesar Chavez Champion of Change award, and the 2017 Rising Star Award from EMILY’s List, a national organization supporting women in office. She is the mother of three children and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.