In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Featured, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA — Council President Darrell L. Clarke today issued Writs for Special Elections to be held to fill vacancies in the Seventh and Ninth District seats in City Council. The special elections will be held on Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th.

The vacancy in the Seventh Council District, which covers parts of Lower Northeast Philadelphia and portions of North Philadelphia, including Frankford, Kensington, Juniata Park, Hunting Park, Feltonville, Fairhill and other neighborhoods, was created following the resignation this week of Councilmember Maria D. Quiñones Sánchez, to pursue a potential candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia.

The vacancy in the Ninth Council District, which covers portions of Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia, including East Mt. Airy, West and East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme, Oxford Circle and other neighborhoods, was created following the resignation this week of Councilmember and Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker, to pursue a potential candidacy for Mayor.

A total of 339,279 residents live in the two vacant Council districts, according to the most recent U.S. Census and Council’s recently-concluded redistricting process.

Under the city’s Home Rule Charter, when a vacancy occurs in the office of a Councilmember, it falls upon the City Council President to issue a writ to the local board of elections to hold a special election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term – in this case, through December 2023.

Council President Clarke signed and issued two writs for the special elections to fill these district Council seats, which were transmitted today to the Office of the City Commissioners, who supervise all elections in Philadelphia.

“We understand our responsibilities under the Home Rule Charter, and today we are taking the appropriate steps under city law to issue writs for special elections to fill these two district Council seats in the General Election on November 8th,” Council President Clarke said.

“It is vitally important that more than 339,000 residents of the Seventh and Ninth Districts have full, active representation in Council, with access to the specific kinds of constituent services and district-specific legislation that can only be provided by their district Councilmember,” Clarke said.

Clarke emphasized that the existing staff of the 7th and 9th District offices will continue providing constituent services to residents during this interim period before the election.

The political parties in Philadelphia will nominate candidates to run in the November special elections, and those nominees will appear on the Election Day ballot. The winners will serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

Clarke said Council will welcome whomever the voters in the Seventh and Ninth Districts elect as their Councilmember. “We have urgent issues confronting our city – public safety and gun violence, restarting our economy after the pandemic, and creating more jobs, affordable housing and hope for every Philadelphian. We’ll keep doing our jobs for the people of Philadelphia.”

Two other vacancies were recently created on Council by the resignations of At Large Members (Allan Domb and Derek Green). All 17 seats in City Council are up for election next year. At Large Members represent the city as a whole and usually focus on broader issues and legislation.

“It’s important that our elections be as open and democratic as possible,” Clarke said. “I expect a full, robust process of candidates and voters considering all their options next year.”

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