WRITTEN BY: NATE WEAVER
For months it seemed inevitable—Jim Kenney is the new mayor of Philadelphia. After winning 85 percent of the popular vote in Philadelphia, the largest percentage gap in Philadelphia mayoral history according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Kenney prepares to take office, there are some issues in the city to keep in mind.
“Public safety, education, and poverty” Patrick Christmas, senior policy analyst at the committee of seventy said. “They always seem to be the big three big city mayors have to take on.”
Something Kenney has said that he wants to change is the policy of “stop and frisk” within the police department. This policy gives police the ability to stop anyone walking on the street, if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person they approached is engaged in some sort of illegal behavior.
According to his website, Kenney advocates the use of focused deterrence strategies which he defines as strategies which increase the police departments’ “certainty, swiftness, and severity of punishment in different ways.”
Kenney also wants to increase the trust between the police and the citizens. He advocates for officer use of body cameras to help the safety of the police officers as well as to preserve a primary source of evidence should any police brutality complaints arise from an incident.
Lauren Carboni, a freshman at Temple, agrees that the use of the body cameras will be beneficial to not only the police officers, but the safety of the citizens in the community. However, Carboni told me that she does not think the cameras are worth the money from an economic standpoint.
Kenney wants to give principals and school administrations the opportunity to meet with himself and city department leaders, giving schools a chance to communicate what resources they need to provide high-quality education.
In his victory speech, Kenney mentioned that the economy would be the key to overcoming poverty rates, which now top 26 percent, the highest in the 10 biggest cities in the United States, according to census data.
“If we build an economy for all of Philadelphia, then we will not only grow our commercial corridors and provide a real path for returning citizens, we will break the cycle of poverty for so many families,” Kenney said.
Jim Kenney begins his term as Philadelphia’s 125th mayor on January 4, 2016.