Mayor Kenney and Administration Officials Present Vision for Inclusive Growth
PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Kenney today unveiled “Growing with Equity: Philadelphia’s Vision for Inclusive Growth” to share the administration’s plans to support continued economic growth in a way that improves the lives of all Philadelphia residents. Administration officials joined the Mayor to outline the City’s strategies for advancing growth with equity, focused on three key areas: jobs, talent, and neighborhoods.
“Growing with Equity” sets forth an agenda that ensures Philadelphia is a dynamic and diverse city that attracts, retains, and grows employers who can offer career pathways and economic opportunities to the city’s residents. After decades of managing decline, Philadelphia is now experiencing a new trend of consistent job and population growth, and must harness its momentum to ensure that the benefits of this success reach people in every corner of the city.
“While our city has experienced unprecedented growth, investment, and attention in recent years, I know that many Philadelphians are still struggling,” said Mayor Kenney. “We must continue to foster economic growth, and do so in ways that reduce inequality and empower our residents. For Philadelphia to truly thrive, we need to be diligent in creating conditions that make a real difference for those who have been left behind, so that all of our residents can be part of the city’s economy.”
Goals and Strategies for Inclusive Growth
The inclusive growth plan ties together new initiatives and current City programs into a framework that advances growth with equity. It is structured around three goals, with several strategies aligned with each. Goals and strategies in “Growing with Equity” include:
Goal 1: Grow the economy to create family-sustaining jobs for all Philadelphians
- Establish a Business Acceleration Team and improve customer service
- Eliminate Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) filing for small businesses
- Expand entrepreneurial supports for people of color, women, and immigrants
- Build global identity
- Deploy smart business incentives
- Invest in logistics, distribution, and transportation infrastructure
- Identify cluster-based growth strategy
Goal 2: Prepare Philadelphians for jobs that pay family-sustaining wages
- Invest in quality pre-K and early childhood education
- Invest in a quality K-12 system
- Grow industry partnerships, apprenticeships, and career skills training
- Improve degree completion
- Create a diverse talent pool for tech
- Reimagine neighborhood job hubs
- Increase labor force participation and economic mobility
Goal 3: Encourage equitable growth in neighborhoods without displacement
- Maintain housing affordability and renter protections
- Invest in neighborhood assets
- Sustain strong development market
- Simplify and expand homeownership and housing programs
At the heart of the City’s vision for inclusive growth is a focus on racial equity. Racial equity reflects a just and fair society in which all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential; and if racial equity is achieved, racial disparities in health, education, wealth, and other areas would not exist. Not only are the strategies in “Growing with Equity” aimed at reducing disparities for people of color, the City is also committed to breaking down data to better track the progress made in reducing these disparities.
The City has established six key indicators to monitor the success of its inclusive growth efforts. The indicators are intentionally ambitious and span across 10 years in recognition that economic health cannot be changed overnight and requires progress in many areas — education, employment, wages, homeownership, and more. Key 10-year indicators for success include:
- Close the gap between Philadelphia’s median household income and the nationwide median household income.
- Continue outpacing the nationwide job growth rate.
- Close the gap in the unemployment rate between Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents and White residents.
- Close the gap in median income between Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents and White residents.
- Close the gap in educational attainment between Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents and White residents.
- Decrease the number of people in poverty by 100,000.
An implementation team will be responsible for directing the full execution and evaluation of the strategies. This cross-departmental team will be led by the Mayor’s Office with representation from: the Department of Commerce, Planning and Development, Managing Director’s Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Office of the Director of Finance, and others as needed. In addition to leading execution and tracking progress, the team will convene stakeholders quarterly to provide updates and gather feedback. They will also report out to the Mayor and the public annually.
Support for Growing with Equity
Mayor Kenney also called on political leadership at the state, local, and federal levels, as well as a network of businesses, community agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits, to be ambassadors for this inclusive growth agenda. Many local leaders have already expressed support for the strategies outlined in “Growing with Equity.”
“The release of Mayor Kenney’s new agenda confirms there is an unprecedented solidarity among government, business, nonprofits, and the public that Philadelphia must adopt an inclusive, pro-growth strategy to address its biggest challenges,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO of Independence Health Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “As detailed in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Growth Project’s (PHL-NGP) recently released Inclusive Growth Policy agenda, addressing the too high poverty that limits what the city can achieve will require a broad approach that includes workforce development and education improvements, public safety and addiction efforts, and investments in our communities and its people. We look forward to working in partnership with the Mayor and his administration to ensure that every neighborhood, every community, every family, every resident, and every child feels they have equal opportunity to share in Philadelphia’s prosperity.”
“As the city’s college, we’re deeply committed to building a pipeline of talent to opportunity. At the Community College of Philadelphia, we have the privilege of seeing first-hand the immense talent and ambitions of our residents, said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, President of the Community College of Philadelphia. “With the leadership of Mayor Kenney, we see it as our responsibility to prepare our students with the skills and know-how to not only get jobs, but also enter lifelong fulfilling careers. I applaud Mayor Kenney for investing in education from pre-K through to the K-16 public system and releasing a bold economic vision for a dynamic and diverse city that grows with equity.”
“To grow Philadelphia equitably, it’s critical to expand affordable housing choices in every neighborhood, and prevent displacement of homeowners, renters, and small businesses,” said Beth McConnell, Policy Director at the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC). “That’s because a truly inclusive growth strategy improves quality of life and opportunity for Philadelphians that have been hurt most from inequality and economic decline. Philadelphia is well positioned to chart a new path of truly inclusive growth, and PACDC looks forward to working with the Kenney administration to realize that vision.”
Growing with Equity: Philadelphia’s Vision for Inclusive Growth is available online at phila.gov/inclusive-growth.