General Election Endorsements - 2023 Philadelphia City Council

Monday, October 2, 2023

5th Square is proud to announce its endorsements for the following candidates running for City Council in this year’s general elections.

City Council, at-Large

  • Kendra Brooks
  • Katherine Gilmore Richardson
  • Rue Landau
  • Nicolas O'Rourke
  • Isaiah Thomas

City Council, Districts

  • Jamie Gauthier, District 3
  • Quetcy Lozada, District 7
  • Anthony Phillips, District 9

5th Square believes that these candidates will best represent our mission to make Philadelphia a more affordable, accessible, equitable, sustainable, and transit-friendly city for everyone. To make these endorsements, we considered candidates’ answers to our questionnaire, reviewed candidates’ previous record on the issues, and confirmed the endorsements through a vote of 5th Square's membership.

For updated information, please visit our Election Center 2023 page.

Kendra Brooks (Council At-Large)

Kendra entered public service because after years of advocating for neighborhood public schools and organizing against gun violence. She believes we must aggressively pursue a transition to green energy at all levels of government, and that means building high-quality, green, affordable housing, expanding bike lanes and affordable public transit to reduce our reliance on cars, and ensuring our public buildings are well-suited for the twenty-first century.

"As a mother of four, I know how expensive travel can be for a family using SEPTA. We need to find ways to reduce the cost for communities in our cities and improve the quality of service so that SEPTA is more attractive for working families."

Katherine Gilmore Richardson (Council At-Large)

Katherine Gilmore Richardson is serving her first term as Councilmember At-Large for the City of Philadelphia. Gilmore Richardson is the youngest woman ever elected citywide and the youngest African American woman ever elected to Philadelphia City Council. She is focused on addressing the city’s ongoing recovery from Covid-19, upskilling and reskilling our workforce, supporting local, small, and minority-owned businesses, and addressing climate change and environmental justice.

“I have worked diligently on this issue throughout my first term. As Chair of City Council’s Committee on the Environment, I have prioritized cleaning and greening initiatives in my budget requests, including millions of additional dollars in funding for PHS, the Office of Sustainability, and the Department of Parks and Recreation…. I also introduced and passed a bill to create Philly’s first Tree Fund and to update the zoning code to require more and better plantings.”

Rue Landau (Council At-Large)

Rue started her career as an activist and housing organizer working on the frontlines in the fight for economic justice—demanding access to affordable housing in Kensington and organizing to provide social services during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as an active member of ACT UP, Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and Women’s Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!).

“…I’d be an effective advocate and legislator for many of 5th Square’s goals for Council – including policies related to Vision Zero, increasing housing stock, increasing the use of public transportation and non-car transportation, improving our public spaces with investments and improving roadway safety.”

Nicolas O'Rourke (Council At-Large)

As a community leader in Philadelphia at his church, Nicolas has learned about the struggles his communities faced. These stories motivated Nicolas to activism and organizing work where he has become an outspoken advocate to improve the experience of working Philadelphians. Nicolas is dedicated to creating a Philadelphia with jobs that pay a living and a decent wage, homes Philadelphians can afford, schools they can be proud of and streets they feel safe in. 

"Traffic deaths occur in low income areas - we know this.... Biking, public transit, and walkable neighborhoods are not just amenities but often the only way many Philadelphians can cross the city. We need to recommit our efforts to a vision zero for the city."

Isaiah Thomas (Council At-Large)

Isaiah Thomas is an incumbent At-Large Member of the Philadelphia City Council, and husband, father, and coach. He has dedicated my life to servant leadership and has continued this during his time on Council. As a coalition builder, he has worked and will continue to unite entities across the city to build a better city for our children.

“As the chair of the Streets and Services department, I've heard many complaints about issues with illegal dumping and litter in our streets. I will continue to push for proper funding for the Streets and Services department and will continue to find alternative solutions for dumping.”

Jamie Gauthier (Council District 3)

Jamie Gauthier has represented the 3rd District, West and Southwest Philadelphia, on City Council since 2019. An urban planner by training, Jamie is fighting for place-based, people-centered solutions to the gun violence emergency, good housing that is accessible and affordable to all, and good jobs and workforce development especially in the life sciences.

“I value the agenda of 5th Square, and as an urban planner, am committed to working with my neighbors to create equitable neighborhoods where everyone can thrive. That is what my entire agenda is about. I have demonstrated my commitment to urbanist issues by championing aggressive improvements to roadways and transit, committing millions in funding for public spaces in my district and beyond, advocating for place-based approaches to gun violence, and offering broad support for streeteries.”

Quetcy Lozada (Council District 7)

Quetcy M. Lozada was born and raised in Philadelphia. She is the mother of two amazing children, Alexis Nicole and Jaime Jr. She is the former Vice President of Community Organizing and Engagement at Esperanza. She is also the former Director of Community Engagement for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and prior to her working for DA Larry Krasner, she served as Chief of Staff for Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez for 12 years. She has consistently played an integral role in fostering and creating platforms for conversations between the community, clergy, and government to discuss policies and partnerships and various programs geared toward helping our veterans and homeless population. 

“We have suffered from 70 years of public policy that attempted to replicate suburban life, low density, car oriented, strategies have failed. It’s time to re-imagine our city and re-imagine our planning policies”

Anthony Phillips (Council District 9)

Anthony Phillips is the incumbent councilmember for Philadelphia’s 9th District. As an innovative educational leader who has helped thousands Philadelphia students access a high-quality, affordable college education, Anthony Phillips will advocate for increased educational opportunities for all Philadelphians. Like many neighbors, Anthony wants safer streets, a more visible police presence, constructive community-police collaboration, better schools, stronger and cleaner business corridors, and a more responsive city government.

“My commitment to reducing Philadelphia’s annual traffic deaths in half by 2026 is unwavering. In my short time on council, I have already introduced the student pedestrian safety bill that supports the street department in swiftly installing traffic calming measures in the vicinity of public, charter, and private schools.”

“Affordable housing is so key to ensuring our families feel stable and our youngest neighbors are able to focus on being in school.”