Mayor Jim Kenney delivered his fifth annual address on Tuesday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to over 1,300 members of Greater Philadelphia’s business community.

The Mayor outlined top priorities for his administration, including violence prevention, quality education, safer and cleaner streets, inclusive growth, and making local government diverse, efficient, and effective.

Violence Prevention

“There is nothing more important to me than creating a safer and more just city.” — Mayor Jim Kenney

“Combining data-driven and community-informed approaches that have successfully reduced violence in other major cities,” Mayor Kenney recognized Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, for helping to lead these efforts in increasing public safety.

Quality Education

“Investing in the future generation of Philadelphians is the only way we can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and ensure that our employers have a talent pool they can tap into as they grow.” — Mayor Jim Kenney

Building off of his first term’s successes, Mayor Kenney reiterated that his administration is prioritizing providing quality education — from pre-K to post-secondary — for ALL Philadelphians. He gave a shout-out to a few Chamber-specific and -supported programs and initiatives, such as Read to Me: Early Literacy Program, Future Ready: Career Pathways for Middle School Students, and WorkReady, and teased items from his budget address next month.

Safer and Cleaner Streets

“We must ensure that our streets are safer and cleaner.” — Mayor Jim Kenney

Changing the narrative of “Philthadelphia,” Mayor Kenney’s administration will focus on outcomes for safer and cleaner streets, including expanding street sweeping to every Philadelphia neighborhood by 2023. He also gave a shout-out to Councilmember Cherelle Parker’s PHL Taking Care of Business program, which will help ensure that business corridors are “clean, inviting places where businesses thrive.” The Chamber supports the PHL Taking Care of Business program, as it will create 300 new jobs, attract businesses, and decrease crime.

Inclusive Growth

“Philadelphia is a city where passion drives possibility.” — Mayor Jim Kenney

Highlighting public-private partnerships, sector-based growth opportunities, and business expansion efforts, Mayor Kenney recognized that releasing the Business Owners’ Bill of Rights in partnership with the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and PHL Neighborhood Growth Project, recent changes to the Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT), and establishing a Business Acceleration Team are steps in the right direction to establish a narrative that Philadelphia is “open for business.”

Making Local Government More Diverse, Efficient, and Effective

“…[W]e will build upon the City’s current financial stability to modernize services, further diversify our workforce and contracts, prioritize quality customer service, and adopt a racial equity lens across City policies and services.” — Mayor Jim Kenney

Mayor Kenney concluded his address with a positive note, expressing that he was “excited for the future of Philadelphia” and that “now is the time to celebrate what makes us a world-class city.”

Other Highlights

Our President & CEO Rob Wonderling welcomed attendees and thanked sponsors for their support of this signature event. Our Board Chair Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO, Independence Health Group, highlighted priorities Mayor Kenney’s administration shares with the business community. David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation, recognized two Philadelphia high school students, Sabab Bhuiyan and Jasmine Tran, with the Gustave G. Amsterdam Leadership Award and announced Philadelphia’s bid for the 2026 World Cup: “For the love of the game.”

For more information about the 2026 World Cup bid, contact phlsports@discoverPHL.com.