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  • Squilla4

Mark Squilla represents City Council’s First District, a diverse and growing area that stretches along the Delaware River from his native South Philadelphia across Center City, Chinatown, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond. 

First elected in 2011, Councilman Squilla’s life in public service began nearly two decades earlier, when he brought his Whitman neighbors together to save their local park, Burke Playground. The City gave the space to the community’s oversight and Mark coordinated the efforts that resulted in a complete, neighborhood-led renovation. The Park’s enhanced lighting, paving and new equipment increased Burke’s profile and use as a safe haven for area children.  

After witnessing the playground project unite his neighborhood to make a positive difference, Mark began a weekly Saturday morning cleanup joined by members of local youth athletics teams, many of whom he had coached. As the group grew, he began voicing and seeking resolutions to community concerns ranging from broken streetlights to the effects of highway reconstruction. Since 1998, Mark has a member of the Democratic City Committee, representing Ward 39B, and in 2008, his neighbors elected him President of Whitman Council. From 1985 until 2011, the future Councilman served the cause of accountability and transparency in state government through his work in the Office of Pennsylvania’s Auditor General, under four Administrations.  His knowledge and experience helped support this agency in its mission as the fiscal watchdog for the Commonwealth. 

Councilman Squilla’s experiences as a Community organizer, public servant, husband and father have taught him that strong families and engaged neighborhoods are the keys to Philadelphia’s future. As the city grows and evolves, Mark believes that bringing together the best of each community’s traditions and new life are crucial to Philadelphia’s success, block by block and group by group. Since taking office, Mark has shown his commitment to this belief by immersing himself into efforts like the move toward revitalizing the Reading Viaduct and the planning work of the Central Delaware Advisory Group, to the ongoing growth and challenges of the East Passyunk Business Improvement District, which has become one of the East Coast’s most prominent emerging hotspots for living, dining and nightlife. 

The Chair of Council’s Commerce & Economic Development and Licenses & Inspections Committees, Councilman Squilla is also member of the Committees on Rules, Finance, Law & Government, Public Property & Public Works, Transportation & Public Utilities, Education, Legislative Oversight, Housing, Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy, and Technology & Information Services.  Given its presence in the First District, he is an ex officio member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and a member of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Reading Terminal Market Board of Directors.  He also serves as a Board member for The Cultural Fund, Fleisher Art School, Avenue of the Arts and Historic Philadelphia.  

A graduate of St John Neumann High School (1980) and LaSalle University (1985) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science, Mark has been married since 1989 to Brigid, a nurse anesthetist. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.