York City Council Members

  • Edquina Washington, President

    Edquina Washington, 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 elected to York City Council in January 2020 to serve a four-year term and was again reelected in January 2024 to a four-year term.  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 15 years of experience in government relations in both state and local government, Edquina has amassed 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.

    Edquina 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.

    In 2018, Edquina drafted the city’s Safe Leave Time Act (Article 165) to support and protect city employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or similar concerns. This legislation permits the use of accumulated sick leave for work absences due to a physical or mental health condition or a critical safety issue. Then in 2022, she drafted the city’s local C.R.O.W.N. Act legislation (Article 185) which prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, or twists.

    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.

    Delving into her professional career, Edquina is currently employed with the YWCA York as its Chief Impact Officer overseeing fund development, donor relations, and marketing.

    Edquina also served as the Community Development & Housing Director for Crispus Attucks York where she oversaw over $40 million in real estate assets including commercial and residential properties focused on providing quality affordable housing in York, PA. In this role, Edquina was entrusted with development, planning, and organization of project and infrastructure composition relative to the community’s needs. Additionally, she had direct oversight of The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum, providing direction to the museum manager, program development, budgetary governance, and fundraising.

    From 2010-2018, Edquina was employed as Director of Community Relations under the leadership of Mayor C. Kim Bracey.  In this position, she was the Senior Advisor for the Office of the Mayor with oversight of organizational policies, procedures, and policy development, expansion, and maintenance of ongoing relationships with constituents, public-private sector entities, donors, k-12 and post-secondary educational partners, and national organizations. She also cultivated and implemented innovative initiatives strategically designed to impact the social and economic wealth of the community, and supervised intern staff and arts and cultural staff. Additionally, Edquina was the spokesperson for the City of York, PA, and had oversight of management of press relations, and website & social media accounts. She was a speech writer for the Office of The Mayor and fostered the branding and customer service outreach for the City of York.

    In 2010, while serving as a Victim Advocate for the Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate, Edquina forged relationships with the Board of Pardons to advocate and educate on victims’ needs through the post-sentencing process. She advocated for victim rights compliance through the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, administered support and victim representation during the Board of Pardons post-sentencing process, and established statewide community collaborative efforts to educate agencies on victims’ rights compliance standards and laws.

    From 2007-2010, Equina was the Legislative Assistant to former State Representative Eugene DePasquale – 95th District. She provided representation on various Authorities, Boards, and Commissions on behalf of Rep. DePasquale, was responsible for the establishment and preservation of community partnerships and constituent relationships, she reviewed, and assisted in the development of public policy, and organization, and developed essential events to build constituent relations and community education services.

    Edquina served as a Case Manager/Counselor Assistant 3 for Gaudenzia, Inc., a Family Advocate for Family Service Partners, and an Adult Probation Officer/Juvenile Probation Officer for the York County Probation and Parole Department where she supervised caseloads of up to 180 individuals convicted of various criminal offenses, guiding them to refrain from further criminal activity, through assistance with employment, mental health treatment, drug and alcohol treatment, social skills, and life skill needs.

    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.” Her passion is evident as shown by her community service that includes:

    APJ Foundation (2022 – present)
    Board of Directors
    Focused on shaping the direction of City of York youth.

    Women Business Center Organization (2019 – present)
    York County Economic Alliance Council
    A leading resource to inspire and empower women in business and the community.

    Salvation Army of York (2017 – present)
    Advisory Board
    Community organization motivated by the love of God to assist and encourage those in need.

    Lincoln Charter School (2015 – 2023)
    Board of Directors – President
    Charter School located within the City of York providing youth with an above-average technology-based education.

    United Way of York County (2015 – 2016)
    2015 Campaign Cabinet

    Albert S. Weyer Community Health Fund (2013 – 2019)
    Advisory Committee, Mayoral Appointment
    Provide management and recommendations for the disbursement of funds to the City of York’s Bureau of Health.

    Embracing Aging – York County Community Foundation (2013 – 2019)
    Steering Committee
    Foundation advocating for the elimination of barriers within a community setting in respect to older adults.

    Women Living United – United Way of York County (2013 – 2016)
    Founding Member/Steering Committee
    Designed to unite women in York County to demonstrate their power and philanthropic efforts to evoke positive community change.

    Leadership York (2012 – 2014)
    Board of Directors
    Provide training and connection to individuals serving in leadership positions in York County.

    York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (2012 – 2020)
    Advisory Board
    Provide an opportunity for economically challenged students to attend and successfully complete studies at York College of Pennsylvania through a full scholarship.

    Community Progress Council (2011 – 2016)
    Board of Directors, Mayoral Appointment
    Community Action Agency which seeks to eliminate poverty within the County of York, PA.

    YWCA York (2011 – 2017)
    Board of Directors, Past President
    Leading organization in the community in empowering women and eliminating racism, while providing childcare, youth programming, fitness programming, and varied family services.

    Crispus Attucks Youth Build Charter School (2009 – 2013)
    Board of Directors
    Charter School within the City of York, PA, which provides the ability for non-traditional students to graduate and receive their high school diploma.

    Edquina, an Ordained Pastor, serves as Associate Pastor at The PORT Equipping Center, and 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. She is also Founder/CEO of Redeemed Queen, LLC, where she provides motivational speaking, empowerment sessions, mentorship, and workshops on topics affecting women relating to personal development, domestic violence, sexual assault, goal attainment, and women’s empowerment, to empower women to realize and achieve their dreams.

  • Betsy Buckingham, Vice President

    Betsy W. Buckingham, Member

    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.”

  • Teresa Johnescu, Member

    Teresa Johnescu, Member

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

    BACKGROUND

    Teresa Johnescu, a Democrat, was first electedto York City Council in November 2023 and sworn into office on January 2, 2024, for a four-year term. Teresa serves as Council’s liaison to the York County Board of Commissioners, and is a member of the Public Works, Economic & Community Development, and Business Administration committees of Council.

    Teresa has been a resident of York County since 1998, and for the past 12 years, she and her husband, Doug, have resided on South Queen Street in downtown York. They are the parents of two grown children.

    Teresa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from Penn State and a Master’s Degree in History from Millersville University. After spending the majority of her career as a secondary and post-secondary educator, she retired after eleven years managing a disability inclusion program for FedEx Supply Chain that received a Governor’s Award in 2014.

    When asked why she ran for City Council, Teresa responded, “I ran for York City Council to get things done that will strengthen and improve the lives of all residents throughout the city. I am goal-oriented and results-driven, and I have enjoyed working with my neighbors and city leaders to improve the area around my house over the past decade. I care about this community and my husband, and I plan on staying here for the remainder of our lives.”

    In addition to her professional career, Teresa served in several municipal positions over the years: the Tax Collector for the Town of Butternuts (in upstate New York), a member of the Springettsbury Township Zoning Board, and a member of York City HARB.

    Teresa said she “believes that we have the ability and the passion to make York a stronger and safer community for everyone.”

  • Elizabeth Bupp, Member

    Elizabeth Bupp, Member

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

    BACKGROUND

    Elizabeth “Elsbeth” Bupp, a Democrat, was first elected to York City Council in November 2023 and sworn into office on January 2, 2024, for a four-year term.   Elsbeth is the Chair of the Rules & Administrative Code Committee, and a member of the Business Administration and Vacant Property Review committees.

    Elsbeth grew up in York City but left for college and career opportunities but stayed connected to York. She moved back to York in 2017, and recently completed a term on the Zoning Hearing Board. Elsbeth is also and as an officer of the Alliance of Neighborhood Associations and works for a small business in the city. She went on a listening tour in 2017/2018 and documented the events and shared it in a newsletter / blog which she hopes to continue building as a source of local news and inspiration.

    Elsbeth has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Delaware and a B.S. in Accounting from University of Maryland University College. She passed the CPA exam in 1996 and is a licensed in the State of Virginia where she worked as a tax accountant for US Airways. Her career included Internal Auditing and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance (internal controls over financial reporting). She is interested in the use of funds and controls over systems, so this background is suited for the Business Administration committee.

    Her childhood included growing up on Roosevelt Avenue, playing at Farquhar Park, Boy’s Club Pool, YWCA, going to McKinley Elementary and Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School. As an adult, she graduated with the 2002 class of Leadership York and the 2nd class of the Neighborhood Resource Institute (a city citizen training she would love to see the City DECD repeat) and held leadership positions in her neighborhood association. “America’s strength is its diversity, and its success is in its unity; neighborhood associations can help build that unity.” One of her goals is to increase membership in neighborhood associations.

    Her family has a history of service in the City of York, highlights include grandfather Robert Heller as York City Director of Revenue; grandfather C. Louis Bupp as Principal of McKinley Elementary school, and father David Wm. as City Solicitor. Her mom is a preservationist who advocated for saving historic City buildings before HARB was established, and Elsbeth feels that the architecture of York is important to protect from defacing and will work on that. “I am grateful for the variety of work done by family members so they could share lessons on the importance of honesty, integrity, respect for other people, and thriftiness and I want to serve in a way to make them proud.”

    Past service includes Board member of DreamWrights Youth and Family Theater, participant in Codorus Creek cleanups and other volunteer activities. She is currently a member of the York County Federation of Democratic Women, the Democratic Society of York, and the DPOYC. She is supportive of Crispus Attucks, York Literacy Institute, York County History Center, CASA, Downtown Inc., and other non-profits. In her spare time, she helps TNR stray / feral cats, do historic preservation and family caregiving.

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