Phil Mendelson

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Phil Mendelson
Phil Mendelson.jpg
Washington, D.C. City Council Chairman
In office
2012 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 3
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2012
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Washington, D.C. City Council, At-large
Bachelor'sAmerican University
Place of birthCleveland, Ohio
Office website
Campaign website
Phil Mendelson (D) is the Chairman of the Washington D.C. City Council. He was first elected in 2012 in a special election after former chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned. Before becoming Chairman, Mendelson was an at-large member of the D.C. City Council from 1998 to 2012.[1]


Mendelson holds a B.A. in political science from American University.[1]


Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Mendelson highlighted the following issues:[2]


  • Excerpt: "Phil knows that the future success of the District is tied to a quality educational system. His investment in public education is personal—his nine-year-old daughter, Adelaide, attends her in-boundary DCPS school. Phil knows that our schools — both traditional and charter schools — are only as successful as their principal, teachers, and the parent community that supports them. He has fought to protect funding for the classroom and worked to block efforts to politicize the school system. He will continue to advocate for clear lines of accountability, for greater parental involvement, and a stable strategy for reform."

Public safety

  • Excerpt: "There are a lot of things we want in our community. But they don’t mean much if we don’t feel safe in our homes and on our streets. Phil is Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Public Safety & the Judiciary. His Omnibus Crime Bills of 2006 & 2009 provide comprehensive tools for police and prosecutors to reduce crime. Phil has worked with stakeholders throughout the city to equip those in the justice system — MPD, prosecutors, the Courts—and ordinary citizens with the tools they need to protect our city. While Phil is proud that homicides are at an all-time low in the District, he knows we have a long way to go to ensure residents’ safety throughout the District."


  • Excerpt: "Phil knows that working men and women are the backbone of our city. Phil has supported developing job training, apprenticeship and vocational programs—including adult vocational education — to provide them with the additional tools they need to succeed. He has been a consistent fighter for good-paying jobs and fair labor practices to support workers and their families in the District. He has been a strong advocate for smoke-free workplaces and strong unemployment insurance. And Phil wrote the law to ensure that District workers had a right to take leave to care for a sick family member without fearing that they’d lose their job. Because of Phil’s record on behalf of workers, his prior re-election campaigns have was endorsed by numerous unions, including the Metropolitan Labor Council."

Voting rights

  • Excerpt: "Phil believes citizens of The District of Columbia are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States. The only way to achieve that is through statehood or constitutional amendment that grants all of the rights of statehood. This is a matter of fundamental fairness — and fundamental to the principles on which our nation was founded. In 2010, Congress held the people of the District hostage and suggested that we would only gain a vote in the House in return for losing governance over gun violence that takes far too many young lives. Phil stood up against the majority of Congressmen who wanted to repeal gun registration, permit the possession of assault weapons, and allow people to carry any firearm that they own to their place of business. Phil believes that the people of the District of Columbia should not have to choose between representation and public safety."



See also: Washington, D.C. Council elections, 2014

Washington, D.C. held city council elections on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on April 1. In the race for the council chairmanship, incumbent Phil Mendelson (D) defeated Calvin Gurley in the Democratic primary.[3][4] Mendelson defeated Kyle Walker (L), Kris Hammond (R), G. Lee Aikin (SG) and John C. Cheeks (I) in the general election.[5][6]

Washington, D.C. City Council, Chairman, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPhil Mendelson Incumbent 77.8% 138,066
     Republican Kris Hammond 6.8% 12,114
     Libertarian Kyle Walker 2.1% 3,674
     Green G. Lee Aikin 3.3% 5,930
     Independent John C. Cheeks 3.9% 6,949
     Other Write-in 0.5% 849
     Other Over and Over Votes 5.5% 9,776
Total Votes 177,358
Source: Washington, D.C. Board of Elections - General Election Results
Washington D.C. City Council Chairman Primary Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPhil Mendelson Incumbent 81.2% 69,138
Calvin Gurley 17.8% 15,178
Write-in 1% 825
Total Votes 85,141
Source: Washington D.C. Board of Elections

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Political offices
Preceded by
Kwame R. Brown
Washington, D.C. City Council, Chairman
Succeeded by