The re-election of Philadelphia Mayor and 1979 Wharton graduate Michael Nutter means another four years of positive relationships between Penn and the city, administrators and students agree.
The incumbent Democrat’s win for his second term was announced on Tuesday night, with Nutter taking about 75 percent of the vote.
“[Nutter] recognizes Penn’s prominent role in the Philadelphia economy,” Penn Democrats President Isabel Friedman, a College senior, said, referring to the fact that the University and its health system comprise the largest private employer in Philadelphia.
“Mayor Nutter absolutely will continue his service for Philadelphia and for Penn in the same way that he has” since he was first elected in 2008, she added.
Penn President Amy Gutmann said Nutter’s re-election is also a source of pride for current students.
“I congratulate Mayor Nutter … We’re very proud of his Penn roots, and it is always wonderful for our students to see our alumni in prominent positions of public service,” Gutmann said, adding that his re-election “should be an inspiration to students.”
Dawn Maglicco Deitch, director of Penn’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, said Penn benefits from its location in a city “where the workforce is being supported, where buildings are being built, where commercial enterprise has the opportunity to grow,” thanks to its local government led by Nutter.
Penn Dems “didn’t get very involved in this election” because Nutter was a shoo-in and “so clearly the best candidate” Friedman said.
But it may not have been Nutter’s certainty of re-election that kept voter turnout low at Penn — booths in Houston Hall counted only 58 ballots.
Instead, Friedman attributed low turnout to “students not feeling connected with the local elections.”
However, students should feel connected, as “every decision that’s made in local politics affects us one way or another,” Friedman said.
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who represents the third district that encompasses Penn’s campus, was also re-elected to her sixth term Tuesday night.
“[Penn has] a great working relationship with [Blackwell] because we were able to help her achieve things that are important to her overall constituency,” Maglicco said, which includes providing the district with “jobs, economic opportunity and educational opportunity.”