9 interviews with former and aspiring Philadelphia mayors

 During a February interview with NinetyNine, Mayor Michael Nutter said it's important to consider his potential successors in the context of unexpected-event response, akin to last week's train derailment. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

During a February interview with NinetyNine, Mayor Michael Nutter said it's important to consider his potential successors in the context of unexpected-event response, akin to last week's train derailment. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Over the course of the primary season, NinetyNine spoke one-on-one with each of the candidates, as well as a former and current mayor.

Did you miss those interviews? Fear not. We’ve collected them in this here post for your reading pleasure:

Lynne Abraham

First and foremost, I’d be the first woman, if elected, to serve [as mayor] in 334 years.

Women have real power, and this their opportunity to exercise it.

It’s also an opportunity for men to realize and accept that if Angela Merkel can run Germany, and Christine Lagarde can run the International Monetary Fund and Janet Yellen can run the Federal Reserve [System], Lynne Abraham can run the city of Philadelphia.

Nelson Diaz

What bothers me is Citizens United.

To allow, and to believe, that a corporation is a person that has a First Amendment right, and to allow them to spend as much money as they want. It’s related to the entire process. It’s not a good thing for this country to put that kind of money into politics. You can’t beat the Koch Brothers.

If we were running a race like the one run by Nutter, we’d have more money than [Jim Kenney or Anthony Hardy Williams].

Jim Kenney

Pretty clearly, [the current mayor/council relationship] is somewhat dysfunctional.

I like Mike Nutter. I admire the job that he’s done. There are areas of change that he’s brought about that were very significant and we’re not going backwards if I’m there, on ethics, campaign finance, sustainability and neighborhood involvement on planning, those sorts of things. He’s done an admirable job.

I just think the relationship between mayor and council needs to be more inclusive and you need to be a help to them so they can be of help to you.

Doug Oliver

We are blessed as a city because we have so many colleges and universities that constantly attract new, fresh blood. They come for the academic programs. They also come for the nightlife, the urban learning, restaurants, sports teams.

But, if they don’t have jobs that can sustain their families after they graduate or they don’t have schools for their children after they procreate, they’re going to leave. We squander that opportunity every year.

Milton Street

When I first entered the political process, you couldn’t tell me that white people weren’t the cause of our problems. Just couldn’t tell me that. We had a white mayor, white council president, white district attorney. So, I’m out there banging on [former Mayor Frank] Rizzo saying, ‘Man, if we had a black mayor, it could solve our problems.’

Well now, we have a black mayor, black council president, black district attorney, and they’re worthless. They can do nothing. We have a 3-year-old shot dead; 15-year-old shot dead, honor student; two pregnant women shot dead; off-duty police officer shot dead and they can do nothing. They’re cotton candy. They lack substance. So, what’s wrong with the system? You blame white people, put black people in and you get a worse result!

Anthony Hardy Williams

It’s curious that I get tagged as the ‘charter-school advocate’ — and I know, when I talk to you guys, not everybody’s followed me, so I understand that, and someone reads someone else’s information and says ‘oh, he’s the charter-school guy’ and next thing you know, I’m the charter-school guy.

I don’t have a problem with supporting charter schools. I guess I talk about it openly. That might be a novel idea while other people talk about it quietly, support it and let other people take the lead. I’m not that person. …

I guess if I advocate about vocational schools enough, I’ll become the vocational-school guy. I’ll be uncomfortable about that for two weeks, too. But, it is what it is, and I hope the narrative becomes a little broader than one person carrying the weight of one type of school as opposed to a person understanding it’s about all schools.

Melissa Murray Bailey

I’m straddling Gen X and Gen Y. I have some Gen X tendencies, which is I worked my ass off to get where I am. I worked really long hours and I sacrificed a lot. But that’s not what people want to do anymore. They want to enjoy their life and enjoy work as part of that.

So, if you want to be an effective leader of the next generation, you have to engage them almost on a peer-to-peer level and gain their respect. They will only work with you, follow your lead, if they respect you, not because you’re the boss.

W. Wilson Goode

What the city needs most, I believe, is somebody who has passion, and an understanding of all the problems facing the city — from homelessness to business, from children to the aged, a clear understanding of what the issues are facing the city in all of those areas.

We need someone with integrity — intellectual integrity — and someone with the ability to solve problems. We need someone who is political enough to get people to work with them, but not too political that they will sell the city in order to get something done. We need someone with the intellectual toughness to get the job done and that is to understand that, at times, you need to be intellectual but at times you need to be practical.

I started with passion, but I will end with love. You have to love this city and want to see it improve.

Michael Nutter

As you think about the next mayor, if you have someone that you are favoring at this time, you have to think about them in the context of doing this job.

Unfortunately, some citizen will get shot or killed.

A police officer may get shot or killed.

A firefighter may die in a fire.

A young gentleman over in fleet management fell off a ladder, hit his head and died. A young gentleman at PGW killed in a gas explosion.

Car wrecks. Trucks overturned. Water mains break. All sorts of things happen. Buildings fall down. Fires.

The mayor directly and indirectly sometimes is involved and very much aware of all those issues.

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