History

The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia’s membership approved its position on the City Charter in 1975; reviewed and updated portions regarding education in 1978; studied recommendations made by the City Charter Commission in June 1991; and again updated its position in 1993.

The City Charter Commission was created to formulate a new City Charter in pursuance of an Act of April 21, 1949, and an ordinance of June 15 of that year. It was composed of fifteen members, nine of whom were appointed by the President of City Council and six by the Mayor. The Commission held two rounds of public hearings, in November 1949-January 1950 and September -November 1950. It presented its final proposed draft of the Charter to City Council on 14 February 1951. The voters approved this draft at an election held on 17 April 1951. The provisions of the Home Rule Charter took effect following the general election of 1951 and the institution of the new administration in January 1952.

The Commission was charged with revamping Philadelphia’s city government and making provisions for integrating city and county functions into a working single governmental entity. A major product of the reform movements active in post-World War II Philadelphia, the Commission, a bi-partisan body, completely overhauled Philadelphia’s existing governmental structure and executed a document which still acts as the City’s basic frame of government today.

ACTION ITEM

The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia will continue to protect the integrity of the City Charter and advocate for a representative government that is fair and responsive to our citizens.