Philadelphia City Council
|November 5, 2019|
|Philadelphia City Hall|
|City Council Website|
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.
While William Penn's original 1691 charter for the city of Philadelphia included a "common council," no records exist of this body ever having been convened. Its successor, the Proprietor's Charter of 1701, constituted the city as a municipal corporation with a non-elected council made up of major city officials who selected their own successors. The colonial city government was abolished during the American Revolution and replaced in 1789 with an elected council including fifteen aldermen and thirty common councillors; these then elected a mayor and recorder who also were members of the council. In 1796, a bicameral city council was created including a 20-member Common Council and 12-member Select Council; the sizes of both bodies increased with the population of the city, peaking at 149 members of Common Council and 41 in Select Council, the largest municipal legislature in the US. It was replaced with a single 21-member chamber in 1919, which remained in effect until the adoption of a Home Rule charter in 1951.
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 in which voters may only select five candidates on the ballot, and which guarantees that two minority-party or independent 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. In 2011, the council approved a redistricting map with more compact boundaries, eliminating the gerrymandered borders of the 5th and 7th districts; it took effect for the 2015 elections.
The City Council as of January 6, 2020 is as follows:
|4||Curtis J. Jones Jr.||2008||Dem|
|5||Darrell L. Clarke, Council President||1999||Dem|
|9||Cherelle Parker, Majority Leader||2016||Dem|
|10||Brian J. O'Neill, Minority Leader||1980||Rep|
|At-Large||Derek S. Green||2016||Dem|
|At-Large||Katherine Gilmore Richardson||2020||Dem|
|James A. Finnegan||January 1, 1951 – January 14, 1955||Democratic|
|James Hugh Joseph Tate||January 20, 1955 – January 6, 1964||Democratic|
|Paul D’Ortona||January 6, 1964 – January 3, 1972||Democratic|
|George X. Schwartz||January 3, 1972 – May 29, 1980||Democratic|
|Joseph E. Coleman||October 30, 1980 – January 6, 1992||Democratic|
|John F. Street||January 6, 1992 – December 31, 1998||Democratic|
|Anna C. Verna||January 14, 1999 – December 15, 2011||Democratic|
|Darrell L. Clarke||January 2, 2012 – Present||Democratic|
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral systems.
The Congress of the Philippines is the bicameral legislature of the Philippines. It consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives, although colloquially, the term "Congress" commonly refers to just the latter.
The Government of New York City, headquartered at New York City Hall in Lower Manhattan, is organized under the New York City Charter and provides for a mayor-council system. The mayor is elected to a four-year term and is responsible for the administration of city government. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 members, each elected from a geographic district, normally for four-year terms. All elected officials—other than those elected before 2010, who are limited to three consecutive terms—are subject to a two consecutive-term limit. The court system consists of two citywide courts and three statewide courts.
Honolulu City Council is the legislature of the City and County of Honolulu, the capital and largest city of the United States state of Hawaiʻi. It is composed of nine members who are elected to a four-year term. Each member can serve no more than two consecutive terms. Members of the council are elected from nine administrative districts. Since 1991, the council reapportions council districts every ten years. Same as the mayor of the city, members of the council are elected by nonpartisan elections.
The Seattle City Council is the legislative body of the city of Seattle, Washington. The Council consists of nine members serving four-year terms, seven of which are elected by electoral districts and two of which are elected in citywide at-large positions; all elections are non-partisan. It has the sole responsibility of approving the city's budget, and develops laws and policies intended to promote the health and safety of Seattle's residents. The Council passes all legislation related to the city's police, firefighting, parks, libraries, and electricity, water supply, solid waste, and drainage utilities. (The mayor of Seattle is not considered part of council.)
The Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch of the local government of the District of Columbia, in the United States. As permitted in the United States Constitution, the district is not part of any U.S. state and is overseen directly by the federal government.
The New York City Council is the lawmaking body of New York City. It has 51 members from 51 council districts throughout the five boroughs.
The Boston City Council is the legislative branch of government for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is made up of 13 members: 9 district representatives and 4 at-large members. Councillors are elected to two-year terms and there is no limit on the number of terms an individual can serve. Boston uses a strong-mayor form of government in which the city council acts as a check against the power of the executive branch, the mayor. The Council is responsible for approving the city budget; monitoring, creating, and abolishing city agencies; making land use decisions; and approving, amending, or rejecting other legislative proposals.
The Memphis City Council is the legislative branch of government for the city of Memphis, Tennessee. It is made up of 13 members: 7 single-district members and 6 "super district" members. Council members are elected to four-year terms with a two-term limit. The city is governed by Mayor Jim Strickland and the thirteen city council members. Memphis uses a strong-mayor form of government in which the city council acts as a check against the power of the executive branch, the mayor. The council is responsible for approving the city budget, making land use decisions, and approving, amending, or rejecting other legislative proposals.
Local government in New Jersey is composed of counties and municipalities. Local jurisdictions in New Jersey differ from those in some other states because every square foot of the state is part of exactly one municipality; each of the 565 municipalities is in exactly one county; and each of the 21 counties has more than one municipality. New Jersey has no independent cities, or consolidated city-counties.
The Atlanta City Council is the main municipal legislative body for the city of Atlanta, Georgia. It consists of 16 members primarily elected from 12 districts within the city. The Atlanta City Government is divided into three bodies: the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The Atlanta City Council serves as the legislative branch. City departments, under the direction of the mayor, constitute the executive branch and the Courts, the judicial branch.
Local government in Pennsylvania is government below the state level in Pennsylvania. There are six types of local governments listed in the Pennsylvania Constitution: county, township, borough, town, city, and school district. All of Pennsylvania is included in one of the state's 67 counties, which are in total subdivided into 2,561 municipalities. There are currently no independent cities or unincorporated territories within Pennsylvania. There is only one incorporated town in Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, but it is effectively a borough as it is governed under the same set of laws.
The San Diego City Council is the legislative branch of government for the city of San Diego, California. The city council was first established in San Diego in 1850. The council uses a strong mayor system with a separately elected mayor who acts as the executive. There are currently nine members of the council. City council members serve a four-year term and are limited to two successive terms.
Gerrymandering in the United States has been used to increase the power of a political party. Gerrymandering is the practice of setting boundaries of electoral districts to favor specific political interests within legislative bodies, often resulting in districts with convoluted, winding boundaries rather than compact areas. The term "gerrymandering" was coined by a review of Massachusetts's redistricting maps of 1812 set by Governor Elbridge Gerry that was named because one of the districts looked like a salamander.
Municipal elections were held in San Diego in 2014 for city council and propositions. The primary election was held on June 3, 2014, and the general election was held on November 4, 2014. Four of the nine seats of the San Diego City Council were contested. Two city council incumbents ran for re-election in their same district and one ran for election in a new district due to redistricting.
RepresentUs is a nonprofit organization founded in November 2012 that advocates for state and local laws based on model legislation called the American Anti-Corruption Act. It is a proposal to overhaul lobbying, transparency, and campaign finance laws. RepresentUs is headquartered in Florence, Massachusetts and is supported by a national network of volunteer-led chapters.
The 2020 United States redistricting cycle will take place following the completion of the 2020 United States census. In all fifty states, various bodies will re-draw state legislative districts. States that are apportioned more than one seat in the United States House of Representatives will also draw new districts for that legislative body.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 5, 1957, involved the election of the district attorney, city controller, and the remainder of a term for one city council seat, as well as several row offices and judgeships. Democrats were successful citywide, continuing a run of victories racked up after the passage of a new city charter in 1951 despite growing divisions between factions of the party. Victor H. Blanc, the incumbent district attorney, led the Democratic ticket to victory. They held the city council seat and took two citywide offices that Republicans had won in 1953. In the judges' elections, most were endorsed by both parties but in the one race that pitted a Democratic candidate against a Republican, the Democrats were successful in seating their candidate, former Congressman Earl Chudoff.
The New York City Board of Aldermen was a body that was the upper house of New York City's Common Council from 1824 to 1875, the lower house of its Municipal Assembly upon consolidation in 1898 until the charter was amended in 1901 to abolish the Municipal Assembly and its upper house, and its unicameral legislature from 1875 to 1897 and 1902 to 1937. The corresponding lower house was known as the Board of Assistants or the Board of Assistant Aldermen from 1824 to 1875, while the upper house was known as the Council from 1898 to 1901. In 1938 a new charter came into effect that replaced the Board of Aldermen with the New York City Council.