Katherine Gilmore Richardson is running as a Democrat for her second term as a City Council at-large member.
Now 39, the lifelong South Philadelphian made history when she won her seat in 2019: she was the youngest Black woman elected to City Council, as well as the youngest woman ever elected citywide.
Gilmore Richardson launched her political career in 2008 as a staff member for former Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown. For the next 11 years, Richardson served in nearly every position at Brown’s office. When Brown decided to leave council, she moved into that same office on City Hall’s fourth floor.
She views herself as part of a “trailblazing legacy”; a continuation of the work accomplished by Brown, who received the helm from former City Council member Augusta Clark and Dr. Ethel Clark.
During her first term, she introduced legislation to boost career opportunities for gig workers, require public hearings on labor contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police union, and update the definition of drug paraphernalia to help the city crack down on businesses that dodge the zoning process.
She also created Philadelphia’s first Apprenticeship Guidebook, an online resource that outlines training programs, career fields, application requirements, and pay and benefits for 20+ apprenticeship programs.
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Climate justice is a priority for Gilmore Richardson, who serves on the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee and is the only Pa. rep on the group’s Environmental Justice Working Group, of which she is vice-chair.
A product of Philly’s public school system and advocate for enhanced career and technical education programs, she’s endorsed by the Building and Construction Trades Council and many other local unions, including municipal workers and transit workers.
She says a priority if reelected is to enhance the quality of life and public safety for every Philly neighborhood. “Your zip code should not determine your life expectancy,” she told the Committee of Seventy.
She wants to prepare every child in Philly for a career and guarantee college enrollees graduate. She also seeks to adopt a more encompassing government approach when tackling environmental justice and climate change issues. She made headway on this front when establishing the Citizen Environmental Advisory Committee, which co-creates climate change policy solutions.
Gilmore Richardson believes her lived experience as a South Philly mother, coupled with a capacity to form coalitions to pass legislation, is what distinguishes her from other candidates.