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City Council District 3

The Home Rule Charter established the City Council as the legislative arm of Philadelphia government. Ten members of the City Council are elected by district and represent a section of the city. Each Councilperson must be at least 25 years old, US citizens, and a resident of Philadelphia for at least one year. Each Councilperson is elected for a term of four years with no term limits. Council members are responsible for introducing and passing bills that directly impact the quality of life for Philadelphians. Public City Council meeting are held weekly. Passage of a bill requires the favorable vote of a majority of all members of Council. A bill becomes law upon the approval of the Mayor. If the Mayor vetoes a bill, Council may override the veto by a two-thirds vote.

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    Jamie Gauthier

Biographical Information

What reform do you believe is most important to making City Hall more transparent, accessible and responsive to voters?

We need to end councilmanic prerogative. This is the tradition of letting district council members hold unilateral power over land use/development in the areas they represent that has created a culture of corruption in Philadelphia City Government. Too often, land use decisions are made based on developers personal friendships with or campaign donations to city legislators.

Instead, what I would do is open land use decisions to public review. That way voters would be able to have a say in the development of the district, particularly as it relates to public land. Residents should be able to review the different entities that have made proposals and see if their Councilmember has a relationship with those entities. I also believe that term limits are an important part of ending this practice city-wide. Having an end date to every Councilmembers term makes it harder for each legislator to build up individual fiefdoms.