Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle

Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle

Councilman Daniel Lavelle was born and raised in the Hill District section of the City of Pittsburgh. He attended Pittsburgh Public Schools and graduated from Schenley High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University in 2000. In 2002, he completed the Leadership Pittsburgh program. In 2014 Councilman Lavelle was a Marshall Memorial Fellow with the German Marshall Fund.  

His professional career until January 2010 included working as a Pittsburgh City Council Legislative Aide, Chief of Staff for State Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr. and working with Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). 

Motivated by his grandfather’s words, “If you recognize a problem and then can grasp the nature of the solution, you have an obligation to use your talents to help fix the problem”, in 2009 Councilman Lavelle ran for Pittsburgh City Council. He was sworn into office in January of 2010. Councilman Lavelle is currently serving his fourth term on Council. Councilman Lavelle's district encompasses the core of the City of Pittsburgh, including historical neighborhoods, numerous universities, and Downtown Pittsburgh.

While on Council, Councilman Lavelle has chaired the Land Use and Economic Development Committee, Public Safety Committee and Chaired the Finance and Law Committee. In January 2024 he was elected and sworn as the President of City Council. 

Councilman Lavelle has been a leader on economic and social justice issues. He has also been a champion for equitable development. He has written passed key pieces of legislation including: the Responsible Banking Act, decriminalization of marijuana, source of income law, zoning for a new Local Economic Revitalization Tax District, and establishing an Affordable Housing Task Force that led to the creation of the Housing Opportunity Fund, which is supported by an annual allocation of $10 million. Most recently, he was instrumental in creating a new Real Estate Tax Abatement Program for Downtown Pittsburgh to help spur the conversion of office buildings and encourage their adaptive reuse. 

Councilman Lavelle has also centered much of his policy work on equity. He sponsored and passed numerous pieces of legislation including: a resolution declaring the City of Pittsburgh an "All-In" city, an ordinance supplementing the Pittsburgh Code to add equity reporting requirements of department directors, a Resolution Establishing an Equity and Inclusion Implementation Team, and an ordinance amending the Zoning Code to require affordable housing impact statements. Councilman Lavelle also sponsored a resolution declaring racism in the City of Pittsburgh a public health crisis. This led to a series of additional legislative actions, including a resolution declaring that “Black Pittsburgh Matters” in the City of Pittsburgh, a resolution adopting the “Ten Commitments to Racial Equity”, and an ordinance establishing the “Pittsburgh Commission on Racial Equity”.

In addition, Councilman Lavelle has focused much of his policy work on public safety and police reform. He sponsored and passed numerous pieces of legislation including an ordinance establishing the “Office of Community Health and Safety”, an ordinance establishing the “Office of Community Services and Violence Prevention”, an ordinance establishing the “Stop the Violence Fund” at an amount equaling 10% of the Bureau of Police budget, an ordinance establishing a “Chokehold Prohibition”, an ordinance establishing a “No-Knock Warrant Prohibition”, and an ordinance establishing “A Duty to Intervene” for police officers.  

Councilman Lavelle has been a featured speaker at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He presented at a two-part program entitled “Gentrification By Design: Shaping Neighborhood Change”.  

Councilman Lavelle also serves on numerous boards including the Urban Redevelopment Authority, The Carnegie Library, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, The Municipal Pension Board, Oakland Business Improvement District, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the Downtown Neighbors Association and Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc. 

Councilman Lavelle has received numerous awards and recognitions including Pittsburgh's 50 Finest, Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40, New Pittsburgh Courier’s Men of Excellence, Women for Excellence Game Changers Award, the NAACP Bill Lynch Political Courage Award, and he was a 2018 BMe Genius recipient. 

A resident of the Hill District, he is married to Rachel Riley-Lavelle, and they are the proud parents of a daughter Saniya and son Elijah.