Phil Mendelson

Phil Mendelson has been serving his constituents as Councilmember since 1998.

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Phil was first elected to the DC Council as an At-Large Councilmember in 1998. In 2012, Phil’s colleagues selected him to become the Chairman of the DC Council following the resignation of his predecessor. Subsequently, voters elected and reelected Phil as Chairman in 2012, 2014, and 2018.

As Chairman, Phil leads the Council on all legislative matters. He also serves as the chair for the Committee of the Whole with specific oversight of the District budget, Council relations with the federal government, planning and zoning, DC statehood, the retirement system, the University of the District of Columbia, the DC auditor, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and DCPS and charter schools.

While serving on the Council, Phil has authored hundreds of laws for the benefit of DC residents. During his tenure and under his leadership, the Council has fought for substantive changes with real results for families across the District. Some of the legislation championed by Phil Mendelson includes:

  • Strengthening the District’s gun control laws (which have withstood court challenges) by regulating gun possession, expanding background checks, and implementing a 10 day wait period between purchase and possession.
  • Legalizing same-sex marriage in 2009 when only a handful of states allowed it.
  • Granting the District autonomy over its own budget, independent from Congress.
  • Establishing universal paid leave for DC families.
  • Co-introducing the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act to emphasize mental health approaches to public safety.
  • Establishing the District’s first renewable portfolio standard for electricity generation.
  • Coordinating increases in the minimum wage, working with Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
  • Implementing tax changes to make the District’s individual income tax the most progressive in the nation.
  • Establishing an elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia.
  • Creating an independent Department of Forensic Science.
  • Adopting requirements for short term rental units (e.g. Airbnb) to legalize thousands of rentals while protecting rental apartment buildings from illegal conversions.
  • Breaking up the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs into two agencies to better focus on illegal construction and housing and code enforcement.
  • Approving the Racial Equity Achieve Change (REACH) Act to require racial equity impact assessments for most legislation and requiring the Mayor to establish an Office of Racial Equity.

Phil believes that government should be an honest, efficient deliverer of services, and that the District should help those least able to help themselves to develop the skills to become self-sufficient and end the cycle of poverty.

Phil lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood with his partner Ana and their two cats, Archie and Luna. He is a proud adoptive parent to his daughter Addie.

Compress biography

  • Term

  • Political Affiliation

    Democratic Party

  • Time on Council

    1999 to present

  • Office

    1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 504 Washington, DC 20004

Committee Participation


Committee of the Whole


Monique Bexley
(202) 724-8792

Faye Caldwell
(202) 724-8032

Lindsey Walton

John Kilvington
(202) 724-8027

Destiny Riley

Pat Joseph
(202) 724-8108

Angel Morton