PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Helen Gym is the latest Philadelphia City Council member to resign her seat ahead of an expected run for mayor in 2023.
City Council was up to its full complement of 17 members for less than 24 hours before Gym’s video resignation, which she announced Tuesday morning. Just the day before, four new members were sworn in to replace the four who resigned to run for mayor in late summer.
Gym joined City Council in 2016, where she has sponsored legislation like the city’s eviction diversion program and secured funding for anti-violence programs and mental health crisis response teams.
“I came onto City Council because I knew that together, we could find solutions to what other people told us was impossible,” Gym said in a statement. “That's how we restored nurses, counselors, arts and music, and clean water to every public school. That's how we won the biggest laws in the country to improve wages and protect workers. That’s how we built eviction prevention programs that have been praised nationally and duplicated in cities all across the country. And that’s how we invested in real solutions to keep our communities safe, winning school safety zones, mental health crisis response units, and cleaner and brighter streets.
“It has been an honor to serve as your City Councilmember. Thank you to every single Philadelphian who showed up and proved that we can build the city that we truly deserve.”
Gym’s resignation is effective immediately. She declined to talk about her future plans but has scheduled a “special event” for Wednesday at 4 p.m.
“Whatever happens next, know this,” she added. “I will be right alongside all of you fighting to make sure that Philadelphia is a safer, healthier, more prosperous, vibrant, and creative place for all of us.”
Gym is the seventh candidate to enter the Democratic primary for the mayoral nomination.
Earlier this year, former Councilmembers Derek Green, Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Cherelle Parker and Allan Domb also resigned with the intent to run for mayor of Philadelphia. Rebecca Rhynhart resigned as city controller to join the field late last month, followed by ShopRite grocery store magnate Jeff Brown.
The primary election is May 16, 2023.