Kendra Brooks – City Council At-Large
By Aleah Melise
Kendra Brook is Philadelphian, raised in the Nicetown section of the city and still resides there with her four children. As a young single mother, Kendra realized that getting an education was a pathway to being able to better provide a better future for her and her children. She attended Community College of Philadelphia and worked her way through as a nursing assistant. She then went on to receive a Bachelor’s in Science in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University. After college, most of her career was spent working with children with disabilities at Easter Seals.
In 2014, when Governor Corbett cut spending on education, Kendra was laid off from her job of 17 years. She continued her work as part of the Steel Elementary School School Advisory Council. In 2014, Steel was slated for takeover by Mastery Charter. As an active parent, Kendra believed that parents should be the ones to make the choice on the future of the neighborhood school — so she and others fought hard for a parent vote and won.
The work at Steel led Kendra into the last 5 years of organizing and advocacy in school communities, working with parents and educators to fight for quality education in every neighborhood. She also led training and facilitated sessions around restorative practices both in Philly and nationally. Kendra has been active in the campaigns to return the schools to local control and abolish the School Reform Commission, to curb standardized testing and most recently, to end the 10-year tax abatement. This work landed her on Mayor Kenney’s nominating committee for the new Board of Education. Kendra has been involved with Parents United for Public Education and the Our City Our Schools coalition. She is a founder of Stand Up Nicetown, a group committed to ending gun violence in her neighborhood. She is also on the Steering Committee of 215 People’s Alliance.
Kendra decided to run for City Council because, after years of reacting to policies, she believes that people like her should be in the room, making policies that work for low-income, black and brown people. Her agenda focuses on affordable and accessible housing for all, healthy funded schools in every zip code, protecting the dignity and respect for all work, and climate change in Philadelphia. On November 5th, 2019, Kendra, a Working Families Party candidate, made history when she was elected as the first independent council member in modern city history.