“Dream big and if that does not work – dream BIGGER.”
Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown is currently serving her fifth term as a member of Philadelphia City Council. On January 4, 2016, Councilmember Reynolds Brown was again elected by her peers to serve as Majority Whip, and is the only woman serving in City Council Leadership.
Councilmember Reynolds Brown is dedicated to enriching the lives of Philadelphia residents by “Putting People First.” As an educator, community activist, political leader and concerned parent, her focus and commitment to helping others defined her work prior to her election to Philadelphia City Council. After graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, Reynolds Brown earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Education, both from Penn State University. She started her career in the classroom as a teacher with the School District of Philadelphia. Reynolds Brown then began a career as a professional dancer, ultimately earning a place as a company member of the Philadelphia Dance Company, affectionately known as Philadanco. Following her company membership, she continued her affiliation with Philadanco, becoming a dance instructor and later a board member for 20 years.
A sought-after speaker, Councilmember Reynolds Brown devotes her programmatic and legislative efforts toward improving the quality of life and life chances of our City’s most vulnerable citizens: children. Since 1999, Reynolds Brown has become an honorary mentor to thousands of women and girls through her signature program, The Celebration of Moxie Women. Through this program, Reynolds Brown has honored hundreds of successful business and professional women, working mothers, and Philadelphia’s “Next Generation of Women Leaders: Rising Stars.”
Councilmember Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues: children and youth, women, arts and culture, education, small business development, and the environment and sustainability. Legislative accomplishments include:
- Fund for Children: Persuaded the Phillies and Eagles, in partnership with Mayor John F. Street, during the sports stadium negotiations, to establish this fund requiring each team to contribute $1 million annually for 30 years.
- Menu Labeling: Requires chain restaurants to provide menu labeling with nutritional and calorie information.
- Department of Parks and Recreation Merger: Worked with Council President Darrell Clarke for 8 years to overhaul Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation system, merging Fairmount Park with the Department of Recreation creating increased efficiency and savings.
- Women on Boards: Requires contractors seeking to do business with the City of Philadelphia to disclose certain demographic information including gender, race and geographic data of those serving as board members and executive staff.
- Lead Paint Disclosure and Certification: Requires landlords to have a certified technician conduct a dust-wipe test when property built before 1978 is turned over to a new tenant, all designed to protect children.
- Mentorship Funding: Secured funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania to institute the Beyond School Walls Program in City Hall pairing Philadelphia students with City employees.
- Curfew: Equipped police officers with a new and stronger curfew law to complement the opening of 11 citywide curfew centers.
- Green Building: Requires City buildings and renovations to reach a high sustainability standard.
- Percent for Art: Secured increased funding for the arts in the City’s budget and fought for the integrity of the “Percent for Art” programs.
- Equal-Benefits: Requires companies that contract with the city for more than $250,000 to provide domestic-partner benefits to their employees.
- Pension Forfeiture: Requires any city employee convicted of sexual abuse of a minor to forfeit his or her city pension.
- Energy Benchmarking: Establishes a system of benchmarking and reporting of energy and water usage data for non-residential buildings with 25,000 square feet or more.
- ATVs: Restricts ATV use on public sidewalks or public properties unless authorized by law, and gives the Philadelphia Police Department authority to confiscate vehicles or impose a fine on riders.
- Early Childhood Funding: Allocated $500,000 to the Office of Housing and Community Development to expand quality early childhood education in Philadelphia.
- Hospitality Promotion: Increased funding for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, organizations which promote the tourism industry.
Organizational Affiliations (current):
- Board Member, The Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, The Marian Anderson Award, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Wynnefield Residents Association.
- Member, Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Coalition of 100 Black Women, PA Chapter; and Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
Honored by United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia, Women’s Way, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Philadelphia Business Journal and recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Most Influential Women in the book “VOICES.”