York City Council Members

  • Sandie Walker, President

    Sandie Walker, President

    Sandie Walker,  President

    101 S. George St., York, PA 17401
    Phone: (717) 849-2246 | Fax: (717) 812-0557 | Mobile: (717) 676-3502
    Email: SWalker@yorkcity.org

    BACKGROUND
    Sandie Walker, a Democrat, was sworn into to office on January 4, 2016 and after a successful re-election bid, was again sworn into office on January 6, 2020. Sandie was elected President of Council on January 4, 2022 and serves as a member of the Business Administration and Economic & Community Development committees of Council. Sandie is also Council’s liaison to the York County Board of Commissioners.

    Sandie has already established a track record of community service and entrepreneurship in her 32 years. A lifelong York resident, Sandie has spent the last six years as a director of the School District of the City of York. After serving one elected term, she volunteered to be appointed to a resigning board member term and has remained on the board.

    Currently a Parent and Family Engagement Liaison, Sandie was formerly the Youth Program Coordinator for the city for five years. Prior to that position, she worked for the York City Health Bureau as a Health Education Specialist.

    Sandie was the founder and co-director of Y.O.R.K., Youth Obtaining Respect & Knowledge, a summer traveling program that helps local teens expand their horizons through travel and community service.

    Sandie was the junior high and varsity girls’ basketball coach at William Penn Senior High School from 2005 to 2008. A 2001 graduate of William Penn, Sandie played Division I varsity women’s basketball at the University of Richmond, where she received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Leadership Studies and a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Urban Practice and Policy. She also minored in business administration. In 2005, Sandie was also honored as the University of Richmond’s Volunteer Student of the Year.

    VISION
    “I believe we can improve the quality of life for the people of York by improving our parks and recreation system without damaging the city’s fiscal health. My background as a city employee and as someone who has worked with our youth, combined with my education in leadership and urban policy, gives me a unique perspective into what we can do to make York a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

    RESPONSIBILITIES
    Quality of Life
    •Enhance youth recreational programs by partnering with local organizations, such as the York School District, YMCA, YWCA and the Crispus Attucks Community Center.
    •Improve and enhance the city’s parks system.
    •Partner with the local faith community and other non-profits to reduce poverty and homelessness.
    •Support for city open space initiatives and historic preservation efforts.
    •Build new recreational programs for all city residents including the young and the young at heart.

    Public Safety
    •Support for community policing strategies, such as walking beats.
    •Ensure that city police and firefighters have all the equipment they need to keep residents and themselves safe.
    •Support for technological upgrades to keep residents safe, such as street surveillance cameras and body cameras for police.
    •Seek state and federal grants to hire more police, firefighters and purchase more needed equipment.
    •Continue the positive working relationship between city police and the York School District.

    Fiscal Responsibility
    •Work with the Mayor and other members of City Council to ensure that city government operates effectively and efficiently.
    •Support budgeting strategies that reduce the city’s long-term debt.
    •Ensure that real estate taxes are collected in a timely fashion from all of the City’s stakeholders.
    •Partner with neighboring municipalities on purchasing agreements to save money for taxpayers.
    •Look to establish Payment In Lieu of Taxes program with tax exempt entities, such as colleges and hospitals.

    Community Development
    •Will work to ensure veterans are getting the services they need and deserve.
    •Dedicated effort to increase the percentage of home ownership in York.
    •Streamline codes and the city’s code enforcement department.
    •Support for residential development and programming that provides affordable housing for core professions, such as police, firefighters and teachers.
    •Work to remove blight and strengthen the city’s residential neighborhoods.

    Job Creation and Economic Development
    •Work with city officials and local legislators to bring a City Revitalization Improvement Zone (CRIZ) to York to provide economic incentives to potential investors.
    •Support for city policies aimed at redeveloping existing brownfields into homes for job creating businesses.
    •Continued support for creative redevelopment initiatives, such as the Artist Homestead Program, which incentivizes artist home/studios in the city.
    •Will help city to recruit new investors and job creators for the identified “opportunity sites” in our Strategic Comprehensive Plan 2030.
    •Support for new and existing businesses that pay workers a living, family-sustaining wage.

  • Edquina Washington, Vice President

    Edquina Washington

    Edquina Washington, Vice President

    101 S. George St., York, PA 17401
    Phone: (717) 849-2246 | Fax: (717) 812-0557 | Mobile: (717) 676-5810
    Email: ETWashington@yorkcity.org

    BACKGROUND

    Edquina Washington, a Democrat, was appointed to York City Council on January 24, 2018 to fill a vacancy and served until the first Monday of January 2020.  After a successful election bid, Edquina was sworn into office on January 6, 2020 and will serve in this capacity for four years.  Edquina serves as Chair of the Police & Fire and Economic & Community Development committees of Council and is as a member of the Public Works and Rules and Administrative Code committees.

    With over 10 years of experience in government relations in both state and local government, Edquina has gained varied levels of experience in building strategic partnerships and relationships, nonprofit leadership, advocacy, innovative program development, successful promotional and communication campaigns, fundraising, and community relations.

    She understands firsthand the importance and significance of City of York government and the development of substantial legislation and strategies that enhance and positively impact our community, as well as the level of leadership, experience, and boldness that being a York City Council person entails.

    During her career as the Director of Community Relations for the City of York, Edquina spearheaded communications and media plans, as well as assisted with the advocacy efforts relative to municipal pension reform, gun control reform, public education policies, and immigration reform, to name a few.

    She has also spearheaded the development and implementation of several national initiatives within our community. With direct experience working in state legislature, Edquina served as a Legislative Assistant for the 95th District, having worked both in the district office and in Harrisburg.

    Her elevated level of leadership abilities is also evidenced through her volunteerism on several Authorities, Boards, and Commissions throughout York County.

    Edquina states, “My passion for public service, commitment and leadership in our community, forward thinking approaches, cross sector relationship building, and strategic community development that enhances the lives of community members, serves as my motivation to advance and further assist our community.”

    Edquina holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Corrections from York College of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science in Human Services from Capella University.

  • Lou Rivera, Member

    Lou Rivera, Member

    101 S. George St., York, PA 17401
    Phone: (717) 849-2246 | Fax: (717) 812-0557 | Mobile: (717) 676-0124
    Email: LRivera@yorkcity.org

    BACKGROUND

    Lou Rivera, a Democrat, was sworn into office on January 6, 2020.  Lou serves as Chair of the Rules & Administrative Code committee of Council and is a member of the Public Works and Business Administration committees. Lou also serves as Council’s representative on the Vacant Property Review Committee.

    Lou holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. He is fluent in Spanish and is heavily involved in the Latino and LGBTQ Communities. He has assisted in coordinating LGBTQ Pride Night and Latin Heritage Night, and he also played a major role in putting together committees to assist in planning, organizing and executing of various community events. In addition to his community service, Lou’s background includes catering management and operations management.  

    As a proud member of El Centro Hispano/Spanish-American Center, Lou facilitated two major hurricane relief efforts to assist those affected by Hurricane Maria by coordinating the York chapter of Puerto Rico Se Levanta 2018/21 Days of Giving Relief Effort to help those affected by Hurricane Maria and those that have been displaced by the hurricane and are now living in York City and the surrounding areas. The York chapter of Puerto Rico Se Levanta 2018/21 Days of Giving Relief Effort included 21 days of giving through donations of items such as nonperishable food, clothes, shoes, non-liquid toiletries, bug repellent wipes, baby items, camping gear and pet supplies, and cash donations to help the victims of Hurricane Maria.

    Lou states that, “I believe in my heart that this has been a calling for me. I can say with sincerity that in the years I have been living in the City of York, where my husband and I purchased our home, I have been fighting and will continue the fight for ALL of York and its citizens. I know that mediocrity is unacceptable and I continually strive for excellence in all that I do. I have superior listening skills and understand the importance of qualifying our constituents needs and then fulfilling them.”

  • Betsy W. Buckingham, Member

    Betsy W. Buckingham, MemberBetsy W. Buckingham

    101 S. George St., York, PA 17401
    Phone: (717) 849-2246 | Fax: (717) 812-0557 | Mobile: 717-676-3098
    Email: BBuckingham@yorkcity.org

    BACKGROUND

    Betsy W. Buckingham, a Democrat, was first elected and sworn into to office on January 4, 2022. Betsy serves as chair of the Business Administration committee of Council and is a member of the Fire/Police and Economic & Community Development committees. Betsy also serves as Council’s liaison to the Officers & Employees Retirement Board.

    Betsy is proud to call York City home for over 40 years. Her vision is that York City is a place people want to live, to visit, to work, to play, and to thrive.

    “Our community thrives because it’s residents and neighborhoods embrace it, engage in it, work to make it a welcoming community, and to be the best it can be. By serving on York City Council, I will help to continue the momentum of progress evident in our recent past.”

    A graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Betsy has worked for the Realtors Association of York and Adams Counties (RAYAC), served as Chief of Staff for the local office of the 95th District, and worked for several local nonprofit organizations as a Development Professional. Betsy brings professional experience in promoting York City homeownership and affordable housing initiatives and developed a REALTOR® designation to promote home sales in York City.

    As a volunteer Betsy has been engaged in a variety of areas in York City. She is active in the Avenues Neighborhood Association and currently serves on the Avenues Association Planning Committee. For ten years Betsy served on the board of York City Dollars for Scholars in the offices of Vice President and Fundraising Chair and was a member of the scholarship awards committee. Betsy has served on the Christ Lutheran Church Council holding offices of Council President and 3 terms as Congregational Treasurer. Betsy is an active Rotarian.

    Betsy will support the efforts to reduce crime and increase safety across York City neighborhoods and downtown. She promises to be a steward of York City finances.

    Betsy and her husband, Mike, are the proud parents of two sons educated in the York City Schools and who are proud York High alumni.

  • Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis, Member

    Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis, Member

    101 S. George St., York, PA 17401
    Phone: (717) 849-2246 | Fax: (717) 812-0557 | Mobile: 717-676-2259
    Email: FOADennis@yorkcity.org

    BACKGROUND

    Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis, a Democrat, was first elected and sworn into to office on January 4, 2022. Dr. Dennis serves as chair of the Public Works committee of Council and is a member of the Fire/Police and Rules & Administrative Code committees. Dr. Dennis also serves as Council’s liaison to the City/School District Cooperation & Open Communications Committee.

    Dr. Felicia O. A. Dennis is a native of York City, Pennsylvania. She has an Associate in Specialized Technology from the Art Institution of York, and holds both a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, and Doctor of Theology from the Satellite Extension of the North Carolina College of Theology. Dr. Dennis states her goal is to continue to serve the community to the best of her ability, assist with the creation of laws, and aid with the approval of the York City Budget—ensuring decisions make sense and meet the needs of community members.

    She is passionate about the community, as well as supporting and advocating for youth and families. Serving the community unselfishly is what she does; as a youth pastor, as the owner of Felicia’s Tae Kwon Do, and as a community activist (both national and international). In the mornings, Dr. Dennis works in the York City School District’s Safety and Security Department. She formerly worked as an ecosystem coordinator for the City of York before having to resign to take on her duties on York City Council.  In this position, she assisted residents with resource finding; all while managing businesses and hosting events that uplifted and served the community. While working for Military Sealift Command as a merchant mariner, located at the Norfolk, Virginia US Navy Base, Dr. Dennis traveled internationally and honed her leadership skills.

    Improving Education

    Including educators and staff with York City roots in classrooms improves student-faculty and student-staff relations. Whether that be alumni substitutes, full-time faculty, or security, our students deserve relationships built on common ground. We need better community involvement with the York City School Board–to hold staff accountable, to implement decisions that best serve all students, and uplift priorities deemed important to community members. As a City Councilwoman, she plans to be a community voice for the issues we face together.

    Youth Programming

    In her youth, Dr. Dennis remembers programs at Crispus Attucks, Voni Grimes Gym, the Lighthouse, and Penn Park that supported healthy physical activity, home economics, life skills, professional development, and skills training. She states that we need this back in our communities for the betterment of youth development and to serve as a pipeline for the next generation of community leadership. Taking karate classes inspired her to obtain her black belt in her youth and then later as an adult provided those same opportunities across York County.

    Access to Resources

    Food security. Job security. Homelessness. Mental Health. Child Welfare, and more. There are many issues we face as a community. When we, as professionals and community members, focus on preventative services and holistic health, we rise. As a child welfare alumna and clergy member, Dr. Dennis knows what it means to overcome hardships and the difference a hands-up approach can make in someone’s life. She states, “We have to put in the work with boots on the ground, one step at a time, together.”

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