Looking back on Philadelphia City Council’s work and accomplishments from January 2016:
The seventeen members of Philadelphia City Council – 12 returning, 5 new – were sworn in during a special session held at the Academy of Music. The members also celebrated the inauguration of their former Council colleague James F. Kenney as Philadelphia’s 99th Mayor. | Watch video.
Council members also elected the leadership team for the new term.
- Councilman Darrell Clarke (5th District) was re-elected as Council President.
- Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District) was elected Majority Leader.
- Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) was elected Majority Whip.
- William K. Greenlee (At Large) was elected Deputy Majority Whip.
- Brian O’Neill (10th District) was elected Minority Leader.
- David Oh (At Large) was elected Minority Whip.
Council’s five new members bring a diverse array of backgrounds, views and experiences to the chamber:
- Councilman Allan Domb (At Large) – Real estate broker, investor
- Councilman Derek Green, Esq. (At Large) – attorney, former special counsel to Councilwoman Marian Tasco, former Assistant District Attorney
- Councilwoman Helen Gym (At Large) – Education activist, teacher, journalist
- Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District) – Former Pennsylvania State Representative, teacher
- Councilman Al Taubenberger (At Large) – Former President of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, former aide to Congressman Charles Dougherty, Councilwoman Joan Krajewski and Councilman Jack Kelley
The full Council gathered for their first official annual portrait during the first Stated Meeting at City Hall on January 21.
Philadelphia City Council got right to work in January with the following efforts:
- Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. (4th District) introduced a resolution asking the City and the School District of Philadelphia to recognize Muslim holidays. | Watch video.
- Council honored the 50th Anniversary of Community College of Philadelphia with a special resolution. | Watch video.
- Councilwomen Helen Gym and Blondell Reynolds Brown acknowledged the Flint water crisis and called for hearings on the safety of Philadelphia’s water supply. | Watch video.
- Councilman Bill Greenlee introduced an ordinance requiring children using hoverboards to wear safety gear. This ordinance followed an uptick in bone fractures reported at local emergency rooms related to hoverboard falls. | Read the ordinance
In the Community
- Council President Darrell Clarke, Council members Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Derek Green, Bill Greenlee, David Oh and Al Taubenberger joined leaders from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to announce progress on the Philadelphia LandCare Reentry Initiative. This is a partnership with PHS that connects returning citizens to training and job opportunities in land maintenance and care. | Watch video.
- In a floor speech in Council on January 28, 2016, freshman Councilman Allan Domb urged members to encourage eligible Philadelphia residents to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for tax year 2015. He stated that over 40,000 Philadelphia taxpayers may have been eligible for the EITC in the prior year but did not apply for it, leaving as much as $100M in Washington. At Domb’s urging, six members of Council later recorded video and audio PSAs reminding Philadelphians to apply for the EITC before this year’s deadline of April 18. | View video of Domb’s speech, playlist of EITC PSAs
- Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and Councilman David Oh joined Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to announce a pilot program that places lockboxes in select Philadelphia Police Department stations where residents can dispose of unused, expired prescriptions drugs safely.