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05/27/2024 12:22 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
Home / Members of the Senate / Member Information

Nikil Saval

Senate District 1  
Democrat (Term Expires: 2024) serving Philadelphia (part) County.

Committee Assignments

Urban Affairs & Housing , Minority Chair
Environmental Resources & Energy
Intergovernmental Operations

Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

View my 2023-2024 session co-sponsorship memoranda

Sponsored Legislation

View my 2023-2024 session sponsored legislation



State Senator


Senator Nikil Saval is a father, husband, writer, and organizer representing Pennsylvania’s First Senatorial District, which lies in the heart of Philadelphia.

Saval’s commitment to solidarity and justice for working people, and his skill at coalition building, carried him from his roots as a labor organizer to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, where he currently serves as Democratic Chair of the Senate’s Urban Affairs & Housing Committee and Chair of the Senate’s Philadelphia Delegation. Saval has focused his legislative work on critical response to Pennsylvania’s ongoing housing, mass incarceration, wage, and climate crises, while simultaneously pushing for deep structural change so that communities across the Commonwealth have the resources and support they need to thrive. One of his important legislative victories is the groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs Program, which establishes a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization in each county in Pennsylvania while building up a local workforce and creating new, family-sustaining jobs in a growing field.

As a writer, Saval has published extensively in The New York Times and The New Yorker, covering architecture, design, and housing. Saval previously served as co-editor of the literary journal n+1 and currently serves on its board of directors. In 2014, Saval published his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, in which he examined the long-term evolution of the office from its roots in 19th century counting houses all the way to the cubicle, ultimately presenting a world in which workplaces, and the lives of the workers within them, can be improved in the future. Saval has continued to write while in office. A recent op-ed features his analysis of Pennsylvania’s bloated criminal legal system. After the death of Daniel Ellsberg, Saval reflected on his life and political legacy in an article in n+1.

Saval’s parents immigrated to the United States from Bangalore, India. In 1982, the year Saval was born, his parents opened a pizza restaurant, where Saval spent much of his childhood and adolescence. The employees of the restaurant were immigrants of all statuses, and Saval’s parents helped many of them secure documentation. His family’s experiences, as immigrants and as small business owners, were formative for Saval, giving shape to his perspective on workers’ rights and his first experiences with solidarity.

Since taking office, Saval has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named Champion of the Year (by Rebuilding Together), Outstanding Public Servant for Pennsylvania (by the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance), Elected Official of the Year (by Liberty Resources), and Urbanist Changemaker of the Year (by 5th Square). Saval has also been recognized for Championing Increased Funding for Affordable Housing (by the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations) and with an Equal Justice Award (from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia). In addition, Saval has been listed in Philadelphia Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and City & State PA’s Philly Power 100 List and earned a 100% on Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania’s scorecard.

Saval is proud to be raising his sons, Ishaan and Mayukh, in South Philadelphia with his wife, Shannon Garrison, a historic preservationist. Saval is fighting for a Philadelphia and Pennsylvania that work for everyone.