PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney started his second term in office on Monday. He gave his inauguration speech at The Met in North Philadelphia, promising to cut crime and poverty, as well as investing more in the city’s schools.
“For years we watched the School District of Philadelphia cut to the bone with significant capital investments trimmed, nurses and librarians let go and barely enough money to keep the lights on. But it’s a new era and we will not fail another era of our children,” Kenney said. “Together, we regain control of our schools by establishing a local board of education. And we matched it along with council with more than a billion dollars in city funding.”
There are also some new faces that joined Philadelphia City Council. They call themselves the “Freshman Four” and have their own priorities for the city.
The new group says they are the next generation of city leaders.
“To the newest members, you got some pretty big shoes to fill,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
The newcomers to City Council include Kendra Brooks, who is the first-ever third-party candidate to win a council seat.
“I’ve been on the forefront of education, homelessness and housing. Those things are crises here in the city,” she said.
Democrat Jamie Gauthier is another fresh face who now represents West Philadelphia. Katherine Gilmore Richardson and Isaiah Thomas were also sworn in on Monday, taking two of the council’s seven at-large seats.
“We just have a different set of experiences,” Thomas said.
They promise to shake things up in Philadelphia City Council by lending a younger perspective on issues.
“We’re the first millennials to serve in City Council. It’s one of the largest demographics in the city and it’s important we have representation,” Gilmore Richardson said.
Still, some of the issues the four want to tackle echo that of senior members like Clarke. He hopes to lift 100,000 people out of poverty over the next four years.
“There is nothing we cannot achieve if we work together,” Clarke said.
Kenney, who earns more than $218,000 a year, agrees.
“If you don’t set a goal, you don’t achieve a goal,” said Kenney.
In the meantime, the freshman four were not the only big change to happen within Philadelphia City Council.
In what some consider a surprising move, a new majority leader was chosen. Councilmember Cherelle Parker ousted former leader Bobby Henon.
Henon was indicted on federal corruption and fraud charges last year.
“Was it a surprise when Cherelle Parker won majority leader?” CBS3’s Matt Petrillo asked.
“Not a surprise at all. It’s an internal process,” Henon said.
“Did it have anything to do with the federal indictment?” asked Petrillo.
“City Council has all to do with challenging these top issues and moving forward,” Henon replied.
Clarke echoed that sentiment.
“The simple reality is that we got together, we made a decision on the leadership of the City Council of Philadelphia and we will proceed and do good work,” Clarke said.
However, Parker would not give a direct answer.
“I’m looking forward to working with all 16 members of City Council, to working on some complex issues facing our great city and we’ll do it in a unified manner and I’m looking forward to it,” she said.