Meet your council: The most new members in 20 years can change everything

Posted: November 09, 2011

A CHANGE has come.

Voters yesterday elected the most new faces to City Council - six - since 1991, when seven new members were elected.

The freshmen are replacing five members who retired - Frank DiCicco, Joan Krajewski, Donna Reed Miller, Jack Kelly and Council president Anna Verna - and one who lost his bid for re-election in the May primary, Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr.

Here's a look at the new members, who will be sworn-in on Jan. 2.

Council at-large

State Rep. Dennis O'Brien - Finished first among the five Republicans vying for the two minority-party seats on Council. Rose to Speaker of the House out of a Northeast Philly district. O'Brien, 59, hopes to use his new post to tackle issues that he's pursued over the years, including criminal justice, health care and helping children with disabilities.

"I know a lot of the new members well," O'Brien said last night. "I believe each and every one of them wants to make a difference . . . this Council can be historic."

David Oh - Was clinging to a narrow lead for the second GOP seat, despite revelations that he embellished his military record and faced a strong negative campaign launched against him by labor leader John Dougherty, who was backing Joe McColgan. Oh, 51, nearly won an at-large seat in 2007.

Al Taubenberger - Taubenberger, 58, the 2007 GOP nominee for Mayor and head of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, was trailing Oh by 129 votes with 96 percent of the vote counted late last night. He served as chief of staff to retiring Councilman Kelly and was a former member of the Zoning Code Commission.

McColgan, a financial manager, and Michael Untermeyer, a real-estate investor, finished fourth and fifth, well out of the money.

Council districts

Mark Squilla - Retired systems analyst for the state auditor general and former president of the Whitman Council. Succeeds DiCicco in the 1st District, which covers parts of South Philadelphia, Center City, Old City and the river wards. Squilla, 48, survived a four-way primary in May and faced no opponent yesterday.

State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson - Beat one candidate to win the nomination in May and beat Republican challenger Ivan Cohen yesterday to win the 2nd District seat, which covers parts of South Philadelphia, Point Breeze and Center City. Johnson, 38, is a strong ally of state Sen. Anthony Williams, a likely mayoral candidate in 2015. Johnson has focused on youth antiviolence efforts and job creation.

Bobby Henon - Political director of Local 98 of the electricians union, which is headed by Dougherty. Beat one opponent in the May primary and Republican opponent Sandra Stewart yesterday. Henon, 42, replaces Krajewski in Northeast Philly's 6th District.

Cindy Bass - Longtime aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah lost her bid for Council in a primary four years ago, but she won this May in a seven-candidate field. Yesterday, Bass, 44, bested Green Party candidate Brian Rudnick in Northwest Philly's 8th District.

As expected, the five at-large incumbent Democrats - Blondell Reynolds Brown, Bill Greenlee, Jim Kenney, Bill Green and Wilson Goode Jr. - were re-elected by wide margins.

|
|
|
|
|