The Philadelphia City Council Fellowship Program was initiated by Council President Darrell L. Clarke in 2012 to connect area college and graduate students with hands-on legislative, policy and communications experience in City Hall. Philadelphia City Council Fellows are students and graduates from a variety of backgrounds specializing in Media, Law & Policy, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Media Fellows assist Council members with social and online communications. Their work provides a bridge between lawmakers and the public. Law & Policy Fellows focus on research and policy analysis for ongoing and upcoming legislation. Their research is used by Council members to guide the creation of law and policy. GIS Fellows use data from the city and the state to create digital maps and databases. The data displays are used to better understand the real impact of decisions made by the city. Let’s meet the Summer 2014 Fellows.
Joe Aquino is combining his passion for film with public service as a Philadelphia City Council Media Fellow. In his free time, he likes to go out with friends, take photographs and direct short films. Joe is finishing up a degree in Film and Digital Arts at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Joe plans to work with a major television news station in Philadelphia and has recently received his first film credit. Joe enjoys the fast-paced environment of City Hall. His favorite project so far has been “On the Spot” interviews with Council members about legislative and policy matters. As a Philadelphia City Council Media Fellow, his regular duties include taking photographs and shooting video. Joe believes his job is important because he connects City Council members with their constituents through various forms of media.
Nicholas Cutrona brings his interest in the role of media in local governance with him to City Hall. Nick studies Journalism and Political Science at Temple University. In his free time he likes to ride his bike, yo-yo and travel. After studying in Johannesburg, South Africa, he returned to the States where he was an intern at 6ABC and the producer of Temple TV’s 30-minute news show, Temple Update. Originally from West Chester, Nick is excited to play a role in Philadelphia politics. His responsibilities as a Philadelphia City Council Media Fellow include social media management and video/photo production. Nick’s goal is to one day work at a major television news outlet. He hopes his skills in journalism can one day be used for public service and civic engagement.
Zhengyuan (Natalie) Bi
Zhengyuan (Natalie) Bi is adding Philadelphia to a list of international experiences and public service. Natalie is an international student from Shanghai, China, and currently getting her Master’s in television management. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in business management from Lewis & Clark State College and certificate in General Management from Stanford Business School. Natalie enjoys singing, dancing and traveling. Natalie is passionate about animal rights and volunteered at an animal shelter in Seattle. Her accomplishments include recording her own music, working for a Fortune 500 company, and learning traditional Chinese massage. After traveling around China, Natalie set her sights on Europe, the Middle East, and North America. As a Philadelphia City Council Media Fellow, Natalie shoots photos and video which are used by City Council online. Natalie says it can sometimes be hard keeping up with ongoing legislation because English is her second language, but she loves working in City Hall. Natalie hopes this fellowship will help her secure a job in the media industry that will lead to a long-term career as a business executive.
Law & Policy Research Fellowship
Inspired by our city and passionate about public service, Andrew Kunka has found his fit with Philadelphia City Council. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Andy received his Law Degree (J.D.) and Master in Public Affairs and Politics from Rutgers University. As a Law and Policy Research Fellow, Andy generates legal and policy memos on issues such as affordable housing, paid sick leave and researches ongoing legislation. Andy says he is excited by the opportunity to work with many talented and bright young professionals in City Hall. Andrew moved to Philadelphia last year and is amazed by the city’s rich history, culture and variety of entertainment and food options. In addition to his passion for public service and social justice, Andy enjoys cooking, fitness and checking out cultural events in the city.
As a Law and Policy Fellow with Philadelphia City Council, Adrianna Rosario plans to advance her personal goals by helping others advance theirs. Adrianna provides research on issues to Council members to inform the legislative process. Her research on health and pension liability will help lawmakers create measures to mend the pension deficit in Philadelphia. Adrianna is the youngest City Council fellow, and is currently getting her undergraduate degree in political science and economics from Wellesley College in Boston. Raised in Bucks County, Adrianna is inspired by the variety of backgrounds among City Council members and staff. Adrianna aspires to a career at a think tank focused on issues such as health and education. Adrianna has worked with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus and in her free time enjoys hiking, reading and playing soccer for her school team.
Leonard Wills hopes his work as a Law and Policy Fellow will make his newest home more welcoming for everyone. In his time with City Council, Leonard has worked on zoning regulations and provided legal and policy research to Council members. He received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and is currently studying law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Leonard enjoys outdoor activities like rock climbing and canoeing, but also likes to relax by watching a movie or doing yoga. Leonard says it can be hard researching an unfamiliar topic, but he loves meeting new people inside and outside of City Hall. Leonard is spending this summer organizing a tax awareness workshop that will help Philadelphians find the tools they need to understand their property taxes.
Originally from Northern Virginia, Morgan found a new passion for urban living in Philadelphia. Morgan is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s degree in Urban Spatial Analytics with a concentration in Community and Economic Development. She has a passion for public policy that stems from her background as a Public and Urban Affairs student at Virginia Tech. Morgan hopes to find a position as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst or Data Scientist. As a GIS Fellow, Morgan combs through city data to help answer policy questions and to generate digital maps used by lawmakers. In her free time, Morgan is a runner, cyclist and book lover. She enjoys working with children, and was a mentor in a West Philadelphia elementary school last year. Morgan moved to Philadelphia one year ago and hopes to make this city her long-term home.