Philadelphia City Council
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
The Philadelphia City Council, the legislative body of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, consists of ten members elected by district and seven members elected at-large. The council president is elected by the members from among their number. Each member's term is four years, and there are no limits on the number of terms a member may serve.
Composition and term
The 1951 Home Rule Charter established the council as the legislative arm of Philadelphia municipal government, consisting of seventeen members. Ten council members are elected by district and seven from the city at large. At-large council members are elected using limited voting with limited nomination, guaranteeing that two minority-party candidates are elected. Each is elected for a term of four years with no limit on the number of terms that may be served.
The members of City Council elect from among themselves a president, who serves as the regular chairperson of council meetings. In consultation with the majority of council members, the President appoints members to the various standing committees of the council. The president is also responsible for selecting and overseeing most Council employees.
Every proposed ordinance is in the form of a bill introduced by a Council member. Before a bill can be enacted, it must be referred by the president of the council to an appropriate standing committee, considered at a public hearing and public meeting, reported out by the committee, printed as reported by the committee, distributed to the members of the council, and made available to the public. Passage of a bill requires the favorable vote of a majority of all members. A bill becomes law upon the approval of the mayor. If the mayor vetoes a bill, the council may override the veto by a two-thirds vote.
Under the rules of the council, regular public sessions are held weekly, usually on Thursday morning at 10:00am, in Room 400, City Hall. Council normally breaks for the summer months of July and August.
In a 2006 computer study of local and state legislative districts, two of the city's ten council districts, the 5th and the 7th, were found to be among the least compact districts in the nation, giving rise to suspicions of gerrymandering.
The Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan watchdog group for local elections, asked candidates for council in 2007 to support a list of ethics statements, including a call for fair redistricting, which should take place after the 2010 United States Census.
City council members
The City Council as of January 2, 2012 is as follows:
|3||Jannie L. Blackwell||1991||Dem|
|4||Curtis J. Jones, Jr.#||2008||Dem|
|9||Marian B. Tasco||1988||Dem|
|10||Brian J. O'Neill***||1980||Rep|
|At-Large||Blondell Reynolds Brown*||2000||Dem|
|At-Large||W. Wilson Goode, Jr.||2000||Dem|
|At-Large||Bill Green ||2008||Dem|
Key to Chart
† President of Council
# Majority Leader
* Majority Whip
** Deputy Majority Whip
*** Minority Leader
List of Presidents of City Council
|James A. Finnegan||January 1, 1951 – January 14, 1955||Democrat|
|James Hugh Joseph Tate||January 20, 1955 – January 6, 1964||Democrat|
|Paul D’Ortona||January 6, 1964 – January 3, 1972||Democrat|
|George X. Schwartz||January 3, 1972 – May 29, 1980||Democrat|
|Joseph E. Coleman||October 30, 1980 – January 6, 1992||Democrat|
|John F. Street||January 6, 1992 – December 31, 1998||Democrat|
|Anna C. Verna||January 14, 1999 – December 15, 2011||Democrat|
|Darrell L. Clarke||January 2, 2012 – Present||Democrat|
- Ginsberg, Thomas; City Councils in Philadelphia and Other Major Cities: Who Holds Office, How Long They Serve, and How Much It All Costs; Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative (2011). (Overview)
- "General Information". Philadelphia City Council. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- "Rules of the Council of the City of Philadelphia". Philadelphia City Council. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- "The Gerrymandering Index: Using geospatial analysis to measure relative compactness of electoral districts". Azavea. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- "City Council Ethics Agenda". Committee of Seventy. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
- Dunn, Mik (November 18, 2011). "Curtis Jones To Be Next Philadelphia City Council Majority Leader". CBS Philly. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Widow of former Member of Congress Lucien E. Blackwell
- Son of former Mayor W. Wilson Goode.
- Son of former U.S. Congressman and Mayor Bill Green III and grandson of former U.S. Congressman Bill Green, Jr..
- "Paul D'Ortona, 88, Philadelphia Official". New York Times. October 20, 1992. Retrieved April 21, 2012.