Penn IUR and the School of Social Policy & Practice welcomed SP2 Senior Fellow Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, on three dates in March and April for a series of Urban Talks. Discussing his experience campaigning locally and holding office as both a City Councilman and Mayor of Philadelphia, Nutter shared insights on the path to public service and the responsibility of governing. Supplementing his talk with video clips and newspaper clippings, he highlighted key moments in his career and Philadelphia’s history.
In his second talk, “Getting Stuff Done in a Big City: From Daily Duties to Crisis Management”, Nutter transitioned between day-to-day practices of good governance and handling unexpected calamities. Directing the police commissioner to draft a new crime reduction strategy contributed to a 31% drop in homicides by the time he left office. The creation of two new positions that dealt explicitly with issues of integrity and transparency created an anti-corruption culture in city hall. Unexpected turns, however, are unavoidable for any mayor, Nutter stressed. The deaths of four Philadelphia police officers in the line of duty underscored the more difficult human side of the job. When the Recession hit in the first year of his term, the city was forced to cut services and renegotiate contracts, all while trying not to lay off any workers. By the end of his second term, however, the city has seen considerable successes: eight straight years of population growth, an increased high school graduation rate, an upgraded bond rating, and a construction boom in Center City. Despite the progress made, there are still unsolved problems of poverty, racism, and income inequality that run deeper than one mayor can fix.
Watch the Video: Urban Talks with Michael Nutter: Getting Stuff Done in a Big City
Join Penn IUR and Social Policy and Practice for the second of three urban talks with Senior Fellow, Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of the City of Philadelphia to discuss, “Getting Stuff Done in a Big City: From Daily Duties to Crisis Management”. For any successful mayor, the snow must be removed, traffic burdens must be relieved, water must be drinkable. Problem-solving pragmatism is essential, and as a successful two-term mayor, Michael Nutter will share his experiences in making things work better than they had before. He will also discuss why mayoring holds more satisfactions and potential achievements than our fractious American political system would have us believe. He knows what the ingredients for effective local politics are, how better to combine them, and how to put them to maximum use.