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In order to hold our council members accountable, we have to know what’s happening at City Hall.

To get up-to-date info, context around recent bills and general Council news, listen to Inside PHL Council — City Council’s podcast. You can see how Council operations play out from your laptop; watch stated meetings, committee meetings, budget hearings, and member spotlights on Council members City Council’s YouTube channel.

If you’ve got time, or you want to advocate for a particular bill or issue, go to a Council meeting; they’re open to the public, and there’s a public comment period at every meeting, right before Council votes on resolutions and bills. Check out the calendar and meeting agendas to find out when Council will be voting on legislation you care about. Call the Chief Clerk’s office (215) 686-3410 or (215) 686-3411 to sign up to speak. If you haven’t signed up by 5pm on Wednesday before the meeting, go to Room 400 City Hall before the Council session starts to add your name to the list. You can also show up on day of, and you’ll have the opportunity to speak after all citizens who signed up. You get three minutes, so make them count.

Remember, our Councilmembers’ jobs are to make sure Philadelphia is working better for us — stop into a council members office (see room numbers here) and talk to their staff, or reach out using the contact info listed in our guide.


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About how City Council works

Philadelphia’s City Council enacts laws and resolutions, holds hearings, and approves the city’s operating budget and members of City boards and commissions.

At-Large councilmembers are elected by citywide popular vote and no political party can have more than five at-large seats.

Our City Council has 25 standing committees, including Labor and Civil Service, Ethics, Children and Youth, and Aging.

All committee meetings are open to the public. Find out when they’re happening here.


Who’s on Philadelphia City Council?

Meet all 17 members of the city's legislative body, representing Philly at-large and by district

Who’s on Philadelphia City Council?

Meet all 17 members of the city's legislative body, representing Philly at-large and by district

After a relatively meh 2023 Philadelphia City Council race, a (somewhat) new Council took office on January 2, 2024.

City Council’s class of 2024 comprises 13 incumbents (of those, four have about one year each on the job) and four brand-new members. Fresh faces includes At-Large Democrats Nina Ahmad and Rue Landau (the city’s first out LGBTQ+ Councilmember), and 5th District Democrat Jeffrey Young Jr. (replacing retired Council President Darrell Clarke). Notably, newcomer Nicolas O’Rourke becomes the second Working Families Party member on Council, filling the second of two minority — typically Republican — At-Large seats.

In other news, 2nd District, four-term Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson is poised to become the new Council President.

Behold, your list of members of Philadelphia City Council, what they’ve done so far, and how to contact them. Remember: They work for us.


At-Large Members

District Members

At-Large City Council Members

Seven members of City Council are at-large, meaning, they represent the whole city, not a specific district. Two at-large members must represent a minority party — this year, both belong to the Working Families Party. In addition, at-large members may not serve as Council president.


Nina Ahmad comes to Council with experience in local, state and national government — and after two failed runs for state office. Ahmad worked under Mayor Kenney as a Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement, where she launched the Commission on Women, and served as both the PA president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and  a member of President Obama’s National Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She has also served the board of the Philadelphia Foundation — and has a PhD in chemistry from Penn.

A Mt. Airy resident, Ahmad has said her highest priority is addressing gun violence as a public health issue, for both the physical and the psychological traumas it causes. During her campaign, she told The Citizen, “If we don’t address trauma as part of our programs, whatever we are doing to address violence or changing our levels of poverty, all of those things, are not going to work.” In the run-up to the election, her more than $250,000 donation to her own campaign triggered a “millionaire’s amendment” that doubled the amount candidates could contribute to their campaigns.

She is City Council’s first Bangladeshi member. Her family left Bangladesh to escape the violence there. She says, “My politics were framed by the sacrifice of 3 million people. I feel that I owe the world something. “

Contact Nina Ahmad:


Chair: Committee on People with Disabilities and Special Needs

Prior to joining Council as the first representative of a third political party since 1980, Working Families Party member Kendra Brooks was an activist, community organizer (215 People’s Alliance) and an Easterseals and restorative justice teacher.

Brooks has been prone to performative declarations about things local government does not control: abortion restrictions, student loan debt, First Amendment rights, state and federal prison reform. She has Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s backing for her “Philly Wealth Tax”, though little in the way of a plan for how it might be enacted.

Nonetheless, she’s done the work during her first time, publishing 2023’s Youth Opportunities Guide, a 52-page brochure of various supportive, academic, academic, arts, and work organizations for Philly youth, and helping to win $3 million additional funding for citywide mental and behavioral health crisis response services. She collaborated with fellow progressives to improve renters’ rights to access to housing, increased funding for Rental Assistance, and expansing the Eviction Diversion Program and Right to Counsel for renters in targeted zip codes.

Other causes Brooks backed: Helping neighbors claim ownership of 91 community gardensbanning police use of tear gas and other “less lethal” munitions, helping to establish a Reparations Task Force, and expanding employment and housing protections for survivors of coercive control.

Contact Kendra Brooks:


Chair, Committees on the Environment and Law and Government

This photo of Katherine Gilmore Richardson accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowKatherine Gilmore Richardson is the youngest African American women elected to City Council. She formerly served as V.P. of the Young Philly Democrats and chief of staff to Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown.

“KGR” is well-liked among her colleagues. The South Philly native touts her environmental justice work and serves on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) and is Vice Chair of the LGAC’s Environmental Justice Working Group.

During her most recent campaign, Gilmore Richardson told the Committee of 70, “There is no one I will not work with or reach out to if it means improving the lives of Philadelphians, and I feel that I have proven that commitment over my first term.”

Gilmore Richardson has faced her fair share of battles (looking at you, former Councilmember / mayoral candidate David Oh) on Council. She’s taken on the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), creating and garnering support to pass legislation that requires a public hearing on each / any new City contract with the FOP. She’s did the beleaguered Register of Wills a solid by requiring funeral homes to share information with the City about probating estates in order to avoid tangled titles. As for Oh, he opposed her legislation to a five point preference on civil service examinations for District graduates of Career Technical Education programs. He lost.)

Not every one of KGR’s move was a huge one — simplifying relaxing curfew law, making sure employers give all severed workers a Department of Labor’s workforce development and career pathways information sheet, getting the flush Pension Fund to invest in ESG, creating an Apprenticeship Guidebook. But if her legislation to require the School District to provide Tier I conflict resolution in every school works out, that’s a win.

Contact Katherine Gilmore Richardson:


Southwest Philadelphia native and Kensington resident Jim Harrity joined Council in November 2022 through a special election, after a number of Councilmembers resigned to run for mayor. Harrity specifically filled the seat of Allan Domb. His political experience includes working as an investigator in the City Controller’s office, and directing the office of State Senator Sharif Street and both the Philadelphia Democratic Party and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Although he has been visible and present at most City Hall meetings and supported his Democratic colleagues on legislation — such as banning safe use / injection sites and ski masks, co-sponsoring (with Anthony Phillips) a bill to slow traffic in school zones and (with Mike Driscoll) a resolution to create a task force to redesign the city’s flag — during his first year on Council, Harrity has been more a follower than a leader.

Contact Jim Harrity


Rue Landau is a fair housing activist and attorney who worked at Community Legal Services and served as the director the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC). Landau has taught housing law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, and was director of law and policy at the Philadelphia Bar Association.

A member of the LGBTQ+ community, Landau and her wife received the first same-sex marriage license in Pennsylvania. She is the first openly LGBTQ+ member of City Council.

In her first term, Landau said she plans to tackle major causes with considered, transparent, accessible approaches — the kind she took when helping rewrite the bullying policy at South Philadelphia High School, or fighting for the Wage Equity Ordinance.

Of gun violence, she says, “We need to track the programs, and we need to hold them accountable.” Former Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez and current Councilmember Curtis Jones believe of all the freshmen, Landau is currently the best prepared for the work ahead. She tends to agree. “I am a problem solver. I really like to fix things, and I can’t wait to get started doing it … now,” she says.

Contact Rue Landau


After his second run for Council, Nicolas O’Rourke joins Kendra Brooks as the second member of the Working Families Party on City Council. Although he and Brooks did have Republican competition for the minority party at-large seats, the WFP reps often seemed as if they were running against Donald Trump himself. This is the West Philadelphian’s first job in government.

Nonetheless, chances are, O’Rourke will follow Democrats’ lead, championing progressive causes such as affordable housing and eviction prevention, eliminating gun violence, and advancing racial, climate and criminal justice. Like Brooks, he’s also talked about defending state-based issues — reproductive rights, for example — that Council has no sway over. He was a visible presence during the 2020 demonstrations for racial justice. He supports Chinatown’s opposition of a Sixers’ arena on the edge of their neighborhood, preferring “intentional community investment” in spaces like 60th Street.

O’Rourke is proudly religious, having served as a youth and covenant minister at Living Water United Church of Christ in Oxford Circle in Northeast Philadelphia. The Inquirer has quoted him as describing himself as “an organizer by vocation and a minister by calling.” 

Contact Nic O’Rourke


This photo of Isaiah Thomas accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowChair, Committees on Education and Streets and Services

Isaiah Thomas first secured his seat on Council on his third try. By second term, he’d received more than 100,000 votes — the second-most of any At-Large candidate since 1987.

Thomas’s background is in education and coaching, with a side of politics. He’s helped lead Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, where he still coaches basketball; taught at his alma mater, Lincoln University; and presides over the Coaches Association for Public League Boys Basketball. Thomas formerly directed community affairs for the City Controller’s Office and was a Democratic committeeperson. The Northwest Philadelphia native and resident co-founded the Thomas & Woods Foundation, which supports outreach through basketball and a free end-of-summer camp for 125 children.

In his first four years on Council, Thomas quickly transitioned from supporting his Democratic colleagues to taking the lead on legislation. Perhaps his largest focus is education. He’s gotten into battles with the School District over building conditions, facilities management and educator pay, taken on racial biases in schools, and called for a long-awaited district master plan. Thomas has also called for more investigation of traffic and street safety, even though that’s an issue that likely requires less investigation and more action. He’s against stop-and-frisk.

According to City Council, in Thomas’s first term he worked on:

    • Promoting Black-owned businesses through a #BlackBusinessCrawl during Black History Month
    • Creating and passing the Keep It Local bill requiring the city to use local businesses and be more transparent and accountable in reporting about working with these businesses,
    • Working with Gilmore Richardson to distribute $1 million grants for arts and nightlife institutions affected by Covid.
    • Passing the Driving Equality Bill to prohibit police from stopping drivers for low-level vehicle offenses like broken taillights, passed, and other cities copied it.
    • Introducing a first-in-the-nation Philly NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) bill to provide free legal counsel to families of high school athletes receiving endorsement deals.
    • Introducing a Citizen Watchdog Fund ordinance to give $500 to Philadelphians who report quality-of-life issues to the City.
    • In partnership with Community Legal Services, the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the PA Innocence Project, introducing and receiving approval for a suite of policies that offer reentry support for exonerated individuals. Among these: financial, healthcare, employment,  housing and other city services.

Contact Isaiah Thomas

District City Council Members


The 1st District stretches along the Delaware River from South Philly through Center City (Old City), Chinatown, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond.

This photo of Mark Squilla accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowChair, Committees on Commerce and Economic Development and Finance and Majority Whip

Mark Squilla is a South Philly native known for constituent services, including helping to start “friends of” groups and making generous contributions from campaign and discretionary funds to organizations in his district.

Squilla is a quality-of-life politician, a computer programmer by trade and Mummer by choice. He fought and won the ban on single-use plastic bags, and, more recently, the implementation of a 15-cent fee for single-use paper bags. He’s championed demolition and construction regulations, such as requiring insurance for demos, notifying neighbors beforehand, and calling for more skilled workers. But he’s also put the administration on notice for long wait times for zoning.

Early on, in 2015, he displayed unconventional initiative when his office auctioned off 89 distressed properties in his district.

That said, Squilla has also put up some head-scratching legislation over the years, including one bill that wanted to put restrictions on music venues (scrapped), and others that spot-rezoned land in his district, including banning curb cuts on 9th Street between Catherine and Federal streets. In 2022, he joined Italian American groups in a federal lawsuit against Mayor Kenney for renaming Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Controversy seems to follow Squilla. His support for a bill to require sprinklers in high-rises attracted protests. He’s currently caught up in the contentious proposal to put a new 76ers arena in his district. Because of councilmanic prerogative, he could have the final say on the build. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what he’s going to do about it, if anything.

Squilla has displayed a willingness to work with others on Council and in neighborhoods, but also pushes back from time to time. For example, he was a GoPuff booster, but has also warned the Philadelphia-based company’s location on Washington Avenue they’d better pay attention to traffic and pedestrian safety. He’s championed small businesses, but also fought late-night food trucks in Fishtown.

Contact Mark Squilla


The 2nd District includes parts of Center City, Southwest and South Philadelphia, including the Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Flyers arenas, Philadelphia International Airport, the Navy Yard and FDR Park.

This photo of Kenyatta Johnson accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowPresumptive Council President

Kenyatta Johnson has represented the 2nd District since 2012. To some in his district, he’s a hometown hero, the Point Breeze neighborhood guy who got a master’s in government administration from Penn, volunteered for AmeriCorps, helped found CityYear, and is now very much looking out for his own.

To others, Johnson is looking out a little too much for his own. He’s been indicted on and acquitted of federal bribery charges for an alleged scheme to exchange political favors for $67,000 funneled to his his wife, Dawn Chavous, through two nonprofits. He’s been accused of less-than-above-board real estate transactions involving undervaluing properties for sheriff’s sale. He also laid down on plans to restructure Washington Avenue.

Years ago, Johnson founded what appeared to be, but was not, the nonprofit Peace Not Guns that received grant money without the proper paperwork. (Today, Johnson continues to organize marches and, he told Committee of 70, teach “young adults conflict resolution, anger management, and anti-street education” through the group.)

Whatever your take on him, Johnson is clearly passionate about reducing gun violence. The founding chair of Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, he’s pushed for increased funding for trauma-informed services and job training for at-risk and impacted youth, hired the city’s first victim advocate, wrote legislation to ban ghost guns a year before the federal government did the same, advocated for gun safety, and investigated the link between domestic violence and gun violence.

He’s pushed for and through property tax-related education and relief such as the Longtime Owner Occupants Program, reducing property taxes for residents who have lived in their homes for more than 10 years. He’s also stood behind airport workers — PHL is in his district — and youth employment, and proposed legislation to ban the police from using chokeholds and similar tactics.

Like several of his colleagues, he’s also made his fair share of proclamations on national matters — on the Derek Chauvin trial verdict, the January 6 insurrection, national mass shootings. Call it … councilmanic bluster.

Contact Kenyatta Johnson


The 3rd District includes the West and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Belmont, Powelton Village, West Powelton, Kingsessing, Elmwood Park, Mill Creek, Mantua, University City, Cobbs Creek, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Garden Court and Cedar Park.

Chair: Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless

This photo of Jamie Gauthier accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowJamie Gauthier is the only member of Council with a planning degree, a masters from University of Pennsylvania. Starting her job a couple months before the onset of Covid, then George Floyd-inspired racial unrest, she met both situations head-on with early successes, then mixed results.

Prior to joining city government, Gauthier advocated for affordable housing at the Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Coalition and later served as the executive director of the Sustainable Business Network and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. She is considered the most progressive Democrat on Council. Her 2019 election unseated Jannie Blackwell, disrupting a West Philadelphia political dynasty.

The Inquirer said of Gauthier’s start on Council: “She helped defuse one standoff between police and protesters by getting Mayor Jim Kenney on the phone with a young activist. She negotiated with leaders of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway homeless encampment; pushed for police reforms after the killing of Walter Wallace Jr., one of her constituents.”

For the most part, her time on Council has been collaborative, reform-minded and head-first, sometimes to a fault. She has pushed for more affordable housing and housing protections, working with former Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez on the Mixed Income Neighborhoods Overlay District (MIN) to require large new developments within the overlay to keep 20 percent of their units affordable. During Covid, she, former Councilmember Helen Gym and Councilmember Brooks created the Emergency Housing Protection Act (EHPA), which included the much-lauded Eviction Diversion Program, contributing to a 75 percent decrease in evictions citywide.

In 2023, she authored the budget amendment to invest an additional $72 million to tackle illegal dumping, vacant lots, code enforcement and traffic safety. Her 2022 “Just Services” campaign, another collaboration with Gym and Brooks, pushed for a $5 million to deal with trash collection, abandoned cars, broken streetlights and blighted properties in the 14 zip codes with the highest rates of gun violence. She’s also behind bike lanes for 30 blocks of Walnut Street in West Philadelphia and joined Brooks in taking the city’s beleaguered Landlord-Tenant Office to task for its botched, sometimes violent, evictions.

Not all of her projects have succeeded: Although her two-year-long effort to declare a gun violence emergency in Philadelphia received unanimous approval in Council, Mayor Kenney refused to sign it. Just Services’ successes have been spotty and she seemed to lose the thread in first trying to negotiate, then seeming to oppose, an offer by IBID Associates to build affordable housing units along with a life sciences facility on the University City Townhomes site. (This was eventually settled in August.) She also went against the tide in being the only district Councilmember not to forbid safe injection sites in her district.

She heads the city’s Reparations Task Force.

Contact Jamie Gauthier:


The 4th District comprises sections of West and Northwest Philadelphia, crossing the Schuylkill River: Allegheny West, Belmont Village, East Falls, Manayunk, Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Roxborough and Wynnefield.

This photo of Curtis Jones accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowChair: Committees on Appropriations; Legislative Oversight; Public Safety

Since 2012, Curtis Jones Jr. has represented the district he grew up in. A coalition builder, he seemed the presumptive replacement for former Council President Darrell Clarke, until Johnson won the job. Jones’s academic and professional background is in economics and community development. He has a degree in accounting and a Master’s certificate in contract compliance.

Jones has served on the PA Crime & Delinquency Commission and Criminal Justice Advisory Board — and has focused on criminal justice reform in his work on Council. He helped establish day reporting centers and diversion programs, and other efforts that led to the closing of the city’s House of Corrections.

He lists his biggest accomplishments on Council as:

  • Changing the Home Rule Charter change to make the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males a permanent department.
  • Amending “Ban the Box” legislation to further restrict city agencies and private employers from probing applicants’ potential criminal backgrounds.
  • Co-sponsoring (with Councilmember Johnson) the CVN Bill that allows police officers to use their discretion for select quality-of-life offenses — disorderly conduct, public drunkenness — to issue $100 civil citations instead of arresting them.
  • Getting the School District to recognize both Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha which commemorates Hajj, as holidays.

More recently, Jones has bungled his response to the increase of vape shops and marijuana dispensaries. He passed legislation to require the latter — and all new commercial businesses in his district — to go through an arduous zoning hearing with the Zoning Board of Adjustment. And, he used councilmanic prerogative to ban dispensaries from eight West Philly commercial corridors, a premature move, since recreational pot is illegal anyway.

Also notable: He’s pushing for the city to establish a consent-to-search program like one that has dramatic effect St. Louis. It works by police asking residents of high-crime neighborhoods if they can search their homes for overlooked firearms — in exchange for a promise not to prosecute the residents  for possessing illegal weapons.

Contact Curtis Jones Jr.


The 5th District includes North Central Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Lower Hunting Park, Ludlow, Yorktown, West Poplar, Fairhill, Brewerytown, Francisville, Spring Garden, Fairmount, Logan Square, and parts of Northwood, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Center City.

Jeffery “Jay” Young Jr. has worked in government since high school, interning simultaneously for former Councilmembers Darrell Clarke and Blondell Reynolds Brown and the Managing Director’s Office. In college (Temple) he interned for Councilmember Jones Jr. and then-Mayor Michael Nutter, then for Sen. Bob Casey, Register of Wills Office and Community Legal Services. “I learned the power of networking at a very young age,” he told The Inquirer.

Young was first to circulate petitions to get on the ballot — before Clarke announced his retirement. He ended up as the only Democratic candidate for the position by the time the ballots came out.

Prior to joining Council, he was an attorney and partner at the Wynnefield-based Legis Group, where he specializes in real estate, government affairs, business law, representing developers. He also served as legislative council for Clarke, where he became embroiled in what the Inquirer called “a controversial transaction when city-owned properties near Temple University were sold to Shawn Bullard, a former NFL linebacker who became a real estate developer, for $125,000 below the appraised value.”

He served as a committeeperson for and counsel to the 32nd Ward and served on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males (now the Office on Black Male Engagement), the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Union Benevolent Association and the board of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.

Young has come under fire for posts he made to Twitter about a decade ago. His explanation to  The Inquirer: “My thinking has evolved and changed a lot …  and my views and positions have evolved, as well.” In 2015, he posted his support for councilmanic prerogative.

Contact Jeffery Young Jr.



The 6th District consists of the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods of Tacony, Mayfair, Holmesburg, Lexington Park, Holme Circle, Ashton, Bridesburg, Wissinoming, Port Richmond, East Torresdale, Castor Gardens, Oxford Circle, Rhawnhurst, Bells Corner, Winchester Park, Academy Gardens, Pennypack and Frankford.

Chair: Licenses and Inspections

Democrat Michael Driscoll joined Council in a 2022 special election to replace former Councilmember Bobby Henon, who resigned after a federal conviction on corruption charges. Upon his election, Driscoll resigned his own seat on the PA Congress, where he represented the Northeast from 2014. He also served as deputy secretary of the Department of General Services under Governor Bob Casey.

The graduate of Cardinal Doughtery High School and LaSalle University has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Driscoll comes into this position after many years working in government.

Like his colleague Jim Harrity, Driscoll has been a quieter presence on Council. Together, the reps asked Harrisburg to let Philadelphia set its own, higher, minimum wage, a request, someone with his experience should know, will likely fall on deaf ears. Driscoll’s role has mostly been supportive, signing on as one of several co-sponsors for legislation about and investigation into worker protections, NIL for high school athletes, tractor-trailer parking in the Northeast and evictions.

Contact Mike Driscoll


The 7th District consists of the North Philadelphia neighborhoods of Castor Gardens, Fairhill, Feltonville, Frankford, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Oxford Circle and Wissinoming.

Chair: Committee on Public Property and Public Works

Quetcy Lozada joined City Council in a 2022 special election after Maria Quiñones Sánchez resigned to run for mayor. Immediately prior, Lozada worked in community engagement and organizing for the Hunting Park Christian service group Esperanza. From 2008 to 2018, she was Quiñones Sánchez’s chief of staff. She also served on the Pennsylvania Commission of Latino Affairs and worked for the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations (Concilio) and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As a representative of opioid-besieged Kensington, she successfully advanced a bill to require any operator of a safe injection site to first seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which, in turn, would involve neighbors in the decision. Public health officials spoke out in opposition to the bill.

Lozada has organized cleanups in Kensington, which have helped a bit. She has also proposed a “Marshall Plan,” wherein people openly using drugs would be arrested, not diverted. This idea has inspired mixed reactions.

Lozada and her family live in Northwood.

Contact Quetcy Lozada



The 8th District comprises North and Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods that include Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Logan and parts of Olney, West Oak Lane and Feltonville.

This photo of Cindy Bass accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right nowChair: Committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services

During her years on Council, Cindy Bass has become associated with development and zoning issues. In the 2023 election, she won her fourth term by a very slim majority against a progressive candidate.

Bass authored the Registered Community Organization (RCO) Protections Bill establishing new zoning guidelines, adding protections for RCOs — and arguably making the process more difficult for businesses. She pushed through the Stop and Go Bill, to clarify licensing requirements for neighborhood convenience stores that sell booze and other “get-high” products, as she called them, like over-the-counter-medicines and “crack pipes.” Earlier, she oversaw the passage of Stop and Go’s predecessor, the Nuisance Business bill.

Bass has called to end the 10-year tax abatement on new construction and backed a bill requiring the City to offer tax credits to businesses harmed by significant infrastructure improvement projects.

She has also presided over several controversial projects, digging in on multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to restore the historic Germantown Y, one of the country’s first racially integrated Ys, for example. She tried to ban all demolition in her district for six months — and all in-home daycares and auto repair shops indefinitely (both efforts failed).

She presided over the defunct Germantown Special Services District, whose president was accused of wire fraud. In 2022, according to The Inquirer, she threatened “to halt Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature Rebuild program to revitalize parks, libraries, and recreation centers across Philadelphia if the administration doesn’t allocate more money for her district,” which it later did.

Other causes she’s championed include: establishing strict penalties for buying or selling stolen catalytic converters and other precious metal vehicle parts, investigating healthcare aspects of the city’s foster care system, overseeing community hearings when the School Reform Commission was disbanding, and trying to get the Wells Fargo Center to change its name. She’s also done her fair share of councilmanic blustering, reacting to both President Trump state-of-the-union addresses and his opposition of ACA-covered birth control.

Bass’s governmental experience includes working for PA Sen. Allyson Schwartz and as senior policy advisor on urban and domestic policy to convicted former Congressman Chaka Fattah.

Contact Cindy Bass


The 9th District includes Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Fern Rock, Logan, Oxford Circle,  Lawncrest, Burholme, and Summerdale.

Chair: Children and Youth

Anthony Phillips joined Council after a 2022 special election, taking the seat vacated by now-Mayor Cherelle Parker. Prior to Council, Phillips was executive director of Youth Action, a program he co-founded at age 14 that connects middle and high school students to service opportunities to inspire socially responsible leadership. He has also directed precollege programs at TeenSHARP, an organization that opens doors for minority youth to achieve scholarships and gain admission to selective universities.

His first legislative action introduced a resolution to audit semitrailer and truck tractor parking across the city. Later, he’d co-sponsor a bill to ban tractor-trailer parking in residential driveways. Phillips also introduced a bill to install traffic calming measures near schools.

Despite protests from the ACLU and others, Phillips received more than enough votes to pass his legislation to ban ski masks (aka balaclavas or Sheisty masks) in schools, rec centers, daycares, parks, city-owned buildings and public transportation. The 2023 bill also allows the City to impose a $250 fine on anyone wearing a ski mask — and a $2,000 fine on anyone who wears one in the commission of a crime.

Phillips’s bill to implement traffic calming measures near schools passed unanimously. He has joined his colleagues in calling for a facilities plan from the School District, and he criticized the City’s response to the threat posed by a chemical water supply contaminated by a chemical spill in the Delaware and put forth legislation.

He has also proposed toughening Councilmember Bass’s nuisance business law, extending the timeframe for a business’s violations (from 3 violations in 60 days to 3 in one year), raising a violation fine from $300 to $2,000, and giving police the power to issue businesses cease operations notices.

Phillips is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has master’s from Yale University and an undergraduate degree from Bates College.

Contact Anthony Phillips


The 10th District includes the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods of Bustleton, Fox Chase and Rhawnhurst.

This photo of Brian O'Neill accompanies a guide to who's on Philadelphia City Council right now

Chair: Labor and Civil Service, Technology and Information Services; Minority Leader

The numbers of terms Brian O’Neill has served on Council is not a misprint. The sole Republican has spent his career in City Hall — since 1979.

Known for his constituent services, with four offices scattered throughout his district, O’Neill has a masterful knowledge of zoning codes — and is unafraid to wield councilmanic prerogative over developments and projects he believes are bad for his far-Northeast district.

The Inquirer described him thus: “O’Neill … has turned prerogative into an art form. He preemptively changes the zoning of properties to ensure future development proposals have to go through him; he frequently appears at zoning board hearings to oppose variances in person; and he takes a hands-on, detail-oriented approach to projects big and small.” On the other hand, he speaks out little in Council sessions.

He’s pushed through a ban on food carts and prohibited tractor-trailers from parking in residential driveways in his part of the far Northeast. Aside from zoning, much of his work revolves around taxes — keeping them, along with other fees, low for homeowners, especially seniors and other vulnerable populations.

O’Neill chairs the Philadelphia Activities Fund, a discretionary fund that members can direct to community organizations in their districts — and that, for years, worked in secrecy, without its tax exempt status.

Contact Brian O’Neill


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We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.