One morning when I was a young single mom, I was robbed by a teenage boy at the intersection of Germantown and Berks. As he held a gun to my three year old son’s head, I remember that his hands were shaking – he was more scared than I was. So much had to go wrong for him to be there that day. When we talk about public safety, I remember that boy’s shaking hands and I think about our government’s failures. We know who the next shooter and next victim could be because we have failed them already, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, with systems that break up families rather than investing in them. I want the voters to know that I have lived every challenge that our city faces. After nearly 15 years on Council fighting for some of our poorest neighborhoods and passing transformative legislation, I know how our government works, I know where we fall short, and I’m ready to fix things. I know there’s nothing wrong with Philadelphia that we can’t fix together.
In my administration, every single city department will have a public safety plan, an anti-poverty plan, and an inclusion and economic opportunity plan. These areas represent both our greatest challenges and greatest areas of opportunity, where we can bring in national best practices, fund what works through zero-based budgeting, and invest in people to provide equitable access to affordable housing, great schools, and economic opportunity.
I am a product of North Philly and I have lived every challenge that our city faces. I grew up in public housing and watched my mother struggle. I graduated from public school and was the first in my family to go to college. I was a single mother, an educator, and a community activist. After 15 years on City Council, chairing the Appropriations Committee and tackling the toughest problems, I know how to use our city government to fix things. I believe our budget is a moral document that should reflect our values.
From my first term on Council, when I authored historic business tax reform, to the seven year process creating the Philadelphia Land Bank, to leading budget negotiations as Appropriations Committee Chair, I have demonstrated my ability to bring everyone to the negotiating table and solve problems. I learned on Council that you don’t have to agree on everything to work together, and I won my biggest victories by finding unexpected allies. As Mayor, I will provide strong leadership, galvanize our city assets, and grow the city in a more equitable and just way. We can be a city of two million which will grow our resources and allow us to provide a good quality of life even to our most vulnerable constituents.