Penrose Hollins - District 4

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Widely known as a voice of reason, Councilman Penrose Hollins is committed to the challenges ahead, from holding the line on tax increases while improving county services and programs, to safeguarding the quality of life through stringent land use regulations in the county's Unified Development Code. Mr. Hollins continues his efforts to collaborate with industry, state agencies, and the federal government to bring additional services and programs to New Castle County. He remains obligated to the improvement of our environment by continuing the optional septic elimination program, rehabilitating the Brandywine Hundred / Claymont sewer systems, expanding the southern New Castle County water treatment facilities, and working to eliminate point source and pollution run-off into our waterways.

New Castle County
Councilman Penrose Hollins is a graduate of Delaware Technical and Community College, where he is inducted into the college's Hall of Fame.

Army Service
He served five years, 10 months, and 26 days in the United States Army with two hardship tours in Southeast Asia.

Church Involvement
He is a core church planter and founding member of Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, DE, where he continues to serve as a goodwill ambassador for Canaan.

While serving on Wilmington City Council, he became the second elected official in the Continental United States of America to sponsor legislation requiring a political jurisdiction to divest from companies doing business in South Africa. His legislation helped to pioneer an economic boycott of South Africa as part of a international protest of South Africa's apartheid system of segregation. He also sponsored legislation creating job set-asides for Wilmington residents and minorities.

Positions Held
In 1997 Councilman Hollins became the first African American to serve as President Pro Tempore. As a member of New Castle County Council, Hollins represents District 4. On council, he serves as chair of the Community Services Committee and vice-chair of the Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Personnel, Administrative-Finance, Land Use, Special Services, and Public Safety committees. He served as chair of the Personnel Committee from 2000 to 2005.

Hollins established the New Castle County Council Housing Committee. He spearheaded the initiative to develop and establish a moderately priced housing program to assist this and future generations to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Mr. Hollins manages all legislation which allocates federal dollars to meet the county's housing needs and community service programs. He is the prime sponsor of the legislation that created the county's Down Payment and Settlement Help Program for first-time homebuyers which has assisted more than 600 families. He was also successful in obtaining private funding from Associates National Bank to assist more than 100 families in obtaining their first home.  As co-chair of the county's Community Services Committee, Councilman Hollins manages all legislation that allocates funding for home safety repairs and senior home repairs, rehabilitation of homes for single and multifamily housing, as well as community housing complexes. He helped to establish a Section 8 home ownership program that moves Section 8 participants from the rental market to homeownership. The Community Services Department also provides special events and programs at Rockwood and Carousel Parks.

Economic Development
Mr. Hollins is committed to both created and stabilizing jobs in New Castle County.  He sponsored $28 million in recovery bond financing for renovations to the Old Courthouse on Wilmington’s Rodney Square, with the requirement of a diversity hiring plan.  He co-sponsored the legislative package to establish the first – ever New Castle County Strategic Economic Development Fund. He was the primary sponsor of legislation that provided $15 million in conduit bond financing for the start up of the Delaware Board of Trade to create a stock exchange in the City of Wilmington.  He also sponsored $16 million in recovery bond financing to Citrosuco North America, Inc. for expansion of the terminal facility at the Port of Wilmington with a 42.7% minority workforce.  

With the ongoing expansion of county library service, Mr. Hollins continues to support the New Castle County library system and services, and he sponsors all legislation that allocates funds to county libraries.  During his tenure, 10 new libraries have been opened including 2 in the City of Wilmington.  An 11th library is currently being constructed on Route 9 in New Castle.

Senior Meal Program
Hollins supported keeping the Senior Meal Program for New Castle County funded at 14 senior centers. This program provides low-cost and/or free meals to seniors and has served 96,000 meals this year. He also co-sponsored legislation providing tax cuts to seniors.

Councilman Hollins' commitment to our youth is evidenced by his sponsorship of legislation appropriating funding to the Police Athletic League (PAL) Centers and the Kingswood Community Center. He has also been instrumental in providing $15 million over the years provide summer jobs for our youth.  In 2005, he sponsored legislation releasing $5 million in county funds to the city of Wilmington to be used in the city's efforts to reduce crime.   Along with the community, Mr. Hollins led the fight to save the Absalom Jones Art and Senior Center from closure. Additionally, because of the increasing need for day care services in New Castle County, Mr. Hollins sponsored legislation that eliminates government "red tape" when establishing day care centers.

Workforce Diversity
Striving to diversify the New Castle County Government workforce, Councilman Hollins developed a diversity stimulus plan through a package of legislation designed to increase minority participation in the workforce.  He kicked off his plan by sponsoring legislation to increase the job certification pool that would allow greater opportunities for women and minorities to obtain employment in the county.  He serves as New Castle County's advocate for diversity.

Memberships & Affiliations
  • Canaan Baptist Church
  • Former Ambassador to the YMCA
  • Former Board of Director of the Diamond State Sports and Learning Center
  • Former Chair of the First District Democratic City Committee
  • Former member of the Governor's Livable Delaware Affordable Housing Subcommittee
  • Former member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors
  • Former member of the Riverfront Advisory Board
  • Former Wilmington City Councilman
  • Hall of Fame - Delaware Technical and Community College
  • Life member of the Wilmington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Mother African Union Church's August Quarterly Advisory Committee
Community & Civic Awards
  • Community Advocate Award (presented by Bethel A.M.E. Beautiful Gate Outreach Center)
  • Community Leadership Award (presented by Bethel A.M.E. Church)
  • Community Service Award (presented by Rosehill Community Coalition)
  • Community Services Award (presented by Dunleith Community Center)
  • Designated Outstanding Black Delawarean (by Delaware State University)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award (presented by Delaware Technical and Community College)
  • Distinguished Service and Participation Award, Church-wide Enrichment Conference (presented by Eighth Street Baptist Church)
  • Legislative Award for Affordable Housing (presented by the Delaware Housing Coalition)
  • Leon L. Weiner Fair Housing Award (presented by Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware)
  • Life Membership Appreciation Award (presented by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - NAACP)
  • Minority Women's Organization City Service Award
  • Outstanding Leadership and Service Award (presented by National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Eastern Region Citation Awards)
  • Political Activist Award (presented by the Nu Upsilon Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity)
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award (presented by the Delaware King Memorial Foundation)
  • The Outstanding Achievements in Human and Civil Rights Award (presented by the Delaware State Education Association)
  • The Outstanding Achiever in Government and Social Services Award (presented by the Brandywine Professional Association)
  • The Toastmaster's International Communication Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievements and Contributions to Communication Excellence - The DuPont Company