Councilmember William Greenlee is a lifelong resident of the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. He is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep and Temple University. He and his wife Leslie, a teacher, have been married for over 25 years.
Growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood, Greenlee developed a strong interest in the affairs of his community and the city. This led to his involvement in local politics. In 1980, he began a 26-year career working as chief aide to City Councilmember David Cohen, providing constituent services and working on legislative issues.
Greenlee created a culture of strong constituent service in his own Council office, which he has held since 2006.
Championing earned paid sick leave in Philadelphia is one of Councilmember Greenlee’s most recent legislative accomplishments. Greenlee also introduced a bill protecting the rights of pregnant workers by providing reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
Councilmember Greenlee was the proud sponsor of legislation to overhaul the Fair Practices ordinance, which is the City’s Civil Rights Legislation. The Ordinance prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. The update of the law expands the protected classes of citizens to include domestic violence victims, the disabled and the LGBT community.
The Councilmember was the prime sponsor of legislation to protect domestic violence victims from losing their jobs or homes due to their status as a domestic violence victim; he has also sponsored legislation protecting property owners from thieves looking to steal property through filing false deeds.
Since 1982, Greenlee has been a Democratic Committeeperson. In 1994, he was elected Democratic Leader of the 15th Ward, an economically and racially diverse area composed of the neighborhoods of Fairmount, Francisville, and Spring Garden. For 30 years, Councilmember Greenlee has been an active member of the Fairmount Civic Association.
Councilmember Greenlee was elected to Council in a special election in November 2006 and was re-elected to serve full terms in 2007, 2011, and 2015. He is the Chair of the Rules and Law and Government Committees and is the Vice-Chair of the Public Property Committees. The Councilmember also serves on the Finance, Streets and Services, Licenses and Inspections, Public Health and Human Services, and Public Safety Committees. The Councilmember was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Deputy Whip in 2012 and 2016.