Brianna A. Westbrooks

Government Relations Associate, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies

Recent Publication:

Broad Street Brief: City Hall Prepares for New Mayor, Council Leadership

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Brianna joined Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies in January 2021 and advocates on behalf of clients before the Philadelphia government, advises on legislative strategies, analyzes and drafts public policy, and coordinates diverse stakeholders to develop strategic advocacy initiatives. Over the last two years, Brianna has successfully represented some of the largest nonprofits and cultural institutions in the city while obtaining critical public funding to reinvigorate institutions hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brianna has particular experience and expertise regarding real estate-related advocacy. Before joining Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies, Brianna spent three years as the government affairs manager for the Pennsylvania Apartment Association. While at the PAA, she collaborated with policymakers to help develop Philadelphia’s eviction diversion program and secure $210 million in state and local funding toward COVID-19 rental assistance.

Brianna has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to fostering increased civic engagement, both professionally and personally — particularly among young adults – and serves on the Advisory Board of the Young Professionals Council of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and is also a board member for the Spruce Foundation, and Variety—the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley.

Brianna graduated cum laude from University of Pennsylvania in 2016. While at Penn, she held internships with the Philadelphia City Council, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and a multi-billion dollar coatings company. 


Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Ranked #2 in PA in City & States' Top 50 Lobbyists

September 26, 2022

City & State Pennsylvania recognized Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies as one of the Top 50 firms based on 2021 revenues in the state, coming in at number two.

Brianna Westbrooks Named Among City & State’s 2022 Philadelphia 40 Under 40

June 14, 2022

Brianna Westbrooks, a policy adviser for Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, has been named to the 2022 Philadelphia Forty Under 40 by City & State Pennsylvania.

Big Law Firm Adds Full-Time Lobbyist in Philadelphia City Hall [Philadelphia Business Journal]

January 27, 2021

Brianna Westbrooks joining Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies is the focus of a Philadelphia Business Journal article titled, "Big Law Firm Adds Full-Time Lobbyist in Philadelphia City Hall."

Cozen O’Connor Expands Public Strategies Practice with the Addition of Government Affairs Professional Brianna A. Westbrooks

January 25, 2021

Westbrooks is experienced in regulatory and legislative policy and procedure, with extensive relationships with the Philadelphia City Council.


Broad Street Brief: City Hall Prepares for New Mayor, Council Leadership

November 30, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: 911 Dispatch Challenges, Parker’s Winning Campaign Team

November 16, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Parker Shatters Glass Ceiling; WFP Makes History

November 10, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: T-5 Days Until Election Day

November 03, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Policy Alert: Bill Would Provide Legal Protection for RCOs

November 01, 2023

The bill does not specify how exactly the city should indemnify and defend RCOs on zoning-related matters that wind up in court, leaving exact details to the law department to create.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Leadership to Shift

October 26, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Hydrogen Hub Comes to Region

October 19, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: Upcoming City Council Hearings

October 13, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: One-Month Election Countdown

October 06, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Mayor Kenney’s Veto; GVP Summit

September 28, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Council & Controversial Bills; Mayoral Debates

September 22, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: Judge Ballot Withdrawal; School Cafeteria Workers Strike

September 13, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Police Commissioner Resigns; SEPTA Route Redesign

September 07, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Building Workers Rally; I-95 Project Begins

September 01, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Leaders Promote City Jobs; November Election Updates

August 24, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Philly Zoo Pres; GOP Oh Fundraiser; WFP Ballot Removal

August 18, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: WFP Troubles; Popcorn for the People; No Made in America

August 10, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: WFP Takeover; Tangled Titles; FDR Park Programs in Jeopardy

August 03, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia

Broad Street Brief: Short-Term Rentals; Calder Gardens 2025; Philadelphia Heat

July 27, 2023

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: 76ers' Arena Impact Study; “Bidenomics”; PHL Wait Times

July 20, 2023

In early August, the City Council’s Committee on Education will hold a public hearing investigating if Philadelphia should use an independent authority to bond and manage the City’s school facilities modernization project.

Broad Street Brief: Council Pres. Race; Kingsessing 911 Error; Bus Frustrations

July 13, 2023

Although the upcoming November City Council elections are just around the corner, experts have already changed gears and are looking ahead to the January 2024 council president race eager to see who will succeed the outgoing Council President Darrell Clarke.

Broad Street Brief: Kingsessing Shooting Claims Five Lives; Combatting City Understaffing; Glenside’s Milestone 4th Parade

July 06, 2023

One in five city jobs still sits vacant, forcing the city to pay out historic amounts in overtime pay as Philadelphia’s persistent understaffing problem shows no sign of abating. Overcoming this multi-departmental shortage is no small feat, and city officials are already hard at work finding solutions, including making needed improvements to recruitment and hiring practices.

Broad Street Brief: A Look Forward to City Council in the Fall; Kensington Sweep Results in 175 Arrests

June 29, 2023

City Council is officially on summer recess, but there are plenty of high-profile issues that are sure to be front and center when the legislative body reconvenes in the fall, including continued discussions about policies to address violence and improve public safety, potential decisions regarding the fate of the proposed Center City Sixers arena, and the race for council president.

Broad Street Brief: City Council to Adopt FY24 Budget; Governor Shapiro Announces I-95 Will Open This Weekend

June 23, 2023

Philadelphia City Council is expected to adopt the final $6.2 billion FY24 budget. This budget funds additional cameras outside of recreational centers and playgrounds, cleaning vacant lots and business corridors, and upgrades to recreational centers throughout the city.

Broad Street Brief: City Council in Final Stretch of FY24 Budget Negotiations; What Philadelphia’s Waning Voter Participation Means for Democrats on a National Level

June 08, 2023

City Council Members Back $72 Million Budget Amendment to Address Quality-of-Life Issues; $40 Million in Anti-Violence Programs Also on the Table

Broad Street Brief: Parker's Plan on Crime, Public Saftey; Three CPOC Commissioners Resign in Protest; Norristown Plans "Sweep" of Homeless Encampments

June 01, 2023

City Hall Upcoming Committee Hearings Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.

Philadelphia Municipal Democratic Primary Results [Alert]

May 17, 2023

Joseph Hill & Brianna Westbrooks breakdown the Philadelphia primary results.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Municipal Elections Enter Final Days; Penn Students, Workers in Various Stages of Unionization; Suburban Elections to Watch

May 11, 2023

With a little more than half a year left in his final term in office, Mayor Jim Kenney announced the formation of a transition committee to ensure a seamless transfer of power to the city’s yet-to-be-determined 100th mayor without holding up city services. The transition team will include representatives from the offices of the Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Integrity Officer, Human Resources, Innovation & Technology, and the Department of Records, and will work closely with designated coordinators from each city department.

Broad Street Brief: City Wraps Up FY24 Budget Hearings; Mayoral Candidates Locked in Five-Way Statistical Tie

May 05, 2023

On Tuesday, City Council heard testimony from School District of Philadelphia officials regarding the city’s proposed FY24 budget allocations, which included updates on recent asbestos-related closures, details about an unanticipated decline in enrollment, and Superintendent Tony Watlington’s vision for creating financial incentives to attract qualified teachers and staff to Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Hears Testimony on Affordable Housing Legislation; Mayor’s Race Picks Up Momentum in Final Weeks

April 27, 2023

On Monday, City Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development & The Homeless held a public hearing about two components of District 3 Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s signature “People’s Preservation Package.” The proposed legislation would implement restrictions on the sale of properties whose owners contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide low-income renters with affordable housing, including mandating a right of first refusal for potential buyers who would continue to provide affordable housing, extending the time frame for the mandatory advance notice of intent to sell, and expanding the list of parties that would need to be notified. The legislation would also require the City to maintain a current list of affordable housing providers and resources.

Broad Street Brief: Upcoming Committee Hearings, Election Update

April 20, 2023

Philadelphia City Council holds several public hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.

Broad Street Brief: Tuesday Budget Hearings Feature Discussion of Teen Programs, Police Recruitment to Prepare for Summer

April 13, 2023

In light of Philadelphia’s ongoing gun violence crisis and the recent high-profile disorderly gathering of hundreds of local teenagers in Center City during their spring break, much of City Council’s Tuesday budget hearing with the Managing Director’s Office and Philadelphia Police Department focused on the city’s extracurricular offerings to teenagers, as well as how the police can best prepare for the upcoming summer season, which typically results in higher rates of crime and disorderly conduct. The police department has requested an additional $55.7 million over last year’s budget in order to address ongoing staffing issues.

Broad Street Brief: Newest Campaign Finance Filings Releases; Inquirer Endorses Rhynhart While State Legislators Back Parker

April 06, 2023

Budget hearings continued this week, with officials from the Streets Department addressing ways to combat illegal dumping and continue to improve trash collection — the current on-time collection rate is at a 15-year high of 97% — on Monday, and officials from the District Attorney’s Office, including DA Larry Krasner himself, discussing the pertinent issue of crime on Tuesday, with a notable exchange on the recent rise in retail theft. DA Krasner requested an additional $7 million to address council’s concerns about increased shoplifting and carjacking incidents.

Broad Street Brief: FY24 Budget Hearings Begin; Inquirer Kicks off Mayoral Candidate Profile Series; Wingard Out as President at Temple

March 30, 2023

This week marked the beginning of a weeks-long series of public hearings to finalize Philadelphia’s budget for next year. Tuesday afternoon saw testimony from various department and agency heads that fall under the purview of the Office of the Mayor, during which, Councilmember Kendra Brooks criticized the proposed reduction in budget for the Department of Labor, which was created by the Kenney Administration in 2020 to create and implement citywide employment policies.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Committee Holds Hearings on Source-of-Income Discrimination, Rent Control

March 23, 2023

This week, the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development & the Homeless heard testimony on housing voucher-based discrimination and potential legislation on rent control, during which tenants, housing providers, and local affordable housing advocates and policy leaders weighed in on existing challenges within the city’s current affordable housing system and potential solutions to improve access for low-income Philadelphians.

Broad Street Brief: City Council to Consider Reinstating Early Property Tax Payment Discount, Threatens to Withhold School District Funding Amid Asbestos Building Shutdowns

March 16, 2023

Philadelphia City Council is considering reinstating a previous 1% discount for early payment of property taxes, which would apply to residents who pay next year’s full tax bills by the end of February 2024. The discount was suspended in 2021 in order to mitigate a COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue shortfall. If the measure moves forward, it would be the latest in a trend of attempts by city officials to provide tax relief for Philadelphians who may be experiencing undue financial burden.

Philadelphia City Council to Undergo Once-in-a-Generation Transformation

March 02, 2023

Council President Darrell L. Clarke (District 5) announced last week that he would not be seeking reelection, while several seats set to turn over.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Set to Undergo Once-in-a-Generation Transformation

March 02, 2023

With six members of City Council resigning to run for mayor, as well as council president’s upcoming retirement, City Council will continue to change significantly as new members come into office and others transition to leadership positions. Read our detailed run-down of the current state of the at-large and district City Council races, as well as the behind-the-scenes race to become council president.

Mayor Kenney Proposes Budget for Fiscal Year ‘24 [Alert]

March 02, 2023

On March 2, Mayor Kenney presented his final budget proposal to City Council. Throughout his address, he stated that he would like to prioritize short and medium-term violence prevention and quality-of-life initiatives. The proposed budget has $6.1 billion in revenue and $5.6 billion in expenses, which leaves $524 million unspent.

Broad Street Brief: 2023 Municipal Election Updates; How Philadelphia Democrats Vote; TUGSA Strike Marches Into Fourth Week

February 23, 2023

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council announced that it will be throwing its weight behind former City Councilmember and State Representative Cherelle Parker. The endorsement by the council — which comprises 30 different unions across the city — ended up being instrumental during the 2015 and 2019 mayoral elections that saw the victory of current mayor, Jim Kenney, though it remains to be seen how the endorsements that have been made thus far will ultimately impact such a crowded mayoral race. To date, other unions have rallied behind grocery store proprietor Jeff Brown and former Councilmember At-Large Helen Gym.

Broad Street Brief: Mayoral Candidate Outlines Public Safety Plan; Race for City Controller Heats Up; City to Receive Federal Funding for Water System Upgrades

February 09, 2023

As Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia also has the state’s largest — and poorest — public school system. When news broke on Tuesday afternoon that the Commonwealth Court had ruled that the state’s “outdated” funding distribution model to be unconstitutional, many local proponents of system reform celebrated, as the ruling will likely have a significant impact on the School District of Philadelphia. The current formula ties school funding primarily to property taxes, which plaintiffs argued creates an inherently inequitable system in which low-wealth districts were perpetually underfunded.

Broad Street Brief - February 16, 2023

February 09, 2023

Earlier this week, Councilmember David Oh resigned his at-large seat and officially announced that he is running to become the 100th mayor of Philadelphia. Though he is the 11th candidate to enter the race, he is the first Republican to do so. Philadelphia’s next mayor is very likely to be a Democrat, but former Councilmember Oh hopes that his qualifications and the city’s current political atmosphere will help him overcome the 7-to-1 voter registration advantage enjoyed by the city’s majority party.

Broad Street Brief: Community Meeting Around FDR Park Renovations Draws Protesters; Continued Life Sciences Development in Philadelphia

February 02, 2023

A coalition of local organizations under the umbrella of Philadelphia’s progressive Working Families Party announced Monday that it would be endorsing former Councilmember Helen Gym for mayor in the upcoming primary. The Working Families Party has risen in prominence as a legitimate third-party contender in recent years, with At-Large Councilmember Kendra Brooks being the first member from the party to be elected to City Council in 2019 and Larry Krasner’s candidacy for district attorney having been bolstered by the party’s support twice.

Broad Street Brief: Mayoral Candidates Participate in Forums, Receive Major Endorsements; Working Families Party Aims to Expand its Reach During Upcoming Elections

January 26, 2023

With 110 days left until the May 16 mayoral primary, Democratic candidates have been hard at work campaigning, with many of them participating in a litany of forums for the opportunity to present their platforms to voters. Recent forum topics have included advancing economic opportunity in Philadelphia’s Black and brown communities, how best to address the city’s gun violence epidemic, and LGBT+ issues.

Broad Street Brief: PHA to Accept Housing Choice Voucher Applications Again; the 2023 Mayor’s Race Makes the Jump to TV; Acting City Controller Sues City Over Resign-to-Run Rule

January 12, 2023

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) announced that it would be accepting new applications for its Housing Choice Voucher Program for the first time in more than a decade. The waiting list was closed in 2010 when the number of applications — 55,000 — surpassed the number of available vouchers. Applications will be accepted from January 23 at 6 a.m. to February 5 at 5:59 p.m., and the new waitlist will be capped at 10,000 applications.

Broad Street Brief: Commonwealth Court Sides With DA Krasner on Impeachment; Former Councilmember Gym Hires Campaign Manager

January 05, 2023

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court concluded last Friday that none of the seven articles of impeachment filed by state House Republicans against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner constitute “misbehavior in office.” DA Krasner has held firm since the House approved the articles in November that his actions and policy decisions do not amount to impeachable offenses, and that he believes the proceedings to be partisan witch hunt, going so far as to appeal directly to the Commonwealth Court to have the articles declared “legally baseless.” It is not immediately clear whether the impeachment trial in the Senate — which is currently scheduled for January 18 — will be moving forward as planned in light of the recent court filing.

Broad Street Brief: SEPTA, Law Enforcement to Receive Federal Funding; Number of Police Potentially Abusing Disability Drops Drastically

December 22, 2022

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that Philadelphia law enforcement will be receiving an influx of $25 million to assist in current efforts to quell the city’s persistent rates of gun violence. The funding comes from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and is part of two larger statewide grant programs administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency — the Local Law Enforcement Support Program and the Gun Violence Investigation & Prosecution Program. While many have celebrated the monetary assistance to help address this dire problem, some critics would like to have seen more of the funding allocated to community-based violence reduction programs rather than just to police departments and district attorney’s offices. Philadelphia recently recorded its 500th homicide this year, surpassing the milestone for the second consecutive year.

Broad Street Brief: New Affordable Housing Development Coming to Grays Ferry, Point Breeze; Landlord Sued by Federal Government Over Alleged Selective Housing Voucher Denial

December 15, 2022

On Monday, city workers and elected officials broke ground on a new development project that will bring more affordable housing units to Grays Ferry and Point Breeze. The development is part of City Council President Darrell Clarke’s signature Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, which aims to address the city’s affordable housing crisis by increasing the number of available affordable housing in pockets of rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia, thus helping to revive commercial corridors and improve neighborhood infrastructure. The three-bedroom homes will be listed under the Turn the Key program for $230,000 — less than half the median sale price in the neighborhood — with soft loans available up to $75,000.

Broad Street Brief: New Candidates Enter Mayoral, At-Large City Council Races; DA Krasner Asks Court to Intervene in “Unlawful” Impeachment

December 08, 2022

Last week, West Philadelphia State Representative Amen Brown announced his intention to run for mayor at a Pennsylvania Society satellite event in New York, hosted by real estate developer — and likely super PAC supporter — Marty Burger. Rep. Brown is expected to make a formal announcement of his candidacy on Thursday, which will make him the tenth candidate to enter the race. Unlike the many former Philadelphia City Council members who have thrown their hats in the ring, Rep. Brown would not have to resign his position in order to run.

Broad Street Brief: State House Votes to Impeach Philadelphia DA Krasner

November 17, 2022

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State House voted 107-85 to impeach Democratic Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in an ongoing effort to remove him from office, marking the first time the House has impeached an officeholder in nearly 30 years — and perhaps the first time in history the action has been taken against an officeholder whose “misbehavior in office” does not amount to actual criminal activity. The vote comes the day after the House Judiciary Committee’s approval of two articles of impeachment against DA Krasner, which collectively accuse him of directly causing the city’s increase in violent crime by shirking his duties as DA and obstructing the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order’s investigation of his Office by defying a subpoena issued by the House in August.

Broad Street Brief: Election Day 2022 in Philadelphia: New City Councilmembers, Ballot Question Responses

November 11, 2022

On Tuesday, Philadelphians turned out in droves to participate in the highly anticipated midterm election. The state’s highly competitive U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races drew much national attention, and while ballots are still being counted — due in large part to the last-minute reinstatement of a policy that requires counters to institute a time-consuming process that is intended to identify double votes — Philadelphia voters also made several important decisions at the city level.

Broad Street Brief: High-Profile Democrats Visit Philadelphia as Midterms Draw Closer; New Trends In Urban, Suburban Real Estate

November 03, 2022

Last Friday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Philadelphia to speak at a Pennsylvania Democrats fundraiser in Center City, where they each highlighted their party’s commitment to leveling the economic playing field for working Americans. The strategic visits were intended to shore up the campaigns of Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman — the Democratic nominees for governor and U.S. Senate, respectively — the latter of whose poll numbers have continued to tighten with his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in the final days of their extremely high-profile and competitive race in the crucial battleground state. This won’t be the last visit for President Biden, as he and former President Barack Obama will be visiting Philadelphia again the Saturday before the midterm elections.

Council President Clarke Introduces District Overlay Requiring Affordable Housing in New Construction [Alert]

November 02, 2022

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced legislation that would institute mandatory inclusionary zoning in a portion of his district.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart Resigns to Launch Mayoral Campaign

October 28, 2022

On Tuesday, Rebecca Rhynhart formally submitted her resignation letter to Mayor Kenney as Philadelphia’s City Controller. She launched her mayoral campaign at a news conference in West Philadelphia that afternoon. She has been very critical of the Kenney administration throughout her tenure as controller, and she plans on using the results of her audits and recommendations to improve city services.

Broad Street Brief: The Present and Future of Public Safety in Philadelphia, the World Cup’s Potential Impact on FDR Park

October 13, 2022

Public safety has long been a topic of concern for Philadelphia officials and residents alike. With the recent uptick in gun-related and other violent crimes — a recent high-profile example being the tragic death of a high school football player during a scrimmage at Roxborough High School — all eyes are on the city’s current and potential future officials to solve the city’s most pressing issue.

Broad Street Brief: New Public Safety Measures: Mayor Kenney Signs Executive Order, CCD Plans to Add More Security Guards to Center City Streets

September 29, 2022

Leaders inside and outside of City Hall have been steadfastly searching for solutions to Philadelphia’s recent dramatic uptick in violent crime. On Tuesday, Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order banning firearms and other deadly weapons from the city’s recreation centers. The action comes weeks after the fatal shooting of Mill Creek Recreation Center employee Tiffany Fletcher and is intended to address the nearly 300 incidents of gun violence that have occurred at recreation centers across the city since 2019. The order is expected to face legal challenges at the state level.

Broad Street Brief: Chief of Staff to Mayor Kenney to Resign, Join ChristianaCare in Executive Role

September 23, 2022

Jim Engler, the Chief of Staff to Mayor Jim Kenney, has announced that he will be resigning at the end of the month to accept a position as Executive Director of the Office of the President and Chief of Staff at Delaware-based health care provider ChristianaCare. He will be replaced by First Deputy Chief of Staff Christina Pastrana Hernandez. Engler has worked with Mayor Kenney since 2015 and is leaving 15 months before the end of the mayor’s term.

Broad Street Brief: City Council President Clarke Calls for Special Elections to Fill District Seat Vacancies

September 15, 2022

This morning, City Council will be reconvening with 13 members following the resignation of four members over the past month. On Friday, City Council President Darrell Clarke announced that special elections would be held in November to fill the City Council seats in Districts Seven and Nine, which had been held by Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Cherelle Parker, respectively. The former councilmembers recently stepped down in order to officially launch their respective mayoral campaigns. While former At-Large Councilmembers Allan Domb and Derek Green also recently resigned — the former to explore a potential mayoral run and the latter to launch his mayoral campaign — there are currently no plans for special elections to fill these vacancies.

Broad Street Brief: Birds of the Philadelphia Zoo Make First Public Appearance in Months

September 01, 2022

After several months in quarantine, some of the Philadelphia Zoo’s most famous feathered residents — including penguins, flamingos, hornbills, and emus — have finally returned to their outdoor exhibits. The Philadelphia Zoo has been keeping its birds in quarantine to protect them from, and prevent the spread of, a particularly virulent outbreak of avian flu that has impacted birds across the country.

Broad Street Brief: Community College of Philadelphia Opens New Career and Advanced Technology Center

August 25, 2022

Last week, the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) officially opened its groundbreaking Career and Advanced Technology Center at 48th and Market Streets. The new building will host several of CCP’s short-term certificate and associate’s degree programs in fields such as advanced manufacturing, health care, and transportation technology. The CCP intends for the center to serve as a resource for Philadelphia’s small business community.

Broad Street Brief: Councilmember Domb Resigns, Green Equity Initiative Gets Pushed, African American Museum Will Move

August 18, 2022

On Monday, City Councilmember Allan Domb announced that he is resigning, citing his intent to evaluate a 2023 mayoral run. In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, the councilmember said that he is weighing a run because Philadelphia is a “city in crisis” in need of a “champion.” Councilmember Domb is the first of potentially many city elected officials to step down due to the resign-to-run rule in Philadelphia’s city charter. Domb made a name for himself as Philadelphia’s “condo king” before serving two terms as an at-large councilmember.

Broad Street Brief: University City Townhomes Protest Encampment Cleared Out

August 11, 2022

After weeks of occupying the lawn of the University City Townhomes complex, the encampment protesting the impending sale of the property was evacuated by law enforcement officials on Monday in accordance with a court order. The majority of residents and activists demonstrated peacefully, with only one protester being issued a citation.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Mayoral Race to Attract Major Campaign Talent

August 04, 2022

While no one has officially thrown their hat in the ring for Philadelphia’s upcoming election for its milestone 100th mayor, teams are beginning to coalesce around suspected mayoral candidates. The race is expected to garner much attention throughout the region and attract campaign veterans and high-profile campaign operatives from Philadelphia and beyond.

Broad Street Brief: Recent Reports Detail Changes in Population Movement Patterns Due to COVID-19

July 28, 2022

Data company, which works frequently with organizations like the Center City District, recently released a white paper detailing trends in population movement. They found that while Philadelphia’s population decreased during the first year and a half of the pandemic, it has since begun to increase again, and at a faster rate than other comparable cities. Notably, many millennials are choosing to relocate from New York to Philadelphia, as well as from surrounding suburbs. The study was conducted using cell phone location data.

Broad Street Brief: Interruptions and Delays in City Services Due to Extensive Position Vacancies

July 21, 2022

Approximately one in seven municipal jobs in Philadelphia are currently vacant — from librarians and social workers to police and corrections officers — causing severe service interruptions for people across the city. This stems largely from the relatively large turnover over the course of the pandemic. While there has been a national increase in municipal governments’ hiring rate over the past year, Philadelphia’s has not kept pace with the number of resignations and retirements.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Zoo’s New Giraffe Exhibit Fosters Friendship Between People and Animals

July 14, 2022

Giraffe Encounter, the Philadelphia Zoo’s newest exhibit that opened last Thursday, allows the public to get up close and personal with its three resident giraffes. For an additional $6, or $5 for members, guests are able to feed the giraffes acacia browse, the same plant the long-necked animals eat in the wild.

Broad Street Brief: Gunfire on Benjamin Franklin Parkway Injures Two Police Officers, Brings City’s Independence Day Celebrations to an Unsettling Close

July 08, 2022

On Monday evening, two police officers were shot near the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the annual Wawa Welcome America Party on the Parkway — the first since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — drew to a close. Both officers were treated at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and have since been released. The search for the shooter is ongoing, and any motive remains unknown.

Broad Street Brief: A Rundown of Philadelphia’s Potential Mayoral Candidates

July 01, 2022

In 2023, the city of Philadelphia will elect its 100th mayor. Because of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter’s resign-to-run rule — which requires that any city employee or officer who intends to run for office resign their position prior to announcing his or her candidacy — if every one of the rumored candidates decides to run for mayor, there could be as many as five vacancies on City Council, which could lead to significant changes in City Hall even sooner than the historic election.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Expected to Pass Budget and Tax Changes This Afternoon

June 23, 2022

Today is City Council’s last voting session before summer recess begins. The legislative body is expected to pass a budget that will invest additional money into public safety and quality-of-life programs. City Council will also vote to lower the net profits portion of the Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) and the Wage Tax. For more information, read the Public Strategies team’s policy alert.

Broad Street Brief: City Council and Kenney Administration Reach Deal on Spending and Taxes

June 16, 2022

te last night, Philadelphia City Council passed a budget deal out of committee that invested additional money into public safety and quality-of-life programs. They also voted to lower the net profits portion of the Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) and the Wage Tax. For more information, read the comprehensive analysis below.

Broad Street Brief: Tax Debate Splits City Democrats

June 13, 2022

With budget negotiations ongoing, there is still significant disagreement on how the city should handle generating revenue moving forward, with some criticizing the city’s historic reliance on the wage tax as stymying economic growth while others asking if taxpayers should get a reprieve after properties were reassessed for the first time in three years. Others are pushing for a wealth tax and increased real estate tax allocations to the School District. However, with strong divisions between members of City Council and activists, a significant change for the upcoming fiscal year would be challenging.

Broad Street Brief: United Way and Local Legal Associations Host Free “Clean Slate” Clinics

June 02, 2022

The United Way is hosting free legal clinics that will help eligible Philadelphians expunge their records of certain offenses; this could help open up employment and educational opportunities. Pennsylvania’s clean slate law allows for convictions to be cleared after 10 years and non-convictions after 60 days. However, the process requires legal assistance that can be costly. The clinics will be hosted in different locations across Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: “Prison Gerrymandering” Addressed in New Council Bill

May 26, 2022

Council President Darrell Clarke and Mayor Jim Kenney presented a new bill to address “prison gerrymandering” — when incarcerated people are counted in their prison’s district for the purposes of legislative districting. The Clarke and Kenney proposal would reapportion the inmates into their last address, with each district netting between 500 and 1,000 residents. In this plan, district lines do not need to be redrawn. If the proposal passes council, it will go to voters for final approval in 2023.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia’s State Legislative Races Were Contentious But Had Few Surprises

May 19, 2022

Despite infighting between progressive and establishment Democrats, incumbents were largely victorious in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for State House and Senate seats. Progressive incumbents secured commanding victories, despite not receiving the Philadelphia Democratic Party endorsement. To review a detailed analysis of election results across the Commonwealth, read Pennsylvania's Public Strategies Team’s alert.

2022 Pennsylvania Primary Election Results

May 18, 2022

Prepared by the Pennsylvania Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Team

Broad Street Brief: Property Reassessments Cause Residential Values to Skyrocket and Commercial Values to Increase Less Dramatically

May 05, 2022

On Tuesday, the Kenney administration announced the value of the average residential property increased 31 percent. Non-residential real estate increased 9 percent. It is clear that the administration and City Council have some disagreements over how to offset this drastic tax increase on residents and how to spend the additional revenue.

Broad Street Brief: Gym Introduces Bill Mandating Employers Provide Transit Commuter Benefit Program

April 28, 2022

Councilmember Helen Gym introduced a bill last week that would require businesses with 50 or more employees to establish a commuter benefit program for employees’ public transit and bike commuter costs. Payment would come from pretax income and could save participants an average of $200 a year in federal income tax.

Bill Would Mandate Employers Provide Transit Commuter Benefit Program [Alert]

April 22, 2022

Joseph Hill and Brianna Westbrooks discuss Councilmember Gym's proposal that would require private-sector employers with more than 50 employees to offer a transit tax benefit to their employees.

Broad Street Brief: City Moves to Extend PICA Oversight Until 2047

April 21, 2022

Philadelphia elected officials are pushing to extend oversight of the city’s budget by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) to at least 2047, a bipartisan effort joining politicians in the state capitol and city hall. After poor finances nearly led to a municipal bankruptcy in the 1990s, state officials created PICA — which has members appointed by the governor — to approve the city’s long-term financial plans. Current PICA oversight will expire next year, and some local unions oppose an extension, arguing it prevents them from getting more favorable contracts.

Broad Street Brief: Mayor Kenney’s Proposed Budget, In Brief

April 15, 2022

Two weeks ago, Mayor Jim Kenney released his proposed 2022-2023 budget, which totals $5.6 billion in spending.

Broad Street Brief: To Boost Recruitment, Philly to Consider Thousands in Police Bonuses

April 07, 2022

Facing low recruitment numbers, the city is in talks with budget officials and the police to offer bonuses of up to $10,000 for people who serve at least one year after completing training. The program would be triggered when the Police Department has 5 percent fewer officers than included in the city’s budget.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Introduces Bill To Impose Wealth Tax on Stocks and Bonds [Alert]

April 05, 2022

Joe Hill, Joe Bright, and Brianna Westbrooks discuss Councilmember Brooks' proposed tax on certain intangible property, including direct holdings in stocks and bonds, at 0.4 percent.

Broad Street Brief: Mayor Kenney Gives Budget Address

March 31, 2022

Today, Mayor Kenney will outline his vision for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, which will officially kick off budget season. His proposal does not include tax increases, but it assumes real estate tax revenue will increase 4.5 percent due to new property assessments. If the reassessments increase by more than the projected 4.5 percent, the administration has committed to working with City Council to provide relief to property owners. The mayor’s budget would only spend $335 million of the $1.4 billion from the American Rescue Plan this year. City Council will host hearings over the next few months and must approve a budget before their summer recess. Mayor Kenney must sign the approved budget before July 1.

Philadelphia City Council Extending COVID-19 Leave Until December 2023 [Alert]

March 28, 2022

On March 3, 2022, Council amended Philadelphia’s Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance and created a specific COVID-19 sick leave protection.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Names New Commerce Director

March 24, 2022

On Tuesday, Mayor Kenney appointed Anne K. Nadol to lead the Commerce Department. She has been an executive at Temple University for more than 20 years.

Broad Street Brief: New Bill Targets Removing Lead from School Water

March 17, 2022

Councilmember Helen Gym is proposing a bill that would require all Philadelphia public schools to install modern water filters wherever school water can be tapped by 2025. The push comes after reports emerged that some schools have water with levels of lead far higher than the legal limit.

Broad Street Brief: Paid COVID Sick Leave Passes Council, Will Last Until 2023

March 10, 2022

Philadelphia City Council voted last week to pass a paid COVID-19 sick leave requirement for companies with more than 25 employees. Although the bill passed 12-4, there was extensive debate amongst councilmembers about the impact this legislation could have on small businesses. Once signed, this ordinance will be in effect until the end of 2023.

Broad Street Brief: Indoor Mask Mandate Ends in Philadelphia

March 03, 2022

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced that the indoor mask mandate ended. Two weeks ago, the city established benchmarks that would determine COVID-19 safety restrictions, and conditions have been met that allow mandated masking indoors to cease. However, if the spread of COVID-19 rises, restrictions can be mandated again.

Broad Street Brief: City’s Third Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill Moves Out of Committee

February 17, 2022

For the third time in two years, a proposal for emergency paid sick leave for those affected by COVID-19 is moving out of a City Council committee. The latest proposal, authored by Councilmember Kendra Brooks, is similar to laws passed in 2020 and 2021. Brooks said that the recent spike in local COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant shows the continued importance of encouraging people to stay home and recover from infection.

Broad Street Brief: City’s Environmental Justice Commission Starts As New Environmental Justice Bill Is Introduced

February 10, 2022

At a press conference, Mayor Kenney and Councilmember Gilmore-Richardson announced the appointment of 17 Philadelphians to the Environmental Justice Advisory Commission, which was created in 2019 by then-Councilmember Reynolds Brown. The commission will be responsible for examining and proposing changes to city policy that impact environmental justice. At the same time, Councilmember Gym introduced a bill, which would “protect communities against the adverse health effects caused by pollution.”

Broad Street Brief: Democratic Party Selects State Representative Mike Driscoll to Be Nominee in 6th Council District Special Election

February 03, 2022

Ward leaders in the 6th Council district selected State Representative Mike Driscoll to run in the special election to replace former Councilmember Henon. Council President Clarke has not yet selected a date for the special election.

Broad Street Brief: Council President Clarke Introduces New Legislative Map

January 27, 2022

A new district map for City Council was introduced by President Darrell Clarke, which makes some small adjustments to districts based on population changes.

Broad Street Brief: Negative COVID-19 Test No Longer Good Enough for Indoor Dining

January 20, 2022

Due to city vaccine requirements, one will no longer be able to enter a restaurant for indoor dining with only a negative COVID-19 test.

Broad Street Brief: Thousands Unvaccinated Before City Employee Vaccine Mandate Starts

January 13, 2022

Twenty-two percent of city employees are not in compliance with the vaccine mandate going into effect on Friday, according to local officials.

Broad Street Brief: Public Health Regulations

January 06, 2022

As Philadelphia continued to grapple with the pandemic, both City Council and the Kenney administration implemented policies and ordinances that will impact several industries.

Broad Street Brief: Kenney Administration Announces Vaccine Mandate for Indoor Dining

December 16, 2021

Monday morning, Mayor Kenney and other top-ranking officials announced that beginning January 3, 2022, establishments that sell foods and/or drinks for consumption on-site will have to enforce a phased vaccine mandate.

Broad Street Brief: Major Changes to the Zoning Board of Adjustment Approved by Council Committee

December 09, 2021

On Tuesday, the Committee on Law and Government unanimously approved a measure that would allow Philadelphia voters to decide if the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s composition and procedures should change

Proposed Changes to the Zoning Board of Adjustment Approved by Council Committee [Alert]

December 08, 2021

Joe Hill and Brianna Westbrooks discuss Council President Clarke’s proposal to alter the composition and processes of the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Broad Street Brief: Al Schmidt, Republican City Commissioner, to Resign

December 02, 2021

Al Schmidt, the lone Republican City Commissioner and the target of direct attacks from former President Trump during the 2020 election, said that he will resign from his position in January to become president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, a good-government group based in Philadelphia.

Broad Street Brief: “Mixed Income Neighborhoods Overlay” Bill Passes Out of Committee

November 18, 2021

A plan intended to protect the ability of low and moderate-income Philadelphians to live in their neighborhoods despite increases in property values took one step forward this week.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Advances Streetery Bill

November 11, 2021

A City Council committee advanced legislation to make some “streeteries” a permanent part of the city’s dining and zoning landscape.

Broad Street Brief: Councilmember Gilmore-Richardson Pushes for Greener City Buildings

November 04, 2021

Philadelphia’s new public buildings may soon be held to a higher environmental standard than before.

Broad Street Brief: Solar Lab Unveiled at Frankford High School, Aiming to Train Students in Green Careers

October 28, 2021

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Energy Association, U.S. Department of Energy, and PECO, city leaders unveiled a new solar lab at Frankford High School. The lab is designed to train students on the skills required for jobs in solar and clean energy.

Broad Street Brief: Driving Equality Bill Championed by Councilmember Thomas Passes

October 21, 2021

City Council passed Councilmember Isaiah Thomas’s driving equality bill with a 14-2 vote, which will prohibit Philadelphia police from stopping vehicles for certain low-level driving code infractions.

Broad Street Brief: As Gun Violence Surge Continues, City Council Considers Proactive Measures to Reduce Harm

October 14, 2021

With a historic surge in gun violence continuing through the start of the fall, City Council is now aiming to take proactive measures to reduce the risk of gun violence.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Bill Hite Says He Will Step Down Next August

September 30, 2021

After nearly 10 years on the job, Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite said he will step down from his position when his contract expires in August 2022.

Broad Street Brief: Clarke Introduces $400 Million “Neighborhood Preservation Initiative,” Council President Looks to Revamp City Zoning Board

September 23, 2021

On Friday, Council President Darrell Clarke introduced legislation that would borrow nearly half a billion dollars in an effort to increase affordable housing and improve the quality of life for low-income Philadelphians.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Returns This Fall Virtually, Ida’s Floods Weren’t Outliers: City Faces Increasing Flood Risk

September 09, 2021

Although City Council was planning on returning to in-person meetings later in September, Council President Clarke announced that City Council will continue to meet virtually due to the spread of the Delta variant. Its first fall legislative session is on Friday, September 17.

Broad Street Brief: Philadelphia Institutes Indoor Mask Mandate and Vaccine Policy for Employees

August 12, 2021

As the Delta variant continues to spread, governments and businesses across the country are considering changing their COVID-19 protocols.

Broad Street Brief: Gun Violence Debate Continues in City Hall As Victim Numbers Grow

July 29, 2021

Philadelphia’s elected officials continue to spar over the city’s gun violence epidemic, resulting in dueling press conferences and high tensions.

Broad Street Brief: Anti-Eviction Programs Extended as City Distributes Millions in Relief and Eyes Permanent Changes to Housing Policy, Philadelphia’s Pandemic Paid Leave Law Expires, But Other Labor Changes on the Horizon

July 15, 2021

Philadelphia’s eviction diversion and rental assistance programs will stay in effect until at least August 31, thanks to a favorable ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The city reports that over 35,000 have applied for rent relief, and that the city is on track to distribute $37 million in aid by September 1.

Broad Street Brief: $5.2 Billion City Budget Goes into Effect, Councilmembers Gauthier and Quiñones Sánchez Target Gentrification with Mixed Housing Bill

July 01, 2021

Philadelphia’s latest budget goes into effect today, containing $5.2 billion in spending and a host of programs designed to curb Philadelphia’s increasing gun violence rates.

Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Introduced in Philadelphia City Council [Alert]

June 25, 2021

Joseph Hill & Brianna Westbrooks discuss Councilmembers Quiñones Sánchez and Gauthier's legislation that would institute mandatory inclusionary zoning in select areas of the city.

Broad Street Brief: City Council Set To Vote on Final Budget, Councilmember Johnson Looks to Increase Compensation for PHL Workers

June 24, 2021

Philadelphia City Council is slated to give final approval to the city’s $5.2 billion budget today, capping a marathon of negotiations on a variety of different issues and funding streams.

Broad Street Brief: Council and Kenney Reach Budget Compromise, Council Passes Two Tenant-Support Bills Out of Committee

June 18, 2021

After extensive debate and negotiations, City Council approved an amended version of Mayor Kenney’s budget proposal late last night.

Philadelphia City Council and Mayor Kenney Reach Budget Compromise [Alert]

June 18, 2021

On June 17, Philadelphia City Council approved amendments to the budget that Mayor Kenney initially presented in April.

Broad Street Brief: Budget Negotiations Between Mayor Kenney and City Council Continue, Federal Update: American Jobs Plan Negotiations Between White House and GOP Move to New Phase

June 10, 2021

City Council and Mayor Kenney are still working towards reaching a consensus around tax policy and key city investments. Changes to the wage tax, business and receipts tax, and the parking tax are still being debated.

Broad Street Brief: Council Looks to Incentivize Vaccines, New Police Oversight Board Passes Council

June 03, 2021

Members of City Council will review two proposals to incentivize vaccines citywide. The first proposal would give residents a $50 credit to use on Philadelphia Gas Works and Water Department bills, and the other would create $50 vouchers that can be used “in a manner to be determined by the City.” Both proposals would be capped at 100,000 vouchers.

Broad Street Brief: Councilmembers Quiñones-Sánchez and Gauthier Look to Reform Affordable Housing Requirements. Councilmember Johnson Seeks Demolition Moratorium for ‘Doctors’ Row’

May 27, 2021

New legislation proposed by Councilmembers Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Jamie Gauthier is taking aim at how the city requires developers to support affordable housing.

Broad Street Brief: Council Approves Bonds to Finance Neighborhood Preservation Initiative; Majority Leader Parker Proposes Parking Tax Reduction

May 20, 2021

On Thursday, City Council passed legislation that authorized $400 million in bonds to finance the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative (NPI).

Broad Street Brief: City Announces Reopening Plan; Airport Worker Legislation Introduced; Budget Hearings Continue

May 13, 2021

On Tuesday, the Kenney administration announced that it would be lifting pandemic related restrictions on businesses. Restaurants, offices, casinos, museums, and other indoor venues will have increased capacity limits beginning May 21.

Broad Street Brief: Racial Equality; Tax Reductions; Gun Violence

May 06, 2021

On Monday, budget season officially began as City Council asked questions of the Kenney administration. Gun violence, racial equity, proposed tax reductions, and economic recovery were the main topics councilmembers raised during their questioning.

Broad Street Brief: Council Passes Legislation Prohibiting Marijuana Testing for Employment; Housing Transitions to Solar

April 29, 2021

On Thursday, City Council introduced a resolution to form a special committee that would create and recommend strategies to ensure equity and inclusion in city infrastructure projects.

Broad Street Brief: Details on the Mayor’s budget proposal, Proposal to protect renters; Funding for the School District; Land-value taxation

April 22, 2021

News and intelligence for professionals on the front lines of policy in the city and suburbs of Philadelphia.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Mayor Kenney Proposes Budget for Fiscal Year 2022

April 21, 2021

Joseph Hill and Brianna Westbrooks discuss Mayor Kenny's budget proposal.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Proposal to Reduce Taxes Introduced in Philadelphia City Council

April 13, 2021

Joseph Hill & Brianna Westbrooks discuss three bills introduced to City Council that lower certain business taxes in an effort to spur economic recovery.

Progressive Paid Leave Policy Introduced in Philadelphia City Council [Alert]

February 17, 2021

Joseph Hill, Michael Henlon, and Brianna Westbrooks discuss legislation introduced in Philadelphia City Council that would significantly expand required paid sick leave for individuals at companies with more than 50 employees.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

City Council At-Large Candidates Forum

May 01, 2023 - Philadelphia, PA


  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude, 2016