Legislation and Policy Initiatives


• Bill No. 170468 (PASSED) Establishing a Tourism Improvement District: As the City focuses its revenues on core public necessities, I offered this legislation in cooperation with the administration and the tourism industry to create the Philadelphia Hospitality Improvement Levy District Corporation, an improvement district that will help finance large events, like the upcoming Army-Navy game, funded by the assessment of a modest fee on hotel rooms. The TID will bolster economic activity and help us to maintain Philadelphia’s place as a world class destination.
• Res. No. 160044 - Social Impact Bonds
• Res. No. 160210 - Hearings on the PA Abandoned & Blighted Property Conservatorship Act
• Res. No. 160211 - Solar capacity of School District property
• Res. No. 160701 - Philadelphia Co-ops
• Res. No. 160957 - To hold hearings regarding the Philadelphia Capital Consortium
• Res. No. 161118 - To hold hearings regarding the Jumpstart initiatives throughout the City
• Res. No. 170298 - To hold hearings regarding Philadelphia’s Maker Meetup


• Bill No. 160919 (PASSED) Providing zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries & grow/processing facilities: In the wake of the state’s law creating a highly regulated medical marijuana program targeting people with serious medical conditions, including Autism, cancer, and PTSD, it was critical to keep control of land use questions at the City level by balancing the needs of patients, residents, and the nascent industry.
• Bill No. 170334 (PASSED) Empowering the Commission on Human Relations to issue cease operations orders against businesses found to have engaged in repeated or severe instances of discrimination: last year, protests against both longstanding practices and recent instances of discrimination, prompted me to introduce this legislation empowering the Commission to issue cease operations orders against businesses found in its hearing process to have violated the existing Fair Practices Ordinance prohibition against discrimination in public accommodation, employment, and housing.
• Bill No. 161105 (in committee) Enhancing penalties for short dumping: While Philadelphia continues to make progress toward a cleaner, greener city, enhancing penalties against people who do not dispose of waste in the appropriate manner is essential. Because it should never cost less to do the wrong thing than the legal one, I have offered legislation to stack in the deck in favor of those disposing of trash through proper channels by providing an effective enforcement mechanism.
• Res. No. 160046 - School District Infrastructure physical safety
• Res. No. 160259 - Demand for services among children and adults with Autism
• Res. No. 160424 - Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act
• Res. No. 160700 - Pennsylvania Autism Insurance Act of 2008
• Res. No. 160739 - Community Health Choices
• Res. No. 160932 - To hold hearings regarding services for people with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act
• Res. No. 161075 - To hold hearings regarding a “zero waste” goal for the City of Philadelphia
• Res. No. 170118 - To hold hearings regarding Pennsylvania’s HealthChoices initiative
• Res. No. 170375 - To hold hearings regarding senior housing
• Res. No. 170651 - To hold hearings regarding the provision of Behavioral Health services for people of color and mental health awareness in the Black community and other communities of color


• Bill No. 170680 (in committee) Public Finance of Elections: Providing a program for candidates for City offices to match funds raised from small-dollar donors with a public match before the question is submitted to the voters as a ballot question. I want to work with my colleagues and the citizens of Philadelphia to promote fair, competitive elections around the issues that matter to everyday people, not the wealthiest or best-connected.
• Bill No. 170681 (in committee) Transition to four-year fundraising cycle: As we find ways to improve our electoral system, this bill would change Philadelphia’s idiosyncratic year-by-year campaign financing rules to the national best standard: cycles that align with the tenure of office, which is four years for municipal officials. It would also readjust contribution limits from individuals and political action committees to limit instances, and the appearance, of corruption.
• Res. No. 160045 - Public banking
Special Committee on Regulatory Review & Reform
• Under the leadership of Council President Clarke, this special committee was created to enable more businesses to begin, stay, and grow in the City of Philadelphia by bringing together public officials with business owners and related stakeholders to review laws, regulations, or practices for elimination or reform that are unnecessary, needlessly complex, or otherwise burdensome.

       - The Administration and City Council agreed to notify the Special Committee of any regulatory or legislative changes that would impact the business community as soon as they are publicly available, which will help to educate and inform the Committee and business community broadly of relevant changes early, allowing for feedback and questions within the public comment period.

       - Due to initial feedback from participants in the Special Committee regarding the complexity of opening a food business, the Departments of Health, L&I, and 311 have launched a process improvement pilot. Tim Thornton, head of 311, is currently analyzing the process, identifying bottlenecks and pain points, and developing solutions. Process improvement across departments is one of the key goals of the Special Committee and we look forward to the results of this pilot as a model for streamlining other business processes.

      - One of the founding goals of this Committee was to streamline and eliminate unnecessary or burdensome legislation. City Council has done an initial review of business legislation and will initiate the streamlining process with the elimination of several sections of the code. Today we will start by eliminating certain language in the Philadelphia Code:

• Bills No. 170974 through 170801 (in committee) – clearing the City Code of outdated and unnecessary provisions, like state preempted regulation of milk, the prohibition on radioactive foot measuring devices, and unenforced premarital examinations.

Derek Out and About