54 Facts About Phil Mendelson


Philip Heath Mendelson was born on November 8,1952 and is an American politician from Washington, DC He is currently Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, elected by the Council on June 13,2012, following the resignation of Kwame R Brown.


Phil Mendelson was elected to serve the remainder of Brown's term in a citywide special election on November 6,2012, and re-elected to a full term in 2014 and 2018.


In 1986, Phil Mendelson ran unopposed to represent McLean Gardens in Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C.


Phil Mendelson fought against a developer who wanted to build an office building on Wisconsin Avenue near Upton Street NW.


Phil Mendelson was opposed to the developer building an access road over a forested area.


Phil Mendelson tried to block the work using his own body, for which he was arrested.


Phil Mendelson was critical of a policy of not assessing property taxes on a building until the roof is sealed.

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Phil Mendelson said the District of Columbia was losing significant amounts of tax revenue from what he called a loophole.


In 1988, Phil Mendelson was elected to the DC Democratic State Committee, representing Ward 3, in 1988.


Phil Mendelson ran unopposed for reelection as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, and he won the election.


Phil Mendelson was elected chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C soon thereafter.


In 1990, Phil Mendelson resigned from the DC Democratic State Committee to work for the reelection campaign of Jim Nathanson, member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 3.


Also in 1990, Phil Mendelson voiced his opposition to iron fences on the Duke Ellington Bridge in Rock Creek Park that were intended to prevent people from jumping off the bridge.


Phil Mendelson said the fences did not prevent suicide because there were more suicide attempts from the bridge after the fences were erected.


Phil Mendelson argued against putting fences up again after the Duke Ellington Bridge's scheduled reconstruction and instead post phone numbers for suicide prevention hotlines on the bridge.


Phil Mendelson was opposed to building fences on the Taft Bridge.


Phil Mendelson ran unopposed for reelection as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in 1990; he won the election.


In 1992, Phil Mendelson ran unopposed for reelection as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and won the election.


Phil Mendelson was elected vice-chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C, which represents residents of Cleveland Park, Cathedral Heights, Massachusetts Heights, and Woodley Park.


In 1996, Phil Mendelson ran for an at-large seat on the Council.


Phil Mendelson's campaign focused on holding government employees accountable, hiring qualified individuals for government positions, and cutting wasteful and ineffective programs.


Phil Mendelson criticized incumbent Harold Brazil for conspicuously leaving a Council meeting just before a vote on whether to reduce pension benefits for newly hired police officers, firefighters, and teachers.


Phil Mendelson said Brazil's absence was in line with many other important votes that Brazil for which was absent.


Phil Mendelson said all Council members should accept a cut in salary due to recent poor performance of the Council.


Phil Mendelson came in fourth place with seven percent of the vote.

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Phil Mendelson criticized the Department of Recreation for not informing residents ahead of time and for not replacing the equipment immediately.


Phil Mendelson noted that residents build decks without permits and receive no penalty, and neighbors have no recourse.


Phil Mendelson said that the Department could only advise residents of the law, and he advocated for giving the Department more authority to enforce the laws that it has purview over.


Phil Mendelson continued to advocate for simplifying regulatory requirements and increasing enforcement.


Phil Mendelson asked the Financial Control Board to overturn the Council's bill.


Phil Mendelson opposed the repeal, saying that environmental impact statements can reveal potential public health hazards before they occur and that preparation of the statements is not sufficiently onerous to offset the potential benefits.


On June 14,1998, Phil Mendelson announced he would run again for an at-large seat on the Council of the District of Columbia.


Phil Mendelson said the public needed to be better informed about the incumbent Council's meetings and votes.


Phil Mendelson said residents only hear from Council members when they are up for reelection.


Phil Mendelson said the District should be proactive about recruiting developers and businesses, and he thought he could play a role in doing so as a member of the Council.


Phil Mendelson said the Council should do more during debates on education.


Phil Mendelson came in first place in the Democratic primary election with 17 percent of the vote, advancing to the general election.


Phil Mendelson won the general election with 37 percent of the vote.


Phil Mendelson criticized the Council for passing acts as emergency legislation, which bypasses Congressional review and lasts for a short amount of time, even though the acts were not intended to fill temporary or urgent needs.


From 2005 to 2012 Phil Mendelson served as the chair of the DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary.


Phil Mendelson was elected to a full term as chair in 2014.


From a regional standpoint, Phil Mendelson worked with his counterparts in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to increase the minimum wage.


Phil Mendelson has received national attention for his work to bring Budget Autonomy for the District, the city's laws on gun control and same-sex marriage legalization.


In 2016 Phil Mendelson overhauled Mayor Bowser's plan to close DC General homeless shelter and build multiple smaller shelters in its place.


Phil Mendelson won the general election over Libertarian candidate Ethan Bishop-Henchman.

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In 2019, Phil Mendelson proposed changes that would significantly limit the ability for the public to access government records through the Freedom of Information Act.


Phil Mendelson claimed that the changes were necessary to limit frivolous requests while activists insisted that the changes would prevent the public from uncovering fraud, waste, and abuses.


Phil Mendelson was criticized for introducing the changes as a technical amendment, not separate legislation, which would require a public hearing.


Phil Mendelson was an active proponent for a no-bid, sole-source contract to launch the District's sports betting program.


Phil Mendelson insisted that a competitive bid for the $215 million contract would result in unacceptable delays of two to three years.


Phil Mendelson downplayed the inexperience of local partners and claimed that any award would risk conflicts of interest.


Phil Mendelson appointed known hospitality advocate Zachary Hoffman in May of 2021 with the other seat vacant for some time.


Phil Mendelson has served as a trustee of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, a member of the board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and as the president of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations.


Phil Mendelson and Ridgway have a daughter, Adelaide Marie Ridgway-Phil Mendelson, born July 29,2000.