Mayor-elect Jim Kenney reaffirmed Friday that universal pre-K, a port expansion, and prisoner-reentry programs would be priorities as he transitions into his chief executive role.

He also said he would let his working-class roots show at his inauguration party.

"It will be very much typical of what I like, and that's community-oriented, block-party style," Kenney said. "I doubt it will be a black-tie ball. We're a little more proletarian than that."

That drew some laughter from the transition team members who had accompanied Kenney to his first public meet-and-greet as mayor-elect.

Kenney and 17 of his transition advisers toured Invisible Sentinel, a University City-based life sciences company specializing in the detection of bad bacteria for the food and beverage industries.

The start-up company, which is run by South Philadelphia native Nick Siciliano, has 36 employees, many of whom live in the city. Kenney wants to replicate such businesses - those that employ city residents - throughout Philadelphia.

He also wants small businesses to know that his administration will be there for them.

"We're touring here because it's important for the government to have interactions with companies like these, to see what their needs are and see how we can help them grow, whether it's space or access to capital," Kenney said outside the company's lab.

More than 100 people are on Kenney's transition team, tasked with helping the mayor-elect hire personnel and prepare to take office. State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) and Alba Martinez, former city human services commissioner, are cochairing the transition committee.

The committee, along with Kenney's campaign staff, will prepare a policy report for Kenney's start as mayor in January. He wants to include the public's ideas.

"They pay taxes, they live and work in our city," Kenney said during his Q-and-A with reporters at the University City Science Center, where Invisible Sentinel has its offices and lab. "We want to make sure that their ideas and issues are included in the final report and in the administration going forward."

Kenney, looking relaxed if cautious in his answers, spoke of inclusion and collaboration in government. He again vowed to work well with City Council and complimented Mayor Nutter, a frequent foil when he was on Council.

"The Nutter administration has done a lot of really good things in ethics and sustainability, and in policing," Kenney said. "We're going to build on what they've done already and expand on what they've done."

Also on his agenda is widening opportunities for ex-offenders returning from prison.

"There's no reason why someone coming back to us can't work in some capacity for the city. So that's No. 1," he said. "No. 2 is that companies work together with us to give people a second chance at life and at coming back."

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said the city hired 390 ex-offenders between January 2008 and October 2010. The numbers are harder to track following 2010, when the city stopped requiring job seekers to report criminal convictions on their applications.

Ex-offenders usually are not hired to work in departments that deal with public safety, McDonald said, such as police, fire, prisons, and the airport. Kenney's team will review such policies, spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said later.

Members of Kenney's transition committee were on board with his message of inclusion.

"This is about one thing and one thing only," Martinez said, "which is to get the best and brightest people that want to come into government, or work with government from the outside, to rally around a mission - and that mission is to help neighborhoods and families thrive."

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