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Jim Kenney’s acceptance speech: ‘Thank you… But we are not done’

Jim Kenney’s prepared remarks, delivered Tuesday evening shortly after 10 PM:

Thank you.

It has been a long journey to get here.

From the 300 Block of Cantrell Street to Saint Joe’s Prep to City Council and these last few months on the campaign trail

There are far too many people to thank for getting me to tonight, but I will mention a few briefly.

Thank you to my parents, for giving me firsthand respect for what our first responders and their families deal with every day.

But also teaching me that wearing a badge does not give you permission to treat others with disrespect.

Thank you to my teachers at the Prep and all of Philadelphia teachers.

Every day you show by example that the only true way to be happy is through service to others

Thank you to all my fellow City Councilmembers and my Council staff that I’ve served with for the past 23 years

You turned me from a freshman Councilman who thought he knew everything into one who had a true understanding of this city’s diversity

Thank you to my children, for supporting me

And, finally, thank you to the campaign staff, all the elected officials, community leaders and groups, interns, and volunteers who made up this historic coalition

Our campaign was a broad and unprecedented coalition of diverse groups, many of whom came together for the first time to support me: environmentalists, feminists, teachers, working families, first responders, unions, public school parents, clergy, the LGBT community, immigrants

From my childhood home of South Philly all the way up to the Northwest, people of every neighborhood – all came together behind this effort

And make no mistake, it was that unity that made us victorious

We could not have accomplished so much in such a short time without all of us working together

Without every one of those people, not just throwing their endorsement behind me, but by really engaging and actively participating as a working member of our campaign’s team

But, we are not done.

There is another election in November, and over the next six months, I will work to earn everyone’s vote.

Because we need this coalition to grow even larger.

The challenges facing our city are great: underfunded public schools, poverty, a strained relationship between community and police

We are also facing tremendous opportunities.

All eyes will be on Philadelphia with next year’s DNC Convention.

If I am elected in November, I will need this coalition’s help to tackle both our challenges and meet our greatest potential.

We all must work together if we expect all of Philadelphia to move forward

That means fighting together for: universal pre-k, community schools, a real living wage, the end of stop-and-frisk, and giving every working family to the opportunity to succeed, no matter what neighborhood they live in

To achieve these goals, the entire city must come together and work together.

Regardless of whether you work in City Hall or reside temporarily on State Road, we all have a responsibility to our city and to each other.

Whether you live in Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion or Mayfair, we must work together with an understanding that every neighborhood matters.

I am honored and forever humbled by the coalition of support that made me your Democratic nominee for mayor

Together, I know we can achieve even greater things, first with a victory in November, and then for the city of Philadelphia

Thank you.

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