(Editor’s note: This week on Citified we’re featuring op-eds from supporters of the mayoral candidates. Monday, Ken Trujillo endorsed Jim Kenney. Tuesday, Ajay Raju made the case for Anthony Williams. Wednesday, Federico Peña argued for Nelson Diaz. Today, real estate attorney and Lynne Abraham campaign chairman Michael Sklaroff contends she is the best choice.)

In Lynne Abraham, the voters in the Philadelphia Democratic Primary have a unique opportunity to elect a great mayor and fundamentally change the way the City does business. Lynne will restore the strong mayor form of government envisioned in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter and change the pay-to-play culture that corrodes our politics. From the get-go, Lynne rejected the outside money that marginalizes Philadelphia’s campaign finance laws.

I’ve known Lynne since the early 1970’s when she was appointed Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority. I served as her deputy. At the time the Authority had 575 employees and an annual budget of millions in federal, state and local funding. The agency had been a hotbed of corruption and favoritism. Lynne took the reins of the agency and turned it around. She brought in new blood and empowered people of talent in the ranks. As a result, she created an esprit de corps and a culture of competence. Projects that she originated or nurtured in those days remain a source of economic energy and jobs to this very day: Market East, University City Science Center, Franklin Town, Eastwick and many more.

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