Nutter is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Nutter, known affectionately to childhood friends as "Big Nut", was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in West Philadelphia. He attended elementary school at Transfiguration of Our Lord Catholic Elementary School and later St. Joseph's Preparatory School in North Philadelphia. He graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979 with a degree in business. During his sophomore year in college, he started working as a DJ at Club Impulse in Philadelphia, where he was known as Mix Master Mike. After graduating from college, Nutter began to work at Xerox, and then at an investment banking firm. While in office, Mayor Nutter occasionally showed off his skills as DJ and a singer.
Michael Nutter is a member of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
Nutter, then-leader of the 52nd ward of Philadelphia, initially challenged Democratic incumbent Ann Land for a seat on the Philadelphia City Council in 1987. Though ultimately unsuccessful in his initial bid, Nutter defeated Land in a rematch four years later. His district included Wynnefield, Overbrook, Roxborough, Manayunk, East Falls and parts of North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and Mount Airy.
In February 2003, Nutter was elected chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board at the urging of former Senator, Vincent Fumo.
In June 2002, Nutter introduced a measure requiring college students under 23 years old to register their address, license plate, car registration and insurance with their school, which would then put a sticker on that car as a "student" car, subjecting the student to triple the usual fines for traffic or parking tickets or any other offense. The ordinance also forced students in off-campus housing to inform their landlords of their student status.
In September 2004, Nutter introduced legislation creating an independent Ethics Board; in addition, he proposed changes to the City's Ethics Code to provide for routine training and education of all City officers and employees, the issuance of advisory opinions, the adjudication of violations, and the imposition of civil fines. These measures were adopted at the end of 2005. On May 16, 2006, voters approved the Ethics Board ballot question with 81% voting to approve it, and was installed November 27, 2006.
Nutter sponsored "The Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law," expanding the definition of "public places" where smoking is not allowed to include restaurants and many bars, which Mayor Street eventually signed into law. Nutter's local bidder preference program, which took effect on July 1, 2004, gives preference to Philadelphia businesses in competitive bidding on City contracts greater than $25,000.
In January 2005, Philadelphia announced a library reorganization plan in which 20 branches would shift from full-day service to half-day service, and that many head librarians would be laid off. Library supporters rejected these changes and petitioned the Mayor and City Council to restore service and staffing levels. The City Council rejected the Administration's cut, funding was restored, and by the fall of 2005 all library branches had full-day service, Saturday hours, and a head librarian. As Mayor, Nutter sought to close 11 libraries until City Council brought a suit that kept the libraries open.
He supported having the City of Philadelphia declare a "Crime Emergency" in selected areas of Philadelphia. This would have stationed more officers in certain areas of Philadelphia, limited the ability to gather on public sidewalks, imposed a curfew for all residents, and limited the ability to travel in certain areas. The proposal included a warrant-less police search technique known as "stop-and-frisk." Nutter claims that this approach is sufficiently similar to one that was found to be Constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1968 in Terry v. Ohio, but it still has not been determined if this specific exercise is in violation of Fourth Amendment rights. A version of this plan was later implemented by Nutter and was the target of a lawsuit.
Nutter has supported the eviction of the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America from their headquarters on the Ben Franklin Parkway both as a councilman and as mayor. In a televised debate on NBC 10 Live @ Issue he said, "In my administration, we will not subsidize discrimination." The Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America eventually won their case.
Nutter resigned from the City Council in 2006 in order to focus on running for Mayor the following year; he later resigned as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board in April 2007. Nutter quickly moved to position himself as a reformer. On April 27, 2007, The Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Nutter for Mayor, Nutter was also endorsed by the Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia magazine, Northeast Times, Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Philly for Change, the Penn Democrats, and Clean Water Action.
Nutter won the Democratic primary election on May 15, winning 37% of the vote in a crowded election of four other people; He then went on to win the general election on November 6, 2007 with 83% of the vote against opponent Al Taubenberger, who won 13%.
Nutter announced that he would run for reelection on December 22, 2010. He easily won the primary election against Milton Street, getting 76% of the vote. Despite the lopsided victory, Street capturing 24% of the Democratic vote astonished many and served to diminish Nutter. He defeated two candidates in the general election of November 2011, garnering over 70% of the vote on a voter turnout of around 18%.
When Nutter took office in 2008, he immediately started working to reform the Philadelphia Police Department to work more efficiently and efficiency with integrity and responsiveness. Early in 2008, the Philadelphia Police Department was reorganized to become aligned with the goals and principles of our Crime Fighting Strategy. All of the organizational changes have focused on providing a more streamlined command system, accountability and greater coordination amongst units whose function is similar. The new structure represents nothing short of a complete transformation of the Department, from a bureaucratic, incident-driven organization, to a customer-service driven organization, focused on developing the partnerships that promote the PPD’s neighborhood-based policing strategy.
In 2010, Mayor Nutter commissioned a pilot projected labeled "Public Service Areas" to supplement police response with a coordinated effort from other city agencies in areas of the city plagued with chronic issues of crime and disorder. After some initial signs of crime reduction in the Hartranft community of North Philadelphia, the pilot was renamed "the PhillyRising Collaborative" and expanded across each of the Philadelphia Police Department's six divisions. Each neighborhood selected for participation in PhillyRising is chosen based on an evaluation data regarding levels of crime, disorder, and other quality of life data.
Since its inception in 2010, the PhillyRising Collaborative has supported crime reduction through improved quality of life in some of Philadelphia's most challenged communities. The team has supported active citizens with a variety of strategies, including the creation of three public computer labs (Hartranft, Frankford, & Kensington), and three Citizens' Engagement Academies (Hartranft, Swampoodle/Strawberry Mansion, & Point Breeze) which have produced 65 resident graduates. PhillyRising has also helped re-open the Hartranft Community Pool and brought the Police Athletic League to Hartranft Elementary School. These efforts, and many others, have helped to produce an average reduction of Part 1 Crimes by 4% and Part 2 Crimes by 9.5% after a full year of PhillyRising involvement in the pilot neighborhood. These reductions are significantly greater than those for the surrounding Police District.
Through Mayoral Executive Order, Nutter created the Mayor's Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-offenders (RISE) prioritizing the needs of returning citizens. Its mission emphasizes and formalizes the commitment of the Nutter Administration to promote safer communities and reduce law enforcement costs, assisting ex-offenders to be constructive individuals who contribute positively to our Philadelphia community, thereby reducing recidivism. As a City department, rather than a contract agency, RISE now has an ability to take lead/coordinator/partner role with grant funding solicitations. There are additional synergies and efficiencies created from the sharing of City resources. RISE has increased reentry activity levels despite a decrease in funding from $3.2 million to $1.4 million. The number of walk-in clients serviced has doubled (944 vs. 2339) and the number of clients enrolled in services has increased (531 vs. 731). In addition, there has been a 31% increase in number of clients employed (180 vs. 253).
In October 2011, Mayor Nutter joined forces with Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans to create Cities United, an initiative committed to reducing African-American male on African-American male violence. Cities United works to prevent violence in a collaborative effort among mayors, foundations, national nonprofits, federal agencies and youth, seeking to place African-American males who are victims and perpetrators of violence at the center of municipal agendas and develop recommendations for a national violence reduction strategy.
Nutter also initiated the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership. The YVRP includes the City Probation & Parole, the Police and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug Anti Violence Network working in targeted police districts to identify youth at risk of becoming involved in crime and providing them support through access to employment, education, mentoring, health care and drug treatment. Mayor Nutter has been on the front lines of reducing youth violence, especially among African-American males, who are much more likely to be victims and perpetrators of violent crimes and homicides.
Philadelphia has become a safer city in the past six years. In 2013, Philadelphia had the lowest homicide rate in the City since 1967. Part One violent offenses – including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft – have declined by 15 percent since 2007 and is at its lowest level since 1971. Also in 2013, there was nearly a 30 percent decline in the number of shooting victims since 2007.
Declining civilian fire-related fatalities and injuries
In 2013, for the second year in a row, Philadelphia saw the lowest recorded fire fatality rate – 24 – in its history. In 2012, Philadelphia saw the lowest recorded fire fatality rate at that time of 25. Of the 25 fire fatalities, 13 fatalities occurred in properties that did not have smoke alarms, or had smoke alarms with inoperable or missing batteries. This number represents a 22% drop compared to 2011 (32 fire deaths) and a 47% decline since 2007. Also over the last 5 years there has been a 37% reduction in civilian fire related injuries (down from 271 in the calendar year 2008 to 171 in the year 2012).
In 2009, Mayor Nutter announced Greenworks, the city's plan to become the greenest city in America by 2015. “Greenworks” outlines 15 measurable targets and 166 initiatives in five topic areas: energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement. As of June 21, 2013, 95% of the 166 initiatives were either complete or underway. Four years into the six-year implementation timeline, two-thirds of the targets show trends toward meeting established goals. Some specific highlights of current progress include: A reduction of municipal energy use by 7 percent; alternative energy use increase from 2.5 to 14 percent; Nearly 90,000 trees planted since 2008; City Council passage of energy bench-marking and disclosure legislation; and 11.6 new miles of trails completed since 2011.
In 2012, Mayor Nutter signed Bill No. 120428 which amends the 'Energy Conservation' portion of the Philadelphia Code to require large commercial buildings to benchmark and report energy and water usage data to the city. The bill's purpose is not only to make organizations aware of their energy use, but also to identify opportunities for improvement and assist in establishing energy consumption baselines that will help set future goals.
Nutter also implemented the City’s first guaranteed energy savings project at the City’s four largest downtown office buildings. In 2011, Nutter began nine implementing energy conservation measures in the City’s largest downtown office buildings. The City will use the guaranteed energy savings from the ECMs to fund the upgrades, which will result in City facilities that are easier to operate, more comfortable, and less costly to maintain.
In line with the Mayor's goal of reforming Philadelphia to a more efficient government and a Green City, the Records Department implemented electronic recording of land records and electronic filing of Campaign Finance Reports and Financial Disclosure Statements. Electronic recording of land records continues to increase and for Fiscal Year 2013 year to date, 57% of recordings were submitted electronically. Additionally, 83.8% of Financial Disclosure Statements were submitted electronically in calendar 2011 and 100% of the Campaign Finance Reports (7 cycles per year) were electronically submitted.
Nutter’s reputation as a reformer carried over into his education policies as mayor. In 2008, Nutter established the Mayor’s Office of Education to work on the related goals of increasing the high school graduation rate to 80 percent by 2015 and raising the rate of Philadelphia residents with a college degree to 36 percent by 2018. Currently, the on-time high school graduation rate is 64 percent and the percentage of residents with a 4-year college degree or higher is 24.3 percent. Since, 2007, the high school graduation rate has increased by 11 percentage points.
The City has increased its annual funding to public education by $155 million since July 2010. This extraordinary amount of funding has been borne by Philadelphia taxpayers, home owners, and local businesses and has served to help stabilize the city’s system of public education. These increased dollars were necessary, but not sufficient, to help the schools provide for the safe school environments and necessary curricular and extracurricular activities for Philadelphia youth.
On September 11, 2013, Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund, a new fundraising campaign to provide funds to schools within the City in order to purchase consumable supplemental classroom supplies, including workbooks, paper, pens and pencils. This fund was created to alleviate some of the hardships being experienced by high-poverty schools. Under the stated criteria, schools with at least a 50% free and reduced price lunch population were eligible to apply, and those with more than 75% free and reduced price lunches will receive greater amounts, in each case based on enrollment. The City has contributed $200,000 to the Fund, and intends to do the same for at least five years. Over $540,000 was raised for the fund and 255 schools will receive funds, this includes 209 School District of Philadelphia schools, 20 charters, 13 Archdiocesan, and 13 independent/private.
In December 2011, the Great Schools Compact was signed by the City, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the SDP, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS), the Philadelphia Charters for Excellence (PCE) and the Archdiocese. The agreement is designed to increase cooperation among Philadelphia K-12 education providers, establish and share consistent academic metrics, and expand high-quality educational options available to students. The Great Schools Compact was awarded $2.5 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in December 2012 to improve teacher effectiveness, create an Urban Leadership Academy for District and Charter principals, and align benchmark assessments to the Common Core standard. The Common Core standard is a federal effort to define the knowledge and skills that students receive during their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level jobs, credit bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.
In November 2008, Nutter re-constituted the Youth Council as the Philadelphia Council for College and Career Success – composed of leaders from government, K-12 and higher education, employers, foundations and youth-focused community organizations – to organize and lead education improvement efforts. The Mayor’s office of Education also convenes the College Completion Committee which includes “retention officers” from area colleges and universities and senior leadership from the School District of Philadelphia.
The Mayor’s Office of Education is involved with cross-sector collaborations such as the College Prep Roundtable, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship Campaign. Examples of College Prep Roundtable programs include Philadelphia Academies, Inc., GEAR UP, Upward Bound, and College Access Centers. The two signature campaigns focus on issues related to college affordability, financial aid and FAFSA completion, and has resulted in a 21.7% increase in completed Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from 2008 through 2012. The Mayor’s office also partners with the national Gates millennium Scholarship Program to offer orientation to competitive scholarship programs to high achieving seniors who commit to completing the application (which includes eight essays). In 2012, close to 500 applications were received, the second highest in the country, and five out of seven Pennsylvania recipients were Philadelphians.
In February 2010, the City launched PhillyGoes2College, a program designed to help Philadelphians go to college. The effort includes a one-stop office in City Hall and a companion website that provides comprehensive guidance and referral information to students of any age who are interested in attending or completing college. Through workshops, school visits and large scale college-promoting events, PhillyGoes2College has reached over 29,000 citizens since it opened in 2010, including 9,343 in FY13.
In March 2011, the Graduation Coach Campaign was brought under the umbrella of PhillyGoes2College. The Campaign focuses on engaging adults in taking on a more robust role in helping the young people in their lives graduate from high school, get into college, and plan for a career. Since September 2010, the Campaign has trained over 4,300 Coaches through 315 workshops.
In June 2011, Nutter signed the Education Accountability Agreement to formalize a request for improved Information sharing and coordination between the City, Commonwealth and the School District of Philadelphia. Through the agreement, the City required the School District of Philadelphia to make data public on various expenditures, placed Executive Advisers from the State and City inside the School District of Philadelphia and required the School District of Philadelphia to develop and implement a Five-Year Plan.
The Mayor’s Returning to Learning Partnership allows City employees to pursue a college education by taking advantage of the tuition discount program offered by 13 area colleges and universities. Employees receive a 25% discount on tuition for each course for which they enroll and in some cases may also receive a full or partial scholarship to attend select institutions. The program is now housed in the City’s Center of Excellence.
Mayor Nutter celebrates Philadelphians who achieve the Mayor’s college attainment goal by organizing an annual citywide college graduation celebration on the iconic Art Museum Steps. The event, Toss Your Caps, draws at least 300 graduates from 20 areas colleges and universities. May 2014 will be the fifth anniversary of Toss Your Caps. Each June, the Mayor awards around a thousand high achieving and graduating high school seniors, from public and private schools. The event kicks off with a march up Broad Street and culminates with a ceremony in the City Hall courtyard where the Mayor’s $5,000 Scholarship for Academic Excellence and Civic Engagement is awarded, as well as hundreds of other prizes and awards.
In December 2008, Mayor Nutter launched the City of Philadelphia’s first 311 service. Philly311 was implemented to provide the public with quick, easy access to all city services and information, while maintaining the highest level of customer service. In its over 5 years of existence, 311 has maintained and/or exceeded a 90% customer satisfaction rate while receiving over 1 million calls each year. Moreover, Philly311 has extended its service past the scope of a traditional government call center. Residents can connect with Philly311 by telephone, email, mail, a walk-in center or through the Philly Mobile App. Philly311 has also extended its service through various social media channels. The Philly311 Facebook and Twitter accounts are managed by an experienced agent who responds to questions and enters service requests based on user interaction. Since the beginning of 2012, Philly311 has seen a 360% increase in its social media followers.
Nutter believes that access to the internet is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s digitally connected workforce and society. Despite the fact that the internet is a necessity, four in ten Philadelphians do not have access. Collaborating with community organizations, other government agencies and universities to create the Freedom Rings Partnership, Nutter’s Office of Innovation and Technology has been a lead partner in helping bring Internet access, training and technology to communities citywide through the KEYSPOTS initiative. To date, the Mayor’s office has played a major role in helping launch 80 KEYSPOTS that collectively offer 813 workstations across Philadelphia, which so far have helped deliver 197,181 hours of training to 20,786 participants, and which have served over 280,000 clients through free computer access. In September 2012, Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid, on behalf of Philadelphia, accepted a White House Champion of Change award, which was awarded to the CIO and the City for local innovation efforts that included the citizen-engagement work involved in KEYSPOTS.
All facts and statistics for this page can be referenced at http://www.phila.gov/InformationCenters/Accomplishments/Pages/default.aspx
In April 2014, Nutter signed an executive order largely ending the agreement that allowed the federal government to detain undocumented immigrants arrested in the city prior to release. The only exemption being if the individual is being released following a first or second degree felony conviction and federal officials obtain a warrant from a judge - effectively making Philadelphia a sanctuary city. Nutter indicated that the change in policy supports public safety and will help rebuild the trust between police and the immigrant community. The executive order was highlighted in June 2014 after a previously deported undocumented immigrant from Honduras was accused of raping a woman in Rittenhouse Square with the concern that if acquitted, the accused would not be submitted for deportation due to Philadelphia's new policy.