Visiting the M.A.N. at City Hall
On January 7, 2008, Philadelphia’s newly elected Mayor, Michael Nutter, hosted an open house at City Hall starting at 4pm, EST. Let me tell you folks – I haven’t seen lines that long since the infamous Tea Cup ride during my trip to Disney World more then a decade ago. I waited 3.5 hours in line to congratulate and shake Mayor Nutter’s hand. It was well worth the wait.
During last year’s Italian Market Festival, while enjoying some of the best food Philadelphia had to offer, I noticed Michael Nutter sitting one table away with some family members. Sure, I could have up to him and slapped a resume in front of him – asking, “When you are in office, I would be pleased to work for your administration.” However, cheap paper and invading one’s time with their family members would not go well with the freshly cooked pork being served.
I met Michael Nutter once again – around primary season – as he was greeting people in the subway area below the clothespin statue across from City Hall. His assistant said, “How would you like to shake the hand of the next Major of Philadelphia?” I said, “Sure! Can’t hurt.”
Needless to say, Mayor Nutter seemed – and continues to seem – genuinely interested in meeting with his constituents. I joined the line on the South East corner of City Hall and struck up a conversation with a physician working at Kensington Hospital. I cracked one joke past hour two of the wait as we approached the North West corner of City Hall – right by the line of port-a-potties, “I hope this wasn’t the line for the bathroom!” The couple behind me started to crack up. I also noticed that Mayor Nutter’s middle initial started with an “A” – I dubbed him “The M.A.N.”
Finally, as hour three approached, we made our way into one of the many marble halls of City Hall. I couldn’t help but notice the stunning tile decorating the floor…and how much it would cost to have the same floors in my house. The infamous Ben Franklin impersonator passed by – looking a little weary, but in good spirits.
Armed with my resume, I started to get nervous – I wanted to congratulate him AND ask him for a position in his administration. I just about lost my nerve. My line pal reminded me that I waited this long – so I better hand my resume over. Who wouldn’t want to work for someone who is so passionate about changing Philadelphia for the better? So, I approach the Mayor, shake his hand, congratulate him, wish him luck and hand him my resume. Instead of saying a simple, “Thank you,” he asked me what I wanted to do. I let him know that I was interest in Public Relations, Marketing – anything – and that I would be happy to be a public servant working for his administration. Then, he thanked me and smiled. I was very happy to find him so personable and happy after shaking hands for over four hours. Yes, this is definitely the type of person and city you want to work for.
Police Chief Ramsey also attended, shaking hands – as did Philadelphia’s Fire Commissioner, Lloyd Ayers. Both gentlemen seemed very enthusiastic to meet the people of Philadelphia. I wished both men good luck in the New Year. There are times that I wonder how Philadelphia can ever tackle such a devastating crime problem.
I am confident that Michael Nutter can take great strides to improve the City of Philadelphia. After all, this is the city I have called home for almost a decade, the city where I bought my first home and the city I work in. I love Philadelphia.