Michael A. Nutter: Professor, Columbia University & Former Mayor of Philadelphia
To some extent, 20 years feels so long ago, and, in another way, like yesterday. There were a lot of exciting moments, but, looking back, I’m most proud about three things. When I left office, we had a 32 percent reduction in homicides compared to when I started. I have to say, one homicide is too many. But things were trending in the right direction. The second proudest moment, which was kind of tied to the first, was a significant increase in high school graduation, as well as college degree attainment. Lastly, I’m proud of leading and guiding the city and our people through the worst recession since the Great Depression and leaving the city in better shape financially, structurally and operationally. Right now, I have a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, and I serve on the economic advisory council for the Philadelphia Fed. My work in Philadelphia is directly focused on economic issues, issues of poverty and applying the best practices from around the country here. Poverty is the heart and soul of so many of the challenges we are facing as a city. I remain completely and certainly optimistic about the future of Philadelphia. We’re an incredible, resilient city.