PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney today accepted the resignation of Rich Lazer, Deputy Mayor for Labor, effective November 30.
“I have known Rich for over 20 years, and he has always been a crucial strategic advisor in helping us find solutions to the critical issues facing our city while at the same time giving a voice to our hardworking union workers that keep our city running. I accept Rich’s resignation with great regret, but I’m also excited for his new opportunity that, with his experience, I’m confident he’ll excel in,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “During his time in our administration, he has successfully helped negotiate contracts for all of the city’s major labor unions, spearheaded the City’s first-ever and now permanent Department of Labor, and helped support the workforce during some of the biggest challenges in modern history—including a once-in-a-century global pandemic. I will miss Rich’s insight, wit and non-stop drive, and I am grateful for the major contributions he has delivered for Philadelphians.”
Beginning next month, Lazer will join the Philadelphia Parking Authority as Executive Director.
Rich Lazer has served as the Deputy Mayor for Labor under Mayor Kenney since 2016, and has been an integral leader on city economic development projects. In this role leading the City’s recently-established Department of Labor, he’s responsible for enforcing the City’s landmark worker protection and prevailing wage laws, workforce diversity standards, as well as handling all labor and employee relations for the City’s 26,000-plus employee workforce.
“It has been a true pleasure and the honor of my career to serve the people of Philadelphia for the last 17 years—especially the last seven years under Mayor Kenney. I will miss serving in his administration alongside the many passionate public servants who care deeply about moving our city forward,” said Rich Lazer. “From passing and delivering on the promises of the beverage tax—which funds our landmark PHLPreK program and Rebuild Initiative—to establishing a permanent Department of Labor that enhances our partnerships between management and the labor organizations representing City employees and to our City’s incredible resilience and response in the face of a global pandemic, I look forward to seeing the positive impact of our administration’s efforts for years to come.”
Lazer served as the City’s chief labor negotiator, interacting on behalf of the Mayor with the Managing Director and other senior City officials—including members of City Council and other elected state and federal officials. He spearheaded key components of the Administration’s priorities, including the $400 million Rebuild Initiative and the City’s COVID-19 Worker Relief Fund. Over the course of his tenure, he assisted in prioritizing $180 million in capital budget requests, and oversaw the $200 million Labor Reserve Fund. He also served as a core leader on the City’s COVID-19 Response Operations Group, which directed the city’s immediate and long-term response, mitigation efforts, and recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.
Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Mayor for Labor, Lazer worked in Philadelphia City Council for eleven years where he acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge on overall City government operations. Over the past sixteen years, Lazer has built strong relationships with numerous city, state, and federal elected and non-elected officials while interacting and oftentimes serving as liaison for the Mayor with numerous transportation agencies, including the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia Parking Authority, Philadelphia International Airport, Delaware River Port Authority, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
Lazer earned a Bachelor of Arts from La Salle University and also completed the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in 2022.
Lazer’s resignation is effective November 30, 2022. A successor to lead the Department of Labor will be appointed before Lazer officially departs the City.
A headshot for Rich Lazer is available for download online.