Over a year ago, the people of this city voted for the bold vision that I promised – to make Philadelphia the Safest, Cleanest, and Greenest Big City in America with Access to Economic Opportunity for All. While we’re just getting started, this budget is a huge step to making good on that promise to the people! 

I’ve often said that I can’t do this alone. Without the partnership of and collaboration with City Council, all under the steady and serious leadership of Council President Johnson, this wouldn’t be possible. I’m proud that early this morning, working with Council President Johnson and Council members, we made great strides toward our big and bold vision for the City. 

 As many of you know, I’m someone who sweats the details and holds myself and my team to the highest standards – there’s no “easy A” with me, that’s for sure. So, I went back to my budget address to see what kind of grade we should get and if we delivered on what I promised. 

First, I promised no new taxes. Not only did we deliver on that, we also worked with Council to implement additional relief measures to protect homeowners from rising property tax bills and we are investing resources to make sure we get the word out to residents – all the relief programs in the world don’t make a difference if people don’t know about and enroll in them.  

I promised that we would be laser-focused and unapologetic about improving public safety. We are full-steam ahead on implementing the Public Safety Plan released by Commissioner Bethel on Day 100.  Residents are already seeing the impact of that plan, with more officers walking the beat, steady progress in our efforts to combat gun violence, and targeted responses to persistent quality-of-life issues. 

With City Council’s partnership, we’re also investing additional resources to support our community-based organizations doing great work every day to prevent  violence – a key prong of my Prevention, Intervention, and Enforcement, or PIE, approach to public safety. 

I told Philadelphians that this budget wasn’t just about new money, but also new approaches to how the City delivers services. We’re hard at work delivering on that promise, starting with our “One Philly, A United City Citywide Cleaning and Greening Program”.  This program will help address quality-of-life issues and end the phrase “Filthadelphia” once and for all. We’re coming to a block near you this summer and we’re just getting started! 

I promised to provide access to economic opportunity for all. I know City Council shares the view that economic growth is how we address poverty and is the best violence prevention tool around. 

We’re building ladders to opportunity by: 

  • Expanding the ranks of our PHL Taking Care of Business program; 
  • Standing up a first-in-the-nation City College for Municipal Employment at Community College of Philadelphia – building our own talent pipeline and putting people on a path to self-sufficiency
  • Investing in workforce development and employer partnerships that include commitments to employment, not just a revolving door of training programs 

I promised that we would start advancing toward my goal of 30,000 units of housing through new construction, preservation, and repair. Our budget makes meaningful investments in each of those pathways. We’re pairing those investments with new approaches such as important changes at the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Land Bank that are disrupting the status quo, breaking down silos, and making government work better for people. 

I promised that we would innovate to provide a world-class education for students of all ages and backgrounds. We will soon announce the first 20 schools in our commitment to provide young people with extended-day, extended-year enrichment and career development opportunities. We’re working with the School District, charter schools, and other education stakeholders to lead a historic, unified push in Harrisburg for additional state funding. The days of settling for crumbs are over – our students deserve a full loaf, and we’re going to make sure they get it. 

Finally, I said in March that I hoped my Administration and City Council would work together to implement a budget for the people of Philadelphia. Last night and this morning, we’re showing the people of Philadelphia that we did what we set out to do which was to agree on a historic One Philly Budget that makes deep investments in our City and its residents. 

This is just the beginning. We’re just getting started and there is so much more to do. Together, let’s make Philly the Safest, Cleanest, Greenest Big City with Economic Opportunity for All.