Wanted: Female Mayoral Candidates

Philadelphia’s power structure is famously lacking in female representation, especially in the coveted mayor’s slot. Should we blame the old boys’ club, or is it finally time for women to man up?

Maybe 2015 will be different. More likely, though, the field will be all men, again, save for Queena Bass, who is Philly’s version of Lyndon LaRouche (without the anti-Semitism).

Perhaps that’s fine. Just because women are few and far between in prominent elected posts in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania doesn’t mean they have no influence. Particularly in the city, male elected officials know they have to pay close attention to women voters if they want to survive in office. And there’s no shortage of powerful women in non-elected government posts.

But that doesn’t feel like enough. However capable the female-dominated staffs, when women abdicate public office, it’s ultimately men who decide policy, and men who determine where the money goes. It’s men who have made Philadelphia politics into a nonstop cocksmanship tourney.

In January, at Mayor Nutter’s second inauguration, Councilman Green asked Sánchez to take a snapshot for him: a grip-and-grin featuring Green and former mayors Street, Rendell, Goode and William J. Green, the Councilman’s father. It’s exactly the sort of move you’d expect of a sublimely self-assured operator like Bill Green. But then Sánchez told Green to play photographer. “I want one too, just in case I go first,” she remembers saying. “You’re running because you can. But I can run, too.”

There’s only one way to prove that, Councilwoman.

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