Mayor Kenney holds inaugural 'block party,' raises money for schools

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Mayor Kenney held an inaugural block party. (WPVI)

Normally, Philadelphia's mayor celebrates his inauguration with a fancy ball with lots of glitz and glamour. Not this mayor.

On Monday night, legendary D.J. Jerry Blavat emceed what Mayor Jim Kenney called a block party at the Convention Center.

It came complete with food trucks lining the sides of the free event.

"So how do you like our block party? Ain't it fun? No black ties, no gowns, we're good," Kenney said.

Setting aside tradition, the city's new mayor opted for a very unconventional inauguration party that truly had the feel of a neighborhood block party, with no black ties, no gowns and no gala.

"I'm a row house guy, a row house person and enjoyed that life and appreciate where I came from," Kenney said.

And apparently those on hand were loving it:

"Only Jim Kenney would have given this wonderful, happy-go-lucky party," Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said.

Even more unconventional, Mayor Kenney was using his inauguration party as a fundraiser for city schools.

Together with the non-profit 'Fund: For the School District,' $650,000 was raised in a short period of time.

The mayor also announced that he will also not be using the mayor's coveted box at the three sports venues. Instead, he will be leasing them to raise money for schools, what he calls his administration's top priority.

"These may seem like small things compared to a full funding formula from Harrisburg, but I will tell you not, these folks will use that money to its highest degree, highest and best use," Kenney said, pointing to school officials.

Newly re-elected Council President Darrell Clarke says school funding will be his top priority, as well.

"I feel real good about the relationship that Mayor Kenney and the City Council of Philadelphia will form to move forward on these important agenda items," Clarke said.

All of this was music to the ears of School Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

"You have the two most powerful individuals in government here in Philadelphia saying funding is the number one issue and that's critically important for us, so yes, I'm thrilled," Hite said.

The party did not go into the wee hours of the night.

It ended early with the mayor saying, they have a lot of work to do beginning tomorrow morning.
Related Topics:
politicsphilly newspoliticsjim kenneyCenter City Philadelphia
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