Mayor Kenney Outlines Core Priorities for Final Year of Administration’s Term
Jan 16, 2023 - 07:47 AM
PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney released a report, Equity and Opportunity for All: Moving Philadelphia Forward, outlining the Administration’s core priorities in the final year of his eight-year term.
“For the past seven years, our Administration has endeavored every day to deliver on our promise to tackle the city’s most daunting challenges, and our work will continue to my very last day as Mayor,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Despite our city’s grave challenges, I am proud of the progress we have made, and I am continually inspired by the courage and resilience Philadelphians have shown, especially in the wake of the pandemic that turned life upside for all of us. As we enter the final year of my Administration, our core priorities are: enhancing public safety; increasing the quality of life and building thriving neighborhoods across the city; supporting a strong foundation for Philadelphia youth through historic investments; and driving inclusive growth and economic opportunity to build a thriving economy that benefits everyone.”
The report reflects Mayor Kenney’s unwavering commitment to fight for the future of all Philadelphians, regardless of their neighborhood or zip code. While this work continues apace across City government, nowhere is the Mayor’s promise more important than in his ongoing efforts to combat the pervasive gun violence plaguing our streets. The Kenney Administration continues to lead a comprehensive and coordinated approach that includes historic investments in public safety and the strategic redeployment of police and resources to neighborhoods most affected by gun crime.
At the same time, the Administration will continue to build thriving neighborhoods, make historic investments in the city’s youth, and drive a more fair and vibrant economy premised on equity and opportunity for all. Highlights of the report include:
Doubling Down on Public Safety
Combating the scourge of gun violence remains Mayor Kenney’s top priority in the final year of his Administration. One life lost to gun violence is too many, and the Mayor is committed to making Philadelphia a safer place for all who call this city home.
- Operation Pinpoint – Last month, Mayor Kenney and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) announced the redeployment of at least 100 additional officers, starting on Monday, January 9, 2023, to neighborhoods currently experiencing the highest rates of gun crime. This historic redeployment of officers is coupled with a recently-completed realignment of the PPD’s Operation Pinpoint, which is based on data identifying violence “hotspots” across Philadelphia. Together, these measures will boost police presence and target high-risk offenders, while aiding potential victims, in the four police districts that cumulatively accounted for 43 percent of all gun violence in Philadelphia last year.
- Historic Investments – The Administration dedicated $340 million in FY2022 and FY2023–more than any other Administration in history–to the fight against gun violence. With these investments, the City has seized 6,000 guns in each of the last two years, and continues to partner with state and federal law enforcement agencies to hold Philadelphia’s most violent offenders accountable.
- Clearance Rates – The City is implementing new technologies and improved forensic capabilities to increase clearance rates for shootings. The Administration also created the new Shooting Investigations Group to boost clearance rates for non-fatal shootings and launched an innovative Gun Violence DNA program to improve the effectiveness of investigations.
- Prevention and Intervention – The Administration continues to focus its prevention and intervention efforts on those most likely to be the cause, or the victims of, gun violence. This includes a new public-private partnership to serve at-risk individuals and increasing access to social and job training programs for those most impacted by gun crime. The City, meanwhile, will continue to ensure that public safety strategies are developed with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and don’t result in unintended consequences for historically disinvested communities.
Building Thriving Neighborhoods
Mayor Kenney is committed to enhancing quality of life across the City by making safe, clean streets and neighborhood assets like parks, recreation centers and libraries a reality for all Philadelphians.
- Rebuild – The Administration continues to deliver Rebuild transformations by ensuring that 80 percent of the city’s low-income families live within one mile of a newly renovated recreation center, library or playground. Already, improvements to 13 facilities have been completed, and 21 buildings are either under or preparing for construction, with 35 more in public engagement or design.
- Opioid and Homeless Response – Using funds from the Opioid Settlement, the Kenney Administration is working to move 1,000 individuals off of the streets and into housing. The City also continues the daily work of addressing the challenges facing communities disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis through its Opioid Response Unit.
- Neighborhood Services – Another goal for 2023 is expanding Saturday service at 10 neighborhood libraries and all 150 recreation centers, so all neighborhoods have a safe place for kids to learn and play on the weekend. In its final year, the Administration will continue to invest in housing and neighborhood services by helping 900 households afford first homes, making 4,500 critical home repairs, and producing 2,000 units of permanent affordable housing.
Investing in Future Generations
Mayor Kenney believes deeply in the importance of quality education, and his Administration continues to make unprecedented investments at all levels of learning.
- PHLpreK – The Administration is continuing to expand access to quality education, especially for the city’s youngest learners. Through the PHLpreK initiative, 15,000 three- and four-year-olds will gain a head start to strong early learning opportunities since the program’s launch in 2017.
- Octavius Catto Scholarship – The City continues to support a path to living-wage careers through the Octavius Catto Scholarship at the Community College of Philadelphia. Nearly 1,000 students are currently receiving free tuition and basic-needs assistance while working toward economic independence.
- Career Readiness – The Administration is partnering with public high schools to connect up to 5,000 students with meaningful work-based learning experiences, such as credentialing, service learning, and internships. The City is also working to amplify adult-education resources, including YourNextStep.org, a comprehensive tool that helps career seekers navigate the many resources, services, and programs available.
Driving Inclusive Growth and Economic Opportunity
Mayor Kenney is leveraging Philadelphia’s strong financial position to generate additional growth for all Philadelphians and advance his vision to create an equitable city where race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, income or neighborhood do not predict outcomes for its residents.
- Tax Reductions – Mayor Kenney is committed to make Philadelphia as competitive as possible through continued cuts to business and wage taxes. The City, meanwhile, maintains an ‘A’ credit bond rating and robust pension funding, while the Administration continues to build on the success of the Inclusive Growth Coalition to advocate for citywide job and business growth.
- Racial Equity – The Administration is leveraging funds from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to launch a new partnership with the public and private sector aimed at supercharging efforts to grow wealth in Black and brown communities. The Mayor also continues work to embed racial equity as an explicit governing principle across all City policies, services, and operations.
- Life Sciences – The City is working with our partners in Philadelphia’s Chambers of Commerce and across academia to maintain growth in the life science and gene and cell therapy sectors, where our region has become an international leader.
Mayor Kenney’s full Priorities for the Final Year Report is available online.
Source: City of Philadelphia
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