Marian Tasco protege launches bid for City Council

Samaria Bailey Tribune Correspondent
Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015 4:00 pm

Derek Green, former special counsel for city Council woman Marian Tasco, announced his candidacy for City Council At-Large, Tuesday evening at the Center in the Park in Germantown.

Green was surrounded by supporters — his parents, wife and son and others, including District Attorney Seth Williams — when he made the announcement.

“I’m running for City Council At-Large, because I’m experienced at getting things done with a vision for a better city,” Green said.

He credited Tasco, his faith, and said the challenges of raising a son with autism has motivated him to do better.

“Not just for me, not just for my family but for my community,” he said.

Green then named action items related to education, the economy and public safety that were a priority in
his platform.

He said he would advocate for a “fair funding formula” to prevent the consistent underfunding that has plagued the city’s schools. “One of the concerns I have is the annual budget crisis. Every year by June or July, we go to Harrisburg asking for money. What I would do is work with other elected officials and go to Harrisburg and advocate for more funding.”

Green then noted that there was a need for improved rules and regulations for small businesses, recalling when he and his wife opened a shoe store some years ago.

“It was very challenging just to get a business privilege license,” he said. “I’m an attorney and former banker and my wife is a consulting executive, and I know all the challenges we had in starting a business. I can only imagine if you’re a young person coming out of Simon Gratz or Wharton or Holy Family, how challenging it would be to
open a business.”

One idea he proposed to address the plight of small businesses is to “have hearings to look at the commerce department and all agencies [that] help start businesses in Philadelphia, to make it more friendly for people.”

As for public safety, Green said he supported “common sense” approaches and that he would work to “get more funding for strategic initiatives” that deter crime.

Citing his tenure in city council and his work with various city agencies, Green’s supporters said he is ripe
for the role.

In addition to serving with Tasco, Green has served as a deputy city solicitor and as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and Delaware.

“He has a lot of experience. [City Council At-Large] is the natural next step for him to go,” Tasco said. She added that his drafting of legislation to prevent predatory lending was a highlight of his work. “His legal skills and banking experience were key.”

Williams described Green as a “connector, he knows how to bring people together and that’s what we need in City Hall.” Williams said he also supports Green, because “I need someone to help us prevent crime.”

Others, including 22nd ward leader Ron Couser and Anuj Gupta, executive director of Mt. Airy USA Community Development Corporation spoke of Green’s commitment to the community as a signal of his ability.

Couser said Green “is always there and never ever told me no.”

Gupta shared similar feelings.

“I’ve known Derek for 15 years or more, and I am actually jealous of [him] because he has an ability to make a commitment and follow through,” said Gupta. “What more could you possibly want in a city [councilperson]?”

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