Councilman Darrell L. Clarke is City Council’s Majority Whip and represents Philadelphia’s 5th Councilmanic District. The 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.
Currently in his 3rd term, Councilman Clarke is the Chair of the Public Property Committee and Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee. He also currently sits on Appropriations Committee, the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, the Committee on Parks and Recreation, the Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, the Education Committee, the Committee on Public Safety, the Committee on Streets and Services and the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless.
Since taking office, Councilman Clarke has worked proactively to improve public safety in Philadelphia. Councilman Clarke has championed an array of gun violence prevention legislation aimed at saving lives in Philadelphia, including bills advocating “One Gun A Month”. Additionally, he has pushed laws requiring firearms tracing, ammunition registration, firearm licensing and prohibiting persons subject to protection from abuse orders from purchasing or possessing firearms. Upon implementation, these measures will help to thwart gun violence in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Councilman Clarke has also spearheaded the Public Safety Video Camera initiative in Philadelphia. Pursuant to his efforts a network of hundreds of video surveillance cameras are being installed throughout the city in an effort to promote safety and reduce crime.
Councilman Clarke is committed to improving the 5th District’s neighborhoods and commercial corridors. Among numerous commercial development projects Clarke has supported are the Avenue North Retail and Entertainment Complex at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore avenue which will be the first of its kind in North Philadelphia, the expansion of the Main Free Library’s on the parkway, and improvements along the Avenue of the Arts North. Councilman Clarke is also on record pace in creating housing opportunities in the 5th District. Residential development includes hundreds of affordable and market rate housing units throughout the district.
Councilman Clarke has also sponsored legislation shielding the city’s long time residents from being forced out of the city due to increasing development. To that end, measures aimed at reducing property tax burdens for the city’s low-income long time owner occupant’s, and that allow citizens eligible for the State’s PACENET program to participate in the low income property tax deferral program have been key. These initiatives provide peace of mind to current residents while allowing for continued community revitalization.
Quality of Life is also an important legislative priority for Councilman Clarke. Due to the Councilman’s efforts hundreds of unsightly illegal billboards are being removed throughout the City. In addition, he passed legislation prohibiting alcohol advertising within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places frequented by children. Other quality of life legislation includes laws making it easier to remove abandoned automobiles from Philadelphia’s streets and mandating that take out establishments located on residential blocks close at decent hours so as to reduce late night loitering and noise in such neighborhoods.
Prior to his election, Councilman Clarke served as an experienced public servant in municipal government for nearly twenty years. Initially hired by City Councilman John F. Street as a constituent service representative, during the later years of his employment with City Council, Clarke had sole responsibility for overseeing legislative, housing and economic development initiatives throughout the Fifth Council District.
Darrell Clarke is a lifetime resident of North Philadelphia and attended Blaine Elementary School, Strawberry Mansion Jr. High School and is a graduate of Edison High School.