As the title of the article states, "Under Nutter, Philly Became Awesome ... Sorry, Rendell. You've been left in the dust."
Those are some pretty strong words from Philadelphia Magazine, and obviously, no offense to Rendell. Ed Rendell was one of the main reasons Philadelphians started thinking big, and thinking differently, over 30 years ago.
The dude literally started "cleaning up" City Hall by picking up a mop and bucket back in the early 90s. Good man, Eddie.
I may be a bit biased writing about this subject, because I've always been a big supporter of Michael Nutter, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. What else can I say, he's the man. But, as someone who was raised outside of the city's limits, and has lived within the city's limits since 1997, I can say with confidence that Philadelphia's national (and international) reputation has improved by leaps and bounds.
As I have said before, and will repeat again, Philadelphia (as a big city) still has some major items to address (e.g. public schools, business taxes, property tax enforcement, etc). That's not the point of this post. The point is to show locally concerned citizens all of the positive changes Mayor Nutter has made (in less than 8 years, mind you), and the need to keep that momentum and energy moving forward; past the 2015 mayoral election, and into the future.
As for the local urban climate, here are some fantastic "Nutter Numbers":
- Philadelphia's Homicide Rate: Down 37% (Philadelphia's lowest level since 1967)
- Philadelphia's High School Graduation Rate: Up almost 4%
- Philadelphia's Associate's/Bachelor's Degree Rate: Up almost 5%
- Philadelphia's Population: Up almost 4% (Annual increases for the last 7 years in a row)
- Philadelphia's job market is better, the wage tax is lower, our city is greener and more sustainable, and we are finally being recognized as a world-class city (what's up Pope Francis, DNC, et al)!
But my personal feeling is that local residents (as well as local suburbanites) are more on board with Philadelphia than they have been in many years, and we are now all working toward making our city even better in the years to come!
2015 is a big election year for the "City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection," the list of Mayoral candidates (as well as city council candidates) is growing by the day, and more Philadelphians are realizing how important it is to vote. Since Philadelphia is a city where organized special-interest groups have majorly influenced mayoral elections for the last 50 years (umm ... we have not had a party change in our mayor since 1952 ... yup, seriously), you know there is a problem in the local political system.
So not only do we need to think long and hard about Philadelphia's next mayor, we need to also do the same for our city council members. Remember how the PGW deal fell through? Yup, city council has great power in our city too.
If you don't vote, you don't have a say. If you don't have a say, then you cannot help move our city forward. If you cannot help move our city forward, the status-quo will remain. Philadelphia's primary election is on May 19th, and the official election is on November 3rd.
Nutter has inspired others to run for mayor and city council, so please show your support and vote in 2015!
If you would like to read more about the Nutter Administration's accomplishments, known as "Tale of the Tape," the full report is here.