Leadership is about vision. It's about seeing things for what they can be rather than for what they are. It's about getting people to buy into that vision and work toward making it a reality.
I envisioned a city in which dangerous high-rise housing projects would be torn down. Many people didn't believe we could make it happen. But I convened a group of citizens who bought into the vision. And when those projects were torn down and replaced with affordable housing, even my staunchest critics had to admit that we'd done the right thing.
I envisioned a city where every high school student could go on to college. There were those who said it was impossible. But I got other leaders to buy into the vision, and we put CORE Philly in place. Now Philadelphia is the only city in America where every high school graduate can get a city-funded scholarship that provides up to the last dollar needed to go on to college.
Today, I envision a city where poverty is cut and educational attainment is increased; where crime is reduced and our streets are safe. Some say cutting poverty isn't a mayor's responsibility. But leadership means taking responsibility when others refuse to do so. And when I'm mayor, I intend to be responsible for leading a Philadelphia renaissance that gives every Philadelphian the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential. And when we're through, our city will rise on the shoulders of Philadelphians.