Under Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter, before the full City Council may vote on a bill, the bill must first be referred to a committee of Council. That committee must hold a publicly advertised hearing on the bill, where any and all persons wishing to testify on the bill may do so. If you feel strongly about a bill – whether you oppose it, support it, or wish to see it amended – you are encouraged to testify at the public hearing of the committee on the bill.
Public hearings of City Council committees are usually held in the Council Chambers, Room 400, City Hall. (The public hearing notice will state the location of the hearing.) Until further notice, safety protocols will be maintained for all public hearings, including social distancing. Anyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask. A mask will be provided to anyone who does not have a mask prior to their attendance at a public hearing. If you would prefer to submit your testimony in writing rather than attend a hearing in person, you may submit your testimony to the chair of the committee and your testimony will be added to the permanent record of the hearing.
To gain access to public hearing information you may (1) ask the Chief Clerk to add your e-mail address to a distribution list so that you receive public hearing notices automatically in the future, or (2) look on the internet for public hearing information at the following address: https://phila.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx (do not type “www”); then scroll down and browse the information for various upcoming public hearings of City Council committees. When you find a hearing that is of interest to you, you may contact the Chair of the committee and ask to testify. A list of Council committees containing contact information for the Chair of each committee may be found here.
If you have questions about the procedures described above, please contact the Chief Clerk’s Office at 215-686-3410 or 215-686-3411.