Update: This story has been modified from its original version to include remarks from Councilmember Allan Domb.
Two Philadelphia City Councilmembers are calling for Mayor Jim Kenney to resign after telling reporters he was looking forward to no longer being mayor.
“@JimFKenney We are all exhausted by the level of gun violence in our City,” Councilmember Derek Green wrote on Twitter. “However, our City needs someone now with the passion and vision to lead us forward. Resign.”
Kenney’s remarks to a gaggle of reporters came after a shooting Monday evening along the Ben Franklin Parkway near a fireworks display injured two law enforcement officers, one from the Philadelphia Police Department Highway Patrol and the other a deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff. The incident is still under investigation, with no suspects yet identified.
“There’s not an event or a day where I don’t lay on my back and I look at the ceiling and worry about stuff. So, everything we have in the city over the last seven years, I worry about. I don’t enjoy Fourth of July, I don’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention, I didn’t enjoy the NFL Draft. I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. So its…I’ll be happy when I’m not here, when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.”
READ MORE — Jeff Hurvitz: Parkway shooting shows Philadelphia’s failure of leadership
When a reporter double checked by asking, “You’re looking forward to not being mayor?” Kenney simply responded, “Yeah, as a matter of fact.”
Green is not the only councilmember calling for the mayor to resign.
“Philadelphia is in a crisis and needs a mayor who wants the job and all its responsibilities. It is beyond time for @PhillyMayor to resign for the good of the city and its residents,” tweeted Allan Domb.
The mayor issued a press release Tuesday that not only addressed the July 4th shooting again, but also walked back his remarks about not wanting the job.
“In a late-night, overwhelming moment of frustration, I said I was looking forward to no longer being mayor. Let me be clear, I’m incredibly grateful to be mayor of this great city and for the people who elected me to lead,” Kenney said in the release.
“Cities and city leaders across the country have felt the impacts of the pandemic and the escalating gun violence epidemic for years now. There has been so much tragedy in this country of late, and many of us are dealing with the trauma and our feelings of frustration, anger, and deep sadness about the issues plaguing our society. I ran for Mayor with the goal of helping every Philadelphian reach their potential. As mayor, I feel personally responsible for the well-being of every Philadelphian, and it’s a weight I carry with me every day—every waking moment. And I know that far too many residents worry daily about their safety and their loved ones too
“I care deeply about the safety of our residents and the future of our city, and that’s why I’m disappointed with how I conveyed my sentiments last night. I made Philadelphians feel like I don’t care, and that cannot be further from the truth. I’ve said it many times before, I lay awake at night thinking about the challenges facing the residents in our city and what more we can be doing or doing differently to solve them. Being mayor comes with a lot of restless nights, so I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep.”
A reporter for CBS Philly published a video report Tuesday saying both officers injured in the Monday shooting had been released from the hospital.
Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use his encrypted email at email@example.com. @shepherdreports