The Right Choice For Mayor

(May 2015)

On May 19th, I urge you to join me in voting for State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams for Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.  I support Tony because he supports the causes I have championed during my years of civic activism.  I support Tony because I believe his political resume and history make him uniquely qualified to take on the challenges that face our city.  Most important, I support Tony because I believe he can bridge the divides that threaten Philadelphia's future so – together -- we can move Philadelphia forward.

For two decades and more, I have crusaded for tax reform to help Philadelphia attract and retain firms and families; for budget reform to promote transparency and accountability in spending; and for ethics reforms to focus officials on serving the public and not themselves.  In this race, Tony Williams is the candidate who has displayed a depth of understanding of the importance of these issues and who has put forward a policy platform that displays a commitment to making real change on these issues.  These are the causes that I have fought for – that you have joined with me to promote -- and what Tony Williams will achieve as Mayor.

Right On Our Issues

I helped craft the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission’s plan to make Philadelphia taxation more fair and less burdensome to grow jobs and sustain neighborhoods.  Tony Williams is committed to making tax reform a reality:

“Tony will drive the Wage Tax below 3.0 percent and phase out the job-killing Business Income and Receipts Tax to attract and retain jobs and neighbors. To protect the budget and ensure that making a more competitive tax structure does not threaten crucial city services, Tony will look to tax-base growth and increasing commercial real estate taxes (through a change in the Pennsylvania Constitution) to generate additional tax revenue.”  (

I created the Bulldog Budget to show -- for the first time -- where every single dollar in the city budget goes so we can better define our priorities and change how we spend our scarce resources.  Tony Williams is committed to making budgetary transparency happen:

“As Mayor, Tony will build upon the Open Budget, and use the data we already capture to provide full transparency about government spending. This is not a new idea, and was created two years ago by then-City Controller candidate Brett Mandel to visualize government spending by agency.”  (

I campaigned for ethics reforms and won important changes to help end the pay-to-play culture that sold City Hall to the highest bidder.  Tony Williams supports extending ethics reforms beyond the areas of government under the Mayor’s purview to finally focus ALL public officials on public service instead of self service:

“He will also advocate for a City Charter amendment to make the Inspector General position permanent. Unlike the current bill in City Council, Tony proposes that the jurisdiction of the Inspector General include all elected officials and their offices, such as City Council and row offices.” (

As a bonus, I am thrilled that Tony is the only candidate who has pledged to take action to make our city a clean city.  Tony Williams is committed to ensuring that none of our neighbors will live in "Philthydelphia."   

“As Mayor, Tony will revitalize the Streets Department, and return to weekly city-wide street sweeping and aggressive pothole filling.” (

Right For Our Time

To achieve the sweeping policy victories that have eluded other mayors, our next chief executive must be a uniter, not a divider; a leader who can work with City Council and the state legislature; and a politician who is comfortable in barber shops and boardrooms alike.  Tony Williams has made One Philadelphia the theme of his campaign and I have seen his commitment to engaging all of Philadelphia in the fight for change.  

As a leader who has achieved significant victories promoting public safety, increasing funding for public education, and expanding opportunities for Philadelphians, Tony Williams has brought together community activists and corporate leaders, city Democrats and rural Republicans, and union workers and management officials to win positive changes.  As a former small-business owner, Tony Williams has the perspective to understand how government can help grow jobs in our neighborhoods.  As the only candidate in the race with significant experience as a legislator in Harrisburg, Tony Williams has a personal relationship with the legislative leaders who can help Philadelphia in so many ways.

Philadelphia confronts so many challenges -- underperforming schools, stubborn lack of growth and jobs, crime that forces too many to continue to live in fear -- in a city suffering with an unacceptable poverty rate and so many threats to the city budget that limit our ability to make positive change.  We cannot waste any more time fighting amongst ourselves as crabs in a barrel fighting tooth and nail for slivers of a shrinking pie.  (How’s that for a mixed metaphor that captures the essence of Philadelphia’s failures?)  

We need a mayor who can bridge our divides so we can grow and prosper together.

Tony Williams is committed to leading One Philadelphia -- a Philadelphia of thriving neighborhoods and a growing Center City, a Philadelphia where we fix and fund all our public schools, and a Philadelphia where respect for both law enforcement and communities across the city is shared and sincere. 

On May 19th, I hope you will join with me to support Anthony Hardy Williams for Mayor of the City of Philadelphia to help us make one better educated Philadelphia, one safer Philadelphia, one cleaner Philadelphia, one more prosperous Philadelphia -- the One Philadelphia we deserve and the One Philadelphia we will build together.