“I am proud to join OECD’s Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative because I am committed to reducing Philadelphia’s poverty rate and promoting inclusive economic growth in Philadelphia. Mayors face the consequences of economic inequalities every day and it is refreshing to see global leaders come together to find solutions for our residents. Together, we can learn from each other to improve the lives of the people we serve.”
– Mayor Kenney
Mayor Jim Kenney grew up the oldest of four children in a South Philadelphia rowhome. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, both worked second jobs to help their children pursue their education and, in 1980, Jim became the first in his family to graduate from college. Just a decade later, Philadelphians elected him to serve as a City Councilman At-Large and, over the next twenty years, Jim stood up for Philadelphia’s working families and progressive policies. On January 4, 2016, Jim was sworn in as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia.
In his first budget, the Mayor worked closely with City Council to fund bold anti-poverty initiatives – including expansion of quality pre-k, the creation of 25 community schools and $500M investment in parks, rec centres and libraries – by making Philadelphia the first major city to pass a tax on sweetened beverages. In his first year, the Mayor also increased efforts to spur economic growth in the city’s commercial corridors, launching a capital consortium for small businesses, creating a small business coach program, and expanding support, including financial grants and loans, to small and immigrant businesses. The City finished 2016 with the lowest crime rate in nearly 40 years.
The Mayor has committed to Philadelphia continuing to honour the Paris Accord, and has created a World-Style Soccer Tournament called the “Unity Cup” to celebrate the city’s diversity and bring different neighborhoods together. Philadelphia has made significant strides in criminal justice reform. The City reduced its prison population by nearly 20% as part of the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge.
Building on his administration’s early commitment to education, the Mayor recently launched an effort to return the School District to local control and provide adequate financial funding resources for teachers and students, so that every Philadelphian has a quality school in their neighborhood.