No word yet on Councilman Kenney's website...sorry, former Councilman. But Kenney has resigned his 23 year position to unofficially announce his candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia.
And it's about ****ing time.
For anyone who's lived in Philadelphia long enough to truly be a local (I think the standard is roughly six years), you know what a big deal this is.
Kenney isn't just a hotheaded, opinionated, and in love with all things Philadelphia. He's one of those rare folks who knows how to be both a politician and a human being. In all ways, he is the quintessential Philadelphian: temperamental, sarcastic, and unapologetic.
After eight years of Mayor Street's antics and another eight years of Mayor Nutter's invisibility, Philadelphians are ready for a mayor who cares more about the city than his job and isn't afraid to say it.
And Philadelphians are ready to vote.
PhillyMag.com's Holly Otterbein had some reservations about Kenney's late entrance into the mayoral race, but I'm not so sure she's on mark. Claiming he's late to the race assumes that the vast majority of Philadelphians have been following it. Kenney jumped in at exactly the right time. Like movies hoping to win an Oscar, you don't release it in January, you release it late in the year.
Kenney's been a fan favorite throughout State Sen. Anthony Williams' and former DA Lynne Abraham's campaigns. Fans have just been wondering when he'd make the inevitable announcement. And they've been doing his campaigning for him.
Otterbein also wonders if his temper will be perceived as authentic, or embarrassing. I have to wonder if Otterbein is a Philadelphian. This is a city that still lauds the tactics of Mayor Rizzo, a man who said he'd make "Attila the Hun look like a faggot." While it's easy to look at Kenney's loyalty to a broad range of minority groups and peg him as the anti-Rizzo, Kenney's raw tenacity might just be the modern equivalent of Rizzo's dated vernacular.
Truly dedicated to a city they love.
After eight years of mediocrity dedicated to maintaining the status quo, Philadelphians - both new and seasoned - are fed up. Kenney brings a unique mix to the podium. One that understands the dinosaurs mucking up the system, but hates them as much as we do. More than that, Kenney is loud, opinionated, and he's not afraid to air the sometimes bizarre reasons he loves Philadelphia.
We're a diverse bunch, Philadelphians.
We ourselves our loud, opinionated, and love this sick and twisted city for our own bizarre reasons. And that's exactly why Jim Kenney should be the next mayor. He's us. He's Philadelphia - the good and the indignant - and he's not afraid to own that.