Itzkowitz, executive director of Old City District and a graduate of both Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination on Jan. 24.
“I have spent my life pushing for Philadelphians to imagine bigger and better for our city, which requires rising above cynicism anchored in the ways too many of our neighbors have been let down by City Hall in the past,” said Itzkowitz, who resides with his wife and 3-year-old daughter in Point Breeze. “I know firsthand that Philadelphia can be a better place to live, work and raise a family, because I have seen growth, resilience and progress in communities as leader of a special services district in Old City and a legislative director in Northwest Philly.”
Itzkowitz is running for one of the seven at-large seats that are included in the 17-member City Council. All 17 positions are up for grabs this year with many incumbents seeking another term. South Philadelphia is currently represented by Mark Squilla (1st District) and Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) but has no further representation by the six at-large seats currently filled.
In addition to Itzkowitz, there are more than a dozen newcomers vying for at-large positions, including at least one South Philly resident in Rue Landau of the Bella Vista neighborhood. The salary for City Council members in 2020 was $142,751.
Itzkowitz has served as the top executive of the tourism-dependent Old City District since 2014, overseeing cleaning, safety, marketing and economic development initiatives.
Itzkowitz also served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Legislation in City Council, helping pass legislation to protect Philadelphia’s public park spaces from gun crimes and encouraging broad participation in community investment, empowering residents and locally based businesses to determine the future of their own neighborhoods.
“A stronger, more vibrant Philadelphia is clean streets and safe neighborhoods for everyone,” Itzkowitz said. “It’s riding the bus or subway at all hours of the day with comfort and ease; It’s sending our children to well-resourced public schools; It’s unique and vibrant local businesses enhancing quality of life in our neighborhoods. Ensuring efficient and competent delivery of public services and resources to all of our neighborhoods might be a tall order, but tall tasks require tall solutions. The residents of the greatest city in the U.S. deserve nothing short of that.”