photo of James Kenney

James Kenney

City of Philadelphia

A lifelong city resident, Mayor Jim Kenney grew up the oldest of four in a South Philadelphia rowhouse neighborhood. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, both worked second jobs to put Jim and his three siblings through parochial school. In high school, Jim delivered the paper in the morning and washed dishes after school, earning his first union card at 17. After graduating from St. Joe’s Prep, Jim worked his way through La Salle University and became the first in his family to graduate from college. Jim was elected in 1991 to serve as a Democratic City Councilman At-Large. In City Council, Jim stood up for Philadelphia’s working families—fighting for a real living wage, increased funding for public education, and community policing measures. A proud progressive, Jim also led the way on broader protections for LGBTQ Philadelphians, marijuana decriminalization, and fighting for a more sensible immigration policy. On January 4, 2016, Jim was sworn in as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. He created the City’s first Office of Diversity & Inclusion and has instituted a number of changes to increase the effective delivery of city services to all Philadelphians. In his first budget, passed in June 2016, Jim secured the funding to expand quality pre-k, create community schools and invest over $300M in parks, recreation centers and libraries. Jim worked closely with his former City Council colleagues to make Philadelphia the first major city to pass a tax on sweetened beverages to fund these bold anti-poverty initiatives. One month later, Philadelphia shined on an international stage while hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention, winning praise for the Philadelphia Police Department’s positive interactions with demonstrators and for the city’s overall management of this large-scale event.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring James Kenney

Events featuring James Kenney