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Philadelphia City Council Empties As Green, Quiñones-Sánchez Announce 2023 Mayoral Runs

The primary election for Philadelphia's mayoral and city council races doesn't take place until May, but it is already reshaping the city's government.

Philadelphia City Councilmember-at-Large Derek Green

On Tuesday, District 7 Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Member-at-Large Derek Green both announced their candidacies to replace outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney next year, and resigned from council effective immediately in order to comply with Philly's "resign-to-run" rule.

Real estate magnate Allan Domb resigned his own at-large post in mid-August to explore his own candidacy but has yet to officially announce.

The same city charter that requires elected officials to resign to pursue other posts also requires Council President Darrell Clarke to hold a special election to fill empty council seats, but he has yet to set a timeline for doing so, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Green, Quiñones-Sánchez and Domb all have a reputation for being well-versed in policy minutiae, the Inquirer reports, and all three have pursued policies that directly affect how real estate is permitted, developed and valued in the city.

Because of the city's tradition of councilmanic prerogative, Quiñones-Sánchez has played a necessarily heavy role in determining the future of development parcels within District 7. She also spearheaded mandatory inclusionary zoning legislation for parts of her district, one of several instances when her policies and positions have been at odds with the development community.

Post Brothers President Matt Pestronk, Philadelphia City Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sanchez and Center City District CEO Paul Levy

Months ago, Green introduced legislation to legalize single-room occupancy in the city's zoning code, but it had not yet been assigned to a committee before council adjourned for the summer and has lost its main sponsor.

As many as three other council members are still considering their own mayoral campaigns, meaning more than a third of the 17 Philadelphia City Council seats could be emptied ahead of the May primary, where all seats are also on the ballot. Next year had been eyed as a potential shake-up of city politics for some time, but it appears the shake-up has already begun.