Philadelphia, PA — Councilmember Kendra Brooks (At-Large) issued the following statement on Mayor Kenney’s decision to appoint a member of the Republican Party to fill the vacant seat in the City Commissioner’s Office without giving due consideration to third party alternatives:
“On Thursday, City Council will vote on whether to confirm Mayor Kenney’s appointment to the City Commissioner’s Office. His choice to appoint a member of the Republican Party represents an embrace of an outdated status quo that interprets any minority seat in city government as automatically belonging to the GOP. However, much has changed in our political landscape over the past few years. In a city where independents and third-party voters now outnumber registered Republicans, it would be a disservice to our constituents to fail to give due consideration to third-party alternatives.
“For years, Republicans have been leading concerted efforts to make it harder to vote. From Texas to Georgia to Pennsylvania, the GOP has been systematically silencing people of color, immigrants, the working class, and other marginalized voters without remorse. Paired with Republicans at the federal level blocking essential voting rights legislation, these efforts don’t just threaten the integrity of our elections, they undermine the fabric of our democracy. Under no circumstances should we reward the party actively working to undermine the will of voters.
“We should not overlook the lessons that history has provided us with. When members of the Republican party, emboldened by former President Donald Trump, attempted to overturn the results of the presidential election, it was progressives, independents, and third-party voters who took to the streets en masse to ensure every single vote was counted. And as the first third-party City Councilmember in Philadelphia’s recent history, I am proof that a third-party presence in City government does not hinder, but bolsters, our democracy.
“For these reasons, I will be voting against the appointment of a member of the Republican Party to the City Commissioner’s Office and encouraging my fellow City Councilmembers to do the same.”