Women Won Over Half of Philly's Democratic Committee Person Seats


(The 18th Ward leadership slate | Photo: Jon Geeting)

With over 3,000 people elected to Democratic committee person seats all across the city on May 15th, there's still a lot left to learn about the most downballot of the 2018 downballot elections, and a new analysis from 18th Ward committee person Ruokai Chen helpfully fills in some crucial demographic dimensions to the narrative. 

Chen compared the Democratic committee person election results to the public voter file, and analyzed Democratic City Committee's demographic characteristics based on the voter file data compiled from voter registration forms.

Here are a few of the main takeaways. You can download the spreadsheet to explore the results for yourself. 

1. Women won more than half the seats

Chen's analysis found that just over 50% of committee people (CPs) overall are women. Out of the 3,071 total Democratic committee people elected in 2018, 1,636 are women, and 1,435 are men—53% to 47%.

The five wards with the highest percentages of women CPs were the 43rd (Hunting Park) with 73%; the 7th, 16th, and 42nd (Fairhill and Stanton, and Feltonville, respectively) with 70%; and the 50th Ward (Northwest.)
(Image: Ruokai Chen)

2.  The average age of a committee person is 54 years old.

The 50-64 year old age bracket is the largest, making up about 38% of City Committee. With the 65+ group making up another 27%, that means about 65% of CPs are over 50 years old. The 36-49 year old group is next largest, at about 19%, followed by 18-35 year olds, with around 12%. About 4% of CPs were not reconcilable with the voter file for this analysis, which is why these figures add up to 96% instead of 100%. 

3. The 18th Ward has a lowest average age of committee people

The 18th Ward, covering Fishtown and southern Kensington (where I am a committee person), has the lowest average age, at 39. It is also the only ward where the average CP age is under 40. The next youngest wards were the 1st Ward (Passyunk Square and Pennsport) at 43 years old; the 64th (Pennypack Park in the Northeast) and 31st wards (northern Fishtown, East Kensington, and Olde Richmond) at 46 years old; and the 2nd (Italian Market, Queen Village, Passyunk), 27th (University City), and 30th (Graduate Hospital) at around 47 years old.

4. The 52nd Ward has the highest average age of committee people

The ward with the highest average age is the 52nd (Wynnefield) at 66 years old, followed by the 14th and 20th wards (Temple and western Kensington—interestingly right next door to the youngest wards in the 18th and 31st) at 63 years old, and the 13th and 28th wards (Nicetown/Tioga and Strawberry Mansion) at 62 years old. Continuing down the list, the next oldest wards are also concentrated in North Philly and West Philly.

Check out our ward map to add some geographic context to these numbers. What other trends do you notice? To compare these results with the 2014 class of committee people, we would need access to the May 2014 voter file. If anyone knows how we can get our hands on that, please email us at [email protected]

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  • Jon Geeting
    published this page in Blog 2018-06-21 01:03:33 -0400