At the Chamber’s 2017 Mayoral Luncheon, Mayor Jim Kenney addressed over 1,400 members of the Greater Philadelphia business community as he discussed the successes of our shared Roadmap for Growth, opportunities for economic prosperity, and how the business community can partner with the City to help overcome our challenges challenges and improve Philadelphia.
Mayor Jim Kenney’s Remarks
Thank you, John, for that introduction and for inviting me to speak. I would like to acknowledge the members of City Council who are here today, as well as Rob Wonderling, David Cohen and the Gustave G. Amsterdam winners: Fakira Awawdeh and Widchard Faustin.
Please also join me in thanking Comcast for sponsoring this event and all of the other Chamber board members, event sponsors and staff, including those serving lunch, for making this long-standing tradition possible. Let’s give them all a round of applause.
It’s an honor to be here today to deliver my second annual address to the Chamber of Commerce. When I came here last year, I laid out a very ambitious goal for a city that has found itself in a very unique position. After several difficult decades, Philadelphia has finally gotten its due.
Our crime rate is at a 40 year low, millennial and immigrant growth are on the rise, and we are at the top of the list for travel destinations and restaurant hot spots. But we are also at the top of another list: Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of the top ten largest cities in America.
This poverty problem is so tremendous that it is impossible for government and the nonprofit sector to fix it on their own. So at this address last year, I asked all of Philadelphia’s citizens, elected officials, businesses, and nonprofits to look past our differences and work together to overcome poverty. I have to admit that even I feared that goal might be overly ambitious. But, over the last year, I’m pleased to say that I watched government and business repeatedly come together in the interest of Philadelphia.
The Chamber and David Cohen, specifically, were some of the earliest, loudest, and constant advocates for the many benefits of pre-k. Their advocacy made a tremendous difference in our successful efforts to expand pre-K to families across Philadelphia. The PNC Foundation a