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The  Next Mayor Must Do Something

Mock press conference — a make-believe press conference, meaning it is fictional, but one probable solution — with the newly elected democratic candidate for mayor Cherelle Parker. Let's join Ms. Parker in City Hall as she introduces her new initiative, Let's Drop the Guns.

Good morning. I'm happy to have all of you here today to announce my first initiative, Let's Drop the Guns. What is Let's Drop the Guns? It's my program to end gun violence among teens in Philadelphia. The violence has gone on long enough. While others stand around and shout gun control, we — this group you see standing with me — will work to involve our city teens. Please understand that if I could eliminate 

guns on the streets, I would do it in an eye blink. However, there are forces beyond our control that prevent that from happening. Namely, Republicans at the state level in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. So what do we do? Do we throw up our hands and say, "It's out of our control, so let's move on." Or do we work to find other ways to save our inner-city children? That's what this press conference today is about. That's what Let's Drop the Guns is all about.

 

First, let me introduce to you our honored guests standing here with me who have told me they are committed to working with me to improve the lives of our families and children in the neighborhoods. Going from left to right, I'd like to introduce 

 John Broil, President of Drexel University. No one in the city, or the country, can rebuild neighborhoods like John. He has done it at Penn and Drexel, he will do it for the city.


Next is Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, and next to Bryce is Joel Embiid of the Sixers, the recent

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The next mayor of Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker.

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Bryce Harper would help if asked. So would a lot of Philadelphia professional athletes.

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Jalen Hurts and Jason Kelce are already involved with Philly kids but they could do more.

MVP of the NBA. To his left is Sean Couturier, the center for our beloved Flyers. These three gentlemen have committed over five million dollars to begin the Let's Drop the Guns initiative. 

 

There are others committed to this initiative but couldn't be here.: Eagles players Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts. Mikael Uhre and Coach Jim Curtin of the Union. Dawn Staley wants to help create her league for inner-city girls' basketball. Dawn was so excited she cried over the phone. I'm so excited about this program. Everyone has ideas and wants to help with both their time and money.

 

To Sean's right is Christopher Sutton, a top major gift fundraiser at Temple and Drexel, who will work with professional athletes to build a $50 million fund for our initiative. Mr. Hurts of the Eagles wanted to write a check immediately, but I convinced him to wait until we were better organized. 

 

The following person needs no introduction. Rebecca Rhynhart's record is unsurpassed in fiscal spending and management, and she will leave no stone unturned in building the Let's Drop the Guns program. Next to Rebecca is Michael Nutter, a highly regarded former Philadelphia mayor who will give the initiative board direction. Michael will serve as Chairman of the Board of Let's Drop the Guns.

 

So, you may ask. What will this Let's Drop the Guns initiative do?

I will be happy to answer that. In each of the three areas 

of the map are vacant buildings, lots, entire blocks 

decimated. Under John Broil's leadership and through

the support of our professional athletes, we will convert

many of these useless areas for athletic fields, pools,

student centers, football and baseball fields and

basketball courts.

 

We need to get our youth off the streets NOW. Plus, we will 

build mentorship programs. We are looking closely at the Lindy Scholars program at Drexel University, which utilizes college students in our city. More about that later.

 

Let's Drop the Guns will replace poverty and blight with competitiveness

and achievement for our children. We will create teams,

leagues, fields, and gyms so that our children will be 

involved, not dead. Be challenged, not cast aside. 

I hope that you and all Philadelphians will work with me on

this initiative.

 Two weeks from today, along with Michael Nutter and

I will travel to Washington, D.C., with John Broil to meet

with the President and key Congressional leaders. I am 

seeking federal support for this initiative 

If this can succeed in Philadelphia, then it can succeed in

Chicago, Miami, and New York. 

 

On Monday, I will be in Harrisburg with Michael Nutter and the former mayor Ed Rendell to introduce the Let's Drop the Guns initiative to Governor Shapiro and address the General Assembly about our efforts for the children.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time we take back the streets of Philadelphia. 

I'll be happy to take questions.

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