Philadelphia Mayor Focuses on Schools, Gun Violence in Inaugural Address

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In his inaugural address Monday, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter promised to focus on making neighborhoods safer and schools better in his second term.

It was a strikingly focused speech, in contrast to the broad-based agenda Nutter offered when he took office in 2008.

In his speech at the Academy of Music, Nutter didn't spend much time talking about his first-term achievements or capitalizing on Philadelphia's assets. He didn't talk about business taxes, pension costs, labor contracts, city planning, property assessments, public housing or a host of other issues that have occupied his attention over the course of his first term.

Instead, Nutter focused on two big problems he says are holding the city back.

He said the city must confront the plague of gun violence in the city's neighborhoods. Of the more than 300 people murdered in Philadelphia last year, Nutter said, "nearly 75 percent of those killed? African-American men. Nearly 80 percent of those doing killing? African-American men."

Nutter called it "a local and national epidemic that is insufficiently discussed, let alone taken on."

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