About Paul Steinke

A life-long resident of the city, Paul grew up in a middle-class family in the Burholme section of Northeast Philadelphia. His mother, a church secretary and later a clerk at Tastykake, and his father, a sales representative, instilled in him the values, principles and devotion to his city that inspire him to make his community a better place. From an early age, Paul took a keen interest in the stature and image of his hometown, which grew into a passion that has propelled him to a long record of leadership and activism in the community. Now, at age 50, Paul wants to apply his leadership and professional experience to move the great city of Philadelphia forward into a new era of growth and prosperity.

Paul’s proven commitment to public service derives from a belief that every person, regardless of his or her race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, deserves an equal opportunity to achieve personal and professional success and happiness here in the City of Brotherly Love. Since his days serving as the first Finance Director of the Center City District to his previous role managing the Reading Terminal Market, Paul has always remained committed to what he believes is a civic duty to advocate for a more just, humane and prosperous city.

Paul believes that discrimination, in any form, must be eliminated. As an active member of the LGBT community, Paul understands that individuals who are a part of a marginalized or minority group face serious obstacles in receiving adequate health care, education, and economic equality. From 2007, when he chaired the first of two consecutive Human Rights Campaign dinners, to today, as a member of the board of directors of the William Way LGBT Community Center, Paul has established a long record of volunteerism and activism that reflects his character and principles.

After briefly working as an economist after college, Paul signed on with Central Philadelphia Development Corporation to assist in their efforts to get the Center City District up and running. He remained with the CCD for seven years as Finance Director, playing a central role in the organization’s emergence as a powerful agent of positive change for Philadelphia’s once struggling downtown area. Paul then became the first Executive Director of the University City District, which under his leadership became known as the most effective neighborhood special services district in the city, strengthening the community’s sense of cleanliness, safety and morale. From 2001 to 2014, Paul led the Reading Terminal Market, propelling its growth as one of the nation’s most successful public markets and a special place that welcomes people of all walks of life into a setting that celebrates the diversity of our city and its people every day.

Paul attended Northeast High School, where was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Megaphone. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Economics from Penn State University. While at Penn State, he spent a year studying abroad at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, an experience that opened his eyes to the wonders of the world as well as to its persistent pockets of injustice and poverty.

Paul is in a committed relationship with his partner of 20 years, David Ade, an architect with a practice based in Center City. They have a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Libby. Paul’s older brother, Bill, is a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, and his younger brother Glenn, a manager in the pharmaceutical industry. In his spare time, Paul spends time with friends and family, cheers for the Phillies and Eagles, reads the local papers, and tries to get to the gym as much as possible. He also enjoys spending time exploring Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods.