PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Being mayor is never easy, but being the mayor of Philadelphia in 2020 was an extraordinary challenge.
A pandemic, economic turmoil, civil unrest, skyrocketing violence and the national spotlight on the city’s presidential vote count: Any one of those things could make a mayor’s job nightmarish, but they all overlapped.
Mayor Jim Kenney admits his response wasn’t always perfect, but there are some things he is proud of.
“Unlike other places in the country, we absolutely listened to the medical and scientific advice. And they were not easy decisions to make. I mean it’s not an easy decision to stop indoor dining in restaurants and I totally understand the anger and frustration that those owners felt, but I couldn’t bend to political will, I couldn’t bend to being popular when more people are going to die,” Kenney said.
On civil unrest, the mayor regrets parts of the city’s response but gives himself credit for learning from it.
“We decided on the encampment that the city and the police force could not handle another bad set of pictures. I would rather have—and we did—negotiate, wait it out and accomplish something we could use as a template going forward,” he said.
And like everyone else, Kenney is looking forward to 2021.
“It better be better or you’ll be interviewing me from a desert island somewhere,” he joked.
Listen to the full interview below: