tv Inside Story ABC June 7, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
>> she wants to win philadelphia's most powerful office, but her biggest challenge may be that little letter "r" next to her name. so, who is melissa murray bailey, and how does this republican plan to overcome history? a special edition of "inside story" starts right now. and good sunday morning. welcome to "inside story." i'm brian taff. you know, until the last couple of weeks, melissa murray bailey's is a name you probably hadn't heard much of, but from this point forward, she's gonna be working hard to change that as she runs to be the next mayor of philadelphia. but melissa is not naive. neither history nor demographics are on her side as a republican in this overwhelmingly democratic city, so can she overcome all of that -- history and demographics? we're gonna ask her. melissa, last week we welcomed your democratic opponent jim kenney.
today we say welcome to you to "inside story." >> thanks so much for having me. >> good to have you here. let's be blunt, maybe even painfully so. as i mentioned, not a lot of people have heard your name before, except in news coverage, in the last couple of weeks. so, let's start with this. who is melissa murray bailey? >> yeah. so, i moved to the city a couple of years ago. growing up in south jersey looking to philadelphia, it was always kind of the place you went when you made it. so, when i had my family and we decided to settle down, we chose philadelphia. unlike a lot of people who choose to move out when they have children, we decided to move in and come to the city. over the past 15 years, i've been working at companies and have been an executive on three continents and so, with that experience of leadership, wanted to take that to the city so that we can challenge the status quo and do things differently. >> you know, last week, as i mentioned, we did talk to jim kenney, and i said one of
the biggest knocks on him -- and i did ask him about this -- was the perception that he's an insider, a city hall guy. but i think that you might have the opposite problem, right? you're really an outsider, in many ways. you've never had any experience working in city hall or perhaps with city hall in a legislative way. how do you overcome that, and is that really a problem, being an outsider, in this city of insiders? >> i mean, it definitely is a city of insiders, no doubt, and when you look at a lot of cities that have been run by insiders for a long time, they have the same challenges that we have -- doing the same thing over and over again and just getting incremental results. by not being on the inside, i'm looking at things through a different lens and with a different perspective, and for so many elections in philadelphia, we do the same thing. we have someone from city council come in to be the mayor. when you look at companies who are struggling and when they to to choose their next c.e.o., they very rarely look at the inside because when you're an
insider, you've been part of getting the city or the company to where it is. and you're very reluctant to say that there are challenges and really look at it with a critical eye. by coming in from the outside and leveraging the experiences that i've had, i'll be able to see really where we need to prioritize, and i'll be willing to do that because i won't be afraid to offend anyone who got me where i am. and i think that is definitely needed in the city at this point. >> that said, you're clearly not satisfied with where the city is right now, but are you satisfied, at least, that it's on the right course? >> i think there have been great strides in some areas in the city. but as we look at where we are i don't think we should be happy or satisfied. and by continuing to have small movements, we're never going to get ourselves out of this rut. we need someone who will set bold goals and work to get us
there. we have so many departments and programs and nonprofits that are working for good things for the city. the problem is they're all working separately, and it's costing the city a lot of resources to do that. if we could bring everyone together and say, "this is the problem that we're gonna solve," we actually might be able to solve it instead of being all things to all people. quite frankly, that's going to result in failure. >> let's talk about some of your ideas as the program continues this morning, but first, a couple of things are notable. one, you would be the first woman mayor ever in philadelphia's history, but you would also be the first republican in, i think, more than 60 years to hold the job. as i said, both are notable. some, though, say the second one is insurmountable -- being elected as a republican in this overwhelmingly democratic city. how do you change that? >> yeah. well, we're in philadelphia. >> yeah. >> philadelphia is a city where nobodies came together and overthrew the most powerful
government in the world at that time, and they did that because they believed in liberties. and i think people in philadelphia see the same things that i see, and they see that if we continue to do the same thing, we're not gonna have different results. and if we really look at what it means to be a republican -- you know, our party was founded in 1854, and it was founded based on that principal of what got us to be an independent country. and republicans fought for the civil liberties of african americans and for progressive laws like giving women the right to vote, and so i think that if we look truly at what it means to be a republican and a public servant, fighting corruption, i think there are many philadelphians that really relate to that as well as me. >> and you must have looked at that question at some point in your history, because, as you mentioned, you did grow up in south jersey, but you were a longtime democrat, and so how
did you end up making that switch? and answer those who say you're really still a democrat in sheep's clothing. >> yeah. i mean, people from the very beginning have called me a rino. >> [ chuckles ] >> it took me a while to figure out what that actually meant. >> "republican in name only." >> exactly. exactly. and, like you said, i was a democrat most of my adult life like my parents and like my grandparents. and as i decided to run for mayor, i looked at what the democratic party meant in philadelphia. i didn't want to associate myself with the party of the status quo, the party of insiders and corruption, and, as a woman, i wasn't part of that man's world of the democratic party in philadelphia. and so that's why i'm here as a public servant, looking to help people to fight the corruption and greed that has really taken over politics in the u.s.
>> i want to dive in to the issues in just a moment, but first, you know, we talk about the dynamics of this race, the politics of it. we have a democrat in jim kenney. we have a republican in melissa murray bailey. is there room for a third, an independent -- big name, perhaps -- to enter the race at this point? >> yeah. i think that's the beautiful thing about democracy. just like i was never in politics and here i am as a candidate for mayor, i think that other people who have ideas to make the city better -- new, better ideas are welcome, because the ideas that we have are not getting us to the place we want to be, so i would welcome a candidate who can bring -- bring that kind of level of new ideas to the conversation. >> all right. let's dive in to the issues -- okay? -- starting with education, which i think many people recognize as one of the most pressing issues facing the city of philadelphia. both of your parents were public schoolteachers, and yet it is the public schools in this city that some say are driving young people out when their children get to the age that they need to be in school. melissa, how do you wrap your hands around this enormous
problem -- the budget deficits the push and pull between charters and traditional publics? how do you start to turn the tide there? >> yeah. i think it's easy to say that education is our number-one priority because that's the most obvious, glaring challenge that we have in the city. and things like universal pre-k -- really easy to say that we should do that. everyone is for that. but how are we gonna do some of these things? and what we have let happen to the children in philadelphia is, frankly, criminal. we are robbing them of their civil rights by not having a good public school system for them. i'm a product of a public school system, and my entire family has contributed to public school systems, so i understand that, while funding is very important, it's not the only thing that we need to focus on. but first we need to fund our schools fairly, and from the very beginning, i have said that i am willing to do what it takes. we'll work with harrisburg, but even if harrisburg won't step up
and give us what we need, we need to solve that problem ourselves. we can't abdicate responsibility of educating our children. so, nothing is off the chopping block, in my opinion, when it comes to making room for things for the schools. >> are charter schools part of the problem or part of the solution? >> well, i think public education is part of the solution, and the reality is that we need to work together, public and charter schools, in order to make the public education what the students need. and so as we think about that, i think it's things like making sure that our teachers are paid fairly. you know, just like the taxes in the city are driving people out of the city, the way we treat our teachers in the city is driving them to get jobs in other places outside of the city and leaving our kids without people who can educate them. now, not all teachers are in it for the right reasons, and i say to them, "get out," but let's give the teachers who are really in it for the children -- let's
give them the resources that they need so that they can properly educate them. >> and what about the school reform commission? it's their job to sort of get those resources into their hands and set the path for the school system moving forward. is it effective, or has it run its course? >> well, i think the voters told us on may 19th what they think about it. however, i think that, while there is a path and we need to get aggressively on the path where the city takes full responsibility of the schools, we also need to look at how can we partner with the s.r.c. while they're still in place? and i think the city needs to say, "these are the things that we can do." there are a lot of things that we can help out with from the city perspective. there are things like bringing after-school activities back so that we get more kids off the streets and reducing the crime increasing the graduation rate. >> right. >> and so they're are some of the things that i'd be focused on. >> melissa, before we move on to another topic, let's talk about the horizon of this situation.
if you're elected mayor, you've got four years. if you're lucky, you get eight. is the problem fixable in that amount of time, or is this a generational problem? >> there are things that can be fixed tomorrow, and so that's what i would focus on. i would focus on the things that we can do today that can help the school system -- at the same time, looking at the long term. you know, as we look, so many times, we are too focused on the long term -- creating commissions and programs to look in to how we might do something -- that we forget that there are things we can do today. there are things we can do today to help kindergartners so that they can read at the end of kindergarten so that, when they get to 4th grade, they're still not behind. there's also something we can do on the back end, in 12th grade. we can do a lot more to connect people who are graduating with jobs, and that will really help us to get on the right course of having a more fully employed citizenship in philadelphia. >> melissa, on crime, during the campaign cycle, in the primary
stop and frisk, as you well know, became such a flash point. you went on the record -- said "it needs to go." democrats feel the same. but how do you respond to those, including the current mayor and the current police commissioner, who's earned a national reputation for his work in this city? how do you respond to those people who say, "it's working -- that's why crime is going down"? >> yeah. i think i have -- well, i know i have the utmost respect for commissioner ramsey. he was in d.c. when i was in d.c. and got to watch a lot of the great things that he did there, and i see a lot of the good things that are happening here. i think we need to look at things like how do we get more guns off the street, as well as how do we get people off the street, right? like i was talking about, we need to get kids off the street by having opportunities for them after school. we also need to be able to have people working so they're not having these crimes of desperation that are happening. and so if we focus on reducing
crime through jobs, through activities for kids, then the crime will go down even further in the city. >> so, i know you said you have the utmost respect for the commissioner, but in a bailey administration, does charles ramsey get to keep his job? >> yeah. i guess the first question is, does charles ramsey want his job in a bailey administration? you know, when i come in to companies that i'm trying to turn around, i don't take an approach that many c.e.o.s do and just say, "everyone's out of the picture" -- even every politician does. what i do is i sit down with individuals. we talk about what they have been doing, what their vision is, and we talk about what my vision is, and where those two line up, there can be a great path forward. so, i would plan to do that with commissioner ramsey, and if he was on board and aligned with some of the things that we could do together, then i would welcome him into my team. >> you know, the reason that stop and frisk, i think, became such a flash point is because the national debate now is between police and their
relationship with the communities they serve. let me ask you a question i also posed to your democratic opponent. do the ingredients exist in philadelphia right now such that this city could be the next baltimore or ferguson? >> i think there are ingredients there, and i think we need to be realistic about where we are and we need to take it seriously. one of the things i want to do is make sure that we are reducing some of the administrative costs in city hall so that we can have more of that to have citizen services and that our police on the streets, and i want to make sure the police have the capacity that they can be spending time with the community so that we can have more community involvement and community relationships between the police and the people in the city, and we need to get on that path very quickly before things escalate. so, one of the things that i
have suggested is that we encourage and allow police officers to spend 10% of their time in community activities of their choosing, whether that is spending time at a recreation center with the kids or coaching a basketball team or playing on an adult softball league in the community that they serve so that they can get to know each other. they can understand the challenges that each of those face and have a mutual respect for each other. >> so it's not always a confrontational or combative atmosphere in which they're interacting. we've got lots more to talk about. i want to turn the tide and talk about the economy -- how to get jobs back in the city of philadelphia and where melissa murray bailey sees us going when "inside story" continues right after this. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge.
>> and welcome back once again to "inside story." i'm brian taff, and we are talking this morning with melissa murray bailey, the republican candidate for mayor in philadelphia. good to have you again. we talked about a lot of topics this morning but want to change gears now to the economy. as you well know, keeping businesses, attracting new ones is sort of the linchpin to growing the economy, and philadelphia has done a pretty decent job in recent years of drawing business and keeping some high-profile ones.
but how does melissa murray bailey the mayor go about doing that? how aggressive would you be in luring new business here? >> i'd be really aggressive. our people need jobs, and that's one of the most important things that we can do to turn around the city is get people jobs. >> so, how do you do that? >> well, that's what i do. i've been starting business operations in multiple countries, most recently turning around businesses and growing them here. and so i know what businesses are looking for when they're choosing a city to operate in. and i know what are the key things that are going to detract them. and so as i've created jobs, i can take a lot of those learnings and a lot of that pitch and take that outside, so looking at people who -- looking to move a west coast company to have their east coast headquarters. how do we have that in this city? how do we find european
companies and asian companies who are looking for their u.s. headquarters and have that in philadelphia? but then also, we have to look at the workforce that we have in philadelphia and make sure that we have the right jobs that match up to the workforce that we have. so, we have 64% of our seniors graduating from high school, and so we have to look at, for all of those people who are not graduating from high school, are we attracting jobs to the city that they can do and so that we can really end the cycle of poverty by making sure that we're able to get people in good-paying jobs. >> yeah. you're talking about the workforce, and, of course, that brings us to unions in the city, which are a powerful force, and i believe that my research is correct that your father was the head of a teachers' union in south jersey, so you know the value and the good side, but there are many who say that unions are not so much effective at moving the economy forward as they are inhibiting growth in the ways that they want. so, how do you see unions? are they effective?
do they need to be controlled? how do you interact with them? >> yeah. so, like you said, my dad was a negotiator in the teachers' union, so have a lot of close relationships in understanding what it is that the unions are looking for, and so i think that unions are a reality in philadelphia, and what we need to look at is how we can make sure that they are moving our economy forward and that we're working together to make sure that we're having fair play across the board but also making sure that we are having efficiencies -- that the job is being done as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible so that we can have additional resources to invest in more development and opportunities in the city, as well. >> as the city's manager, you would essentially have to set the financial plan, right, moving forward? and one of the biggest challenges there will be figuring out how to backfill that hole created by pensions -- the pension crisis in the city.
um...how do you do that? >> yeah. so, that's the one thing that we're not really talking about a lot, and 15% of our budget, if my research is correct, is going to fund the pensions. so, right off the bat, 15% is gone from what we can be spending on citizen services and education. >> right, but you can't renege on that promise. >> we cannot renege on that promise. that's something that i will not do. but i will look at ways that we can plug the deficit, so nothing is off the table in the sense of selling some of our utilities so that we can plug that deficit and have more money into our operating budget. so, that's something i would look at it. and you mentioned the budget is a big challenge. right now our budget is managed on something like 2,000 spreadsheets. how are we making any sense of our spending on 2,000 spreadsheets? there is modernization that we need to do in our government and if we do that, then we're
going to be able to know what's working, what's not working, and where we should invest our money, and that way, we'll know where there's duplicative things that we're overspending the citizens' money on. >> a little bit less than a minute left in this segment, but i think it's important to go to you as a leader, right? and if i asked you, "what's your leadership style?" that's a difficult question to answer but how would you summarize that? >> yeah. so, i don't think it's that difficult because this is what i do on a daily basis -- lead people, lead companies. and my style is very collaborative. it's also empowering of people's ideas. but also, the kind of leader that makes hard decisions -- not necessarily the popular ones. so, knowing what it's going to take to do the things that we've set out to do and being the person that's strong enough to say, "you know, even when it gets hard, we're gonna accomplish what we set out to do." >> all right. well, we want to return with a final thought from you and
>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge. >> welcome back one final time on this sunday morning to "inside story." i'm brian taff. a final thought this morning from melissa murray bailey, who is the republican candidate for mayor. i trust we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from you in the coming weeks and months. give you this chance to make a final pitch, but in there somewhere, how do you define the success or failure of a melissa murray bailey administration? >> yeah. so, one of the reasons i got into this campaign was because we were asking the same questions that we asked in the last election and the election before that. we're asking questions about what are we gonna do about
education, crime, and poverty in the city? so, how i'm gonna measure success is will we continue to ask those questions? so, in the re-election, if we're still asking those questions then i was not successful in what i set out to do, and people will know along the way how we're doing with that because i will share the goals and the objectives with the citizens. i will be completely transparent along the way on what we're doing, how we're spending the money, and how we are progressing against those goals. so, that's gonna be success, and i know that it's gonna be successful, and, you know, we have to remember this is the city of rocky balboa, an underdog who no one believed could do it, and the citizens in the neighborhoods got behind him, and that's how he won, and while he's fictitious, it took him till "rocky 2" to finally win. i'm gonna do it on the first shot because the people want a change.
>> and so you intend to change your name recognition in pretty short time? >> in pretty short time, yes. >> all right. well, we hope that today has served you well in that regard and gotten some of your positions out. that's the whole objective of this show and these conversations. so, melissa murray bailey, thanks for your time today. most appreciated. and we'll see you along the trail. >> great. >> and we thank all of you for joining us on this sunday morning special edition of "inside story." i'm brian taff. hope you have a great sunday and a great week. i'll see you on action news at 4:00 and 10:00. in the meantime, you have a good afternoon, a high school football player is fighting for his life after hit and ruffin in south jersey, american pharoah wins the triple crown, we have reaction. testers are set to climb this week, look at the beautiful shot of the beach i wish i was there. chris has the exclusive accuweather seven-day
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