Philadelphia City Councilman Allan Domb (D-At Large) announced this week he will leave his seat Tuesday as he considers a potential 2023 mayoral campaign.
The luxury real-estate executive submitted his letter of resignation to Council President Darrell Clarke (D-05) on Monday. Therein, he celebrated what he considered his successes while on the city’s legislative board, including wage and corporate tax reduction, fiscal waste mitigation, and increased public-education funding. Yet, he lamented, the City of Brotherly Love has further strides to make, particularly concerning public safety.
“Today, our city is at a crossroads — Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country with the highest rate of children in poverty,” Domb wrote in his resignation letter. “We are staring down the highest murder rate in our history, with gun violence outpacing far larger cities like New York and Los Angeles. Too many residents and businesses lack the basic opportunities necessary to thrive in our communities.”
The city’s violence problem has weighed heavily on residents’ minds over the last two years. Murders hit a record level last year, with 562 homicides committed. That number reached its last apex in 1990 when 500 deliberate killings took place.
And the violence epidemic has shown no sign of abating, with 344 murders having occurred so far this year — a two percent increase over the total committed over the same period in 2021. Domb voiced optimism that the high murder rate need not persist.
“[W]hile the challenges we face are great, so too is the opportunity we have to be the city our people deserve,” Domb wrote. “Now more than ever, we need to enact common sense and practical solutions to improve the lives of all Philadelphians, prioritizing public safety in a meaningful way.”
Current Mayor Jim Kenney cannot run for re-election next year, as Philadelphia’s charter limits its chief executives to serving two consecutive elected four-year terms. Domb was among several Democratic city officials who rebuked Kenney for a declaration the mayor made after a shooting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on July 4 that he will “be happy when I’m not here – when I’m not mayor.”
“Philadelphia is in a crisis and needs a mayor who wants the job and all its responsibilities,” Domb wrote in a Twitter post following Kenney’s remarks. “It is beyond time for @PhillyMayor to resign for the good of the city and its residents.”
The Democrat’s resignation necessitates a special election to fill the seat. Other potential candidates to succeed Kenney include Council Majority Leader Cherelle Parker (D-09); Councilmembers Cindy Bass (D-08), Derek Green (D-At Large), Helen Gym (D-At Large), and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (D-07); City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart (D), and businessman Jeff Brown.
The city charter mandates that municipal officeholders resign from their positions before they make their campaign for another office official. Domb is the only person to have made that move so far. He indicated he will divest himself of his real-estate interests should he embark on the race for the top job at City Hall.
In a tweet, Clarke praised his colleague for the latter’s service since taking office in 2016.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Councilmember Domb on an array of issues, including budgetary oversight, poverty, tax reform and many other matters,” the Council president wrote. “His service on @PHLCouncil has been a credit to our City.”
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