Meet Nikil

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Hi! I’m Nikil. I’m a father, husband, writer, and community organizer—and I’m proud to call Philadelphia home. It’s where my wife, Shannon, and I are raising our two boys, Ishaan and Mayukh, and where I’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with working families from day one. Since being elected to represent the First District in the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2020, I’ve continued to fight for a city and Commonwealth that works for the many and not just the few.

Nikil's Story

Nikil is the son of immigrant parents from Bangalore, India. In 1982,
Nikil’s parents opened a deep-dish pizza restaurant that became the
backdrop to Nikil’s childhood and adolescence. Growing up in a family of
immigrants and small business owners, Nikil saw firsthand the values of
solidarity, community, and hard work.

In the Trenches From Day One

Nikil’s organizing is deeply rooted in the labor movement. From 2009 to 2013, he volunteered as a labor organizer with UNITE HERE, organizing boycotts against luxury hotel developers to promote the rights of hotel workers and helping to win back the jobs of noontime aides laid off because of Governor Tom Corbett’s budget cuts.

After emerging as a local leader in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, Nikil co-founded Reclaim Philadelphia, an organization committed to advancing racial, gender, and economic justice throughout the Philadelphia area. In 2018, Nikil was elected leader of South Philadelphia’s Second Ward, becoming the first Asian American to hold the position of Ward Leader in Philadelphia and continuing his work of building a more progressive Democratic Party.

A Philadelphia & Pennsylvania That Works for All

In 2020, Nikil was elected to represent the First District in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Since assuming office, Nikil has been leading the way on housing, climate, and worker justice. He’s been one of the strongest advocates for fully funding Pennsylvania schools, consistently shown up for and with workers on the picket line, and received the highest grade in the Senate from the ACLU for his votes against bills that will increase mass incarceration.

In 2022, Nikil introduced the Whole-Home Repairs Act, resulting in the creation of the Whole-Home Repairs Program with $125 million in Pennsylvania’s 2022–2023 budget. Nikil has garnered bipartisan support and national recognition for this groundbreaking program, creating a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization for residents in each county in Pennsylvania. You can read more about Nikil’s accomplishments here.

With your support, we can continue the fight to build a Philadelphia and Pennsylvania that works for the many, not the few. Join us today!

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Accomplishments

As your State Senator, Nikil works every day to deliver on a bold vision for Pennsylvania’s working families. Here are some highlights of what we’ve accomplished in Nikil’s first term.

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Showing Up for You and Your Neighbors Every Day

  • Corresponded with more than 34,000 constituents concerning legislative positions and priorities, resources and services, and community requests
  • Serviced the most rental assistance applications in the entire state in 2021 and hosted the most pop-up vaccine clinics of any elected official in the city the same year
  • Hosted and attended over 300 community events to meet our community members right where they are at—from resource fairs for senior constituents, to starting an annual Thanksgiving Giveaway of meal kits to neighbors, to multilingual workshops, and more
  • Stood in solidarity with labor unions including PMA Union, United Academics of Philadelphia, Starbucks Workers United, 32BJ SEIU, SEIU Healthcare PA, UNITE HERE Local 274, UNITE HERE Local 634, TAUP, TUGSA, Teamsters Local 623, PASNAP, and CIR SEIU.

Securing Critical Resources for Our District

In 2020, Nikil ran on a promise to use public money for public good, and since coming to office, Nikil has brought back more than $119 million in state grants for projects that improve public spaces; grow local jobs; support cultural, educational, and health institutions; and make Philadelphia’s built environment more resilient—for the benefit of his constituents and all Philadelphians.

Delivering Solutions and Fighting for a More Equitable Commonwealth

Nikil has introduced and co-sponsored 44 bills and resolutions. He is committed to introducing, supporting, and passing legislation that helps meet the real material needs of people throughout Pennsylvania; makes our built environment stronger, safer, and more resilient; and advances civil rights and cultural recognition.

For example, in Summer 2022 as a first-year legislator in a minority party, Saval led the creation and passage of the most comprehensive affordable housing and climate justice initiatives in Pennsylvania history, securing $125 million to launch the groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs Program. This program positioned Pennsylvania as a national leader in preserving aging homes and creating new jobs in the growing green energy economy. Saval was invited to Washington, DC twice to talk about how Whole-Home Repairs works and what it could mean for aging homes across the country.

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