The Best Job in PoliticsUniversity of Pennsylvania Press The City in the Twenty-First Century
In 2007, after serving almost fifteen years on the Philadelphia City Council, Michael A. Nutter became the ninety-eighth mayor of his hometown of Philadelphia. From the time he was sworn in until he left office in 2016, there were triumphs and challenges, from the mundane to the unexpected, from snow removal, trash collection, and drinkable water, to the Phillies' World Series win, Hurricane Irene, Occupy Philadelphia, and the Papal visit. By the end of Nutter's tenure, homicides were at an almost fifty-year low, high-school graduation and college-degree attainment rates increased significantly, and Philadelphia's population had grown every year. Nutter also recruited businesses to open in Philadelphia, motivating them through tax reforms, improved services, and international trade missions.
Mayor begins with Nutter's early days in politics and ultimate run for mayor, when he formed a coalition from a base of support that set the stage for a successful term. Transitioning from campaigning to governing, Nutter shares his vast store of examples to depict the skills that enable a city politician to lead effectively and illustrates how problem-solving pragmatism is essential for success. With a proven track record of making things work, Nutter asserts that mayoring promises more satisfaction and more potential achievements—for not only the mayor but also the governed—than our fractious political system would have us believe.
Detailing the important tasks that mayoral administrations do, Nutter tells the compelling story of a dedicated staff working together to affect positively the lives of the people of Philadelphia every day. His anecdotes, advice, and insights will excite and interest anyone with a desire to understand municipal government.