“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 is a lifelong Philadelphian. He was elected as Philadelphia’s 99th mayor in 2016, and is currently serving his second term. Prior to becoming Mayor, he served as an At-Large member of Philadelphia City Council for more than 20 years. As Mayor, Kenney has championed bold anti-poverty initiatives, including the expansion of free, quality pre-K; the creation of Community Schools; and significant investment in parks, recreation centres, playgrounds, and libraries. The Kenney Administration successfully led the return of the School District to local control and continues to defend Philadelphia’s values as a Welcoming City, while making significant strides in criminal justice reform. Mayor Kenney is now focusing on advancing racial justice and driving an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19 to ensure Philadelphia is a city that works for all.
After experiencing multiple years of consistent population and job growth, Philadelphia launched its Growing with Equity plan in 2019, delivering Philadelphia’s vision for Inclusive Growth to ensure that future success leaves no one behind. The inclusive growth report outlines the City’s strategies to enable growth with equity, focused on three key areas: jobs, talent, and neighborhoods. The plan ties together both current and new initiatives, including: the expansion of entrepreneurial support for people of colour, women, and immigrants; the deployment of smart business incentives; and growing industry partnerships, apprenticeships, and career skills training. At the heart of this plan is a special focus on racial equity to ensure a just and fair society in which all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented a series of unprecedented challenges for Philadelphia. The City’s response focused on protecting the health, safety, and welfare of all residents, while supporting as many businesses and workers as possible through difficult shutdowns and other impacts. Examples of these response efforts include:
PHL COVID-19 Fund, which distributed $17.5 million dollars to more than 500 local non-profit organisations that serve vulnerable people.
COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, which distributed more than $38 million to help 10,000 households remain in their homes.
Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund, which distributed $13.3 million to 2,083 small businesses, with 66 percent of funding going to minority-owned businesses.
Philadelphia Worker Relief Fund, which raised more than $1.7 million from philanthropy to provide emergency direct cash assistance to more than 2,100 workers and families.
After recognising significant disparities in case rates, hospitalisations, and deaths among African American and Latinx city residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Public Health developed an Interim Racial Equity Response Plan. The Plan addresses seven key areas of concern: access to COVID-19 testing; surveillance data; community outreach; chronic health conditions; protecting essential workers; community spread and spread in congregate settings. The Department, in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Mayor’s Office, identified key city and community stakeholders and reached out to those stakeholders for their input on the plan.