Neilson sworn in to City Council

Wel­come to City Hall: Ed Neilson, of Mill­brook, is sworn in to City Coun­cil by Com­mons Pleas Court Judge Mi­chael Fan­ning in Coun­cil cham­bers last week. He is sur­roun­ded by his wife, Dor­is, and sons. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

Ed Neilson, of Mill­brook, was sworn in last week as the new­est mem­ber of City Coun­cil.

Neilson won a spe­cial elec­tion in May to re­place fel­low Demo­crat Bill Green, who resigned to be­come chair­man of the School Re­form Com­mis­sion.

A former polit­ic­al dir­ect­or of In­ter­na­tion­al Broth­er­hood of Elec­tric­al Work­ers Loc­al 98, Neilson went on to serve as deputy labor sec­ret­ary un­der Gov. Ed Rendell. He then handled gov­ern­ment re­la­tions and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for a law firm.

In 2012, Neilson won a spe­cial elec­tion in the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict to re­place Re­pub­lic­an Den­nis O’Bri­en, who resigned to join City Coun­cil.

Demo­crats nom­in­ated him for the Coun­cil spe­cial elec­tion be­cause state re­dis­trict­ing would have forced him to battle fel­low Demo­crat­ic Rep. John Sabat­ina Jr. in what prom­ised to be a bruis­ing primary.

Neilson was sworn in to Coun­cil by Com­mons Pleas Court Judge Mi­chael Fan­ning in Coun­cil cham­bers. He was sur­roun­ded by his wife, Dor­is, and sons.

“It has been an im­mense hon­or to serve the res­id­ents of the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict,” Neilson said. “As a born-and-raised Phil­adelphi­an, I have worked all of my life to make this great city an even bet­ter place to live. Today marks a home­com­ing in which I will con­tin­ue my ser­vice on a more loc­al and de­tailed level, and ap­ply my ex­per­i­ence and re­la­tion­ships in the Gen­er­al As­sembly to­ward such im­port­ant is­sues as edu­ca­tion fund­ing and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life in all neigh­bor­hoods. I am so ex­cited to be­gin serving all of the res­id­ents of Phil­adelphia.”

Coun­cil Pres­id­ent Dar­rell Clarke said, “Coun­cil­man Neilson’s pas­sion and ad­vocacy for chil­dren with de­vel­op­ment­al chal­lenges, qual­ity edu­ca­tion for all, and safe, qual­ity neigh­bor­hoods will be a tre­mend­ous as­set here. I am so pleased to wel­come Coun­cil­man Neilson to City Hall, and I look for­ward to work­ing with him to make every neigh­bor­hood in our city the best that it can be.”

Neilson thanked the res­id­ents of the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict for the op­por­tun­ity to serve them.

“It has been an hon­or to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives and it truly has been an ex­per­i­ence I will nev­er for­get,” he said. “I be­lieve I served the people of North­east Phil­adelphia with in­teg­rity and pas­sion, and I am proud of my ac­com­plish­ments, es­pe­cially the cre­ation of the Dys­lex­ia and Early Lit­er­acy Pi­lot Pro­gram.”

Neilson said the oth­er ac­com­plish­ments he is most proud of are be­ing in­volved in the pas­sage of the bi­par­tis­an trans­port­a­tion fund­ing plan, and stand­ing up against the Re­pub­lic­an ma­jor­ity by vot­ing against budgets that he be­lieves severely un­der­fun­ded edu­ca­tion.

“I have learned many les­sons from my time in Har­ris­burg, and I would like to thank my col­leagues on both sides of the aisle for be­ing will­ing to work with me,” he said. “I know is­sues can be­come con­ten­tious be­cause there is so much pas­sion on both sides, but I found that frank con­ver­sa­tion and a will­ing­ness to com­prom­ise can pro­duce res­ults. I plan to bring that same philo­sophy with me to City Coun­cil.”

Neilson’s state le­gis­lat­ive dis­trict of­fice, loc­ated at 3294 Red Li­on Road in Academy Plaza, will re­main open Tues­day through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., un­til the end of Novem­ber. Con­stitu­ents can con­tact the of­fice at 215-281-3414.

Neilson’s Coun­cil of­fice is loc­ated in Room 312 of City Hall. The phone num­ber is 215-MU6-3420.

Neilson will be back on the bal­lot in May 2015, run­ning in the primary for a full four-year Coun­cil term. ••

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