Philly Power Research is a group of volunteer researchers made up of teachers, journalists, analysts, advocates, and organizers working to support economic justice in the city Philadelphia.
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Introduction

The Philadelphia Campaign Finance Explorer is part of an effort by Philly Power Research to expose the networks of power in our city .

 This first part of the project work looks at major donors to City Council and the Mayor from 2014-2018 (focusing especially on people and entities who have donated $4,000 or more). In order to focus on concentrations of power, we have largely removed union donations from these dashboards, as their fundraising base comes out of the paychecks of thousands of unionized workers. Going into the 2019 City Primary Elections for City Council and Mayor, we hope that citizen organizers will be able to use this information to better understand exactly whose money we’re up against in these elections. 

The interactive dashboards below represent the first part of this Project. Read about our methodology for the dashboards here.


Fundraising Explorer The fundraising explorer lets users look up fundraising from non-union sources by incumbent candidates for city office since 2014. Users can look at the donation size breakdowns for each candidate, which sectors they’re fundraising from, and who their top non-union donors are. These charts only include contributions of over $50, since candidates are not required to report itemized contributions smaller than this amount. Some quick take-aways:

  • The biggest fundraiser by far from non-union sources was At-Large Councilmember Allan Domb at over $1.95 million. He was also his own biggest donor.

  • In second was District Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson at $1.45 million.

  • District Councilmembers Mark Squilla ($777k) and Bobby Henon ($662k) come at a close 3rd and 4th.

  • Allan Domb, Kenyatta Johnson, Mark Squilla, Jannie Blackwell, Darrell Clarke, Brian O’Neill, and Curtis Jones, Jr. each received at least 20% of their total contributions (>$50) from donors who we categorized as associated with the building industry and/or real estate. Domb, as a real estate developer and largely self-funded candidate, received about ⅔ of his contributions from this sector.

  • The building and real estate industry dominates donations, making up a quarter of all donations—just over $4 million— to the current city council and mayor.

  • Unions (22%), Attorneys/Law Firms (11%), and Political Campaign Committees (5%) make up the next largest sectors of giving.

Check out the Fundraising Explorer Here.


Donor Lookup The Donor Lookup Tool lets users look up the biggest donors to city elections and their favored candidates. Some quick takeaways:

  • The biggest donor by far was Allan Domb, who donated over a million dollars almost exclusively to his own campaign.

    • The next top non-union donors were

      • Duane Morris LLP (Law Firm) ($109k)

      • Joseph Zuritsky (Real Estate) ($100k)

      • Anna Verna Committee (Political Campaign Committee) ($84k)

      • PECO (Energy) ($84k)

  • Donations by all principals at Joseph Zuritsky’s Parkway Corporation total at $211k, twice as much as the number two donor, Duane Morris LLP.

Check out the Donor Look-Up here.


Donor Map The Donor Map is a tool that lets users explore where candidate’s donations are coming from. Users can look at fundraising by City Council District or by location in or outside of Philadelphia. Some quick takeaways:

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  • The Councilperson with the most in-district fundraising is 5th District Councilperson Darrell Clarke, with 54% of his funding coming from within his district. 40% of all contributions to all members come from within the 5th District.

  • The Councilperson with least in-district fundraising is 9th District Councilperson Cherelle Parker, with 5% of her funding coming from within the 9th District. Only 1% of all political contributions come from the 9th District.

  • Most money from within Philadelphia comes from the 5th District — geographically it’s the top source of funding for 12 of 17 City Council members.

  • Most City Council members raise 60%-70% of their money from within the city. A notable exception is Republican At-Large member David Oh, who raises less than half from within Philadelphia, and 23% from neighboring Montgomery County.

Check out the Donor Map here.