DARRELL L. CLARKE is the President of City Council and represents the 5th Council District which includes North Central Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Lower Hunting Park, Ludlow, Yorktown, West Poplar, Fairhill, Brewerytown, Francisville, Spring Garden, Fairmount, Logan Square, and parts of Northwood, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Center City.
Council President Clarke was first elected to represent the 5th District in 1999. In his years in service to Council, Clarke has advanced a progressive legislative agenda that includes initiatives to enhance job creation, increase public safety, increase the availability of affordable housing and strengthen neighborhood development. Council President Clarke’s agenda reflects his belief that Philadelphia’s ability to grow and prosper in the 21st Century depends upon all of its neighborhoods being safe, sustainable and stable.
Council President Clarke’s current agenda includes the Community Sustainability Initiative (CSI), the 2,000 Affordable Housing Units Initiative and School Based Family Services Centers.
The Community Sustainability Initiative is an effort to track information on schools, crime, population shifts, and amenities in all neighborhoods. This data will then be compared to goals in key categories and used to guide future Council actions.
The 2,000 New Affordable Housing Units Initiative is a program that encourages the development of 1,000 rental units and 1,000 homeownership units for low-income households. These units are being built on city-owned land in blighted and gentrifying areas. The initiative will add an estimated $179 Million to the city’s property tax base.
Finally, the School-Based Community Family Centers program is designed to establish a city-wide system of centers in or near public schools to provide assistance to students and their families. The Service Centers will act as access points to a comprehensive range of medical, behavioral health and social services. At a time when 40% of school-aged children in the city live in poverty, the need for these services, and an efficient means of matching them to students, is urgent.
During his term in Council, Council President Clarke has supported many legislative efforts that reflect his belief in the potential of this City and all its neighborhoods to be great. These include:
- Championing legislation to establish the City’s first Jobs Commission.
- Supporting the creation of the Avenue North retail and Entertainment Complex (the first of its kind in North Philadelphia).
- Supporting the creation of the City’s Office of Consumer Affairs, established to protect city consumers against unfair business practices.
- Chairing the City’s Auto Insurance Task Force, which was successful in lowering auto insurance rates for Philadelphians.
- Passing legislation prohibiting alcohol advertising within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places frequented by children.
Prior to his election, Council President Clarke served as an experienced public servant in municipal government for nearly twenty years. Initially hired by City Councilman John F. Street as a constituent service representative, Clarke later assumed sole responsibility for overseeing legislative, housing and economic development initiatives throughout the 5th Council District.
Council President Clarke grew up in the city’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood and now lives in North Philadelphia.