Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti Election Night Remarks as Prepared
Thank you so much for being here. I have just received a gracious call from Controller Murray, congratulating me on winning today’s primary election. I thank him for volunteering to serve and look forward to continuing to work with him as the city’s Controller.
18 months ago we stood here, a movement of idealists and outsiders joined together by a simple idea – that government should work as hard as the people it serves.
That idea became more of a reality – our movement grew – joined by students and seniors, newcomers and natives. Tonight that movement has achieved another victory, and something new – a clear mandate. A mandate to do the work of the people, and continue our progress. Tonight showed that our victory in 2019, and what we are building, is not an aberration, but an aspiration of the city. People here care about their community and government. This is what the future looks like.
We believe that people here are known throughout the world for their hard work and their resilient spirit, and that their government should make their lives better, not disappoint them.
We beat the old way of doing things, and got to work.. We inherited a city facing three crises:
A historic pandemic.
An economy that works for the few, not the many.
And corruption that dishonors our proud legacy.
These crises elevated the importance of our work, and the moral imperative that we needed to do better for the people.
With spreadsheets, calculators, a great team, and a little elbow grease, we changed the way business was done in Scranton.
We worked to make government regain the trust of the people – more accountability, audits and oversight. Our solid understanding of the value of a taxpayer dollar helped us to balance a budget without raising taxes.
We worked to make government more accessible – we listened.
We held over 2,000 meetings – town halls in every neighborhood. We used the internet to connect with people and hear their concerns.
We worked to improve the quality of life here. We fixed potholes, painted crosswalks, replaced street signs, made our city safer.
And when a historic pandemic challenged our historic city, we as a community stepped up. We worked with mayors across the country to find the best ways to help folks. Grant for small businesses, less red tape and more PPP. Raised money for food banks and fought to save main street.
Government can only do so much, but we came together to help one another when so many were pointing fingers and leaving our city behind.
We took a government that worked for the few, and made it ours.
I’m proud of what we have done together, and with the trust placed in our movement tonight by Scranton voters, we look to have a full term after November, to continue doing the people’s business. And the Mandate to get the results they need.
In a second term, the aspirations of our movement should not just be to build upon what we have done, but to charge forward and make this city a model for how to better serve people.
A few days before becoming mayor, I became a mom. I work every day to make our city better for her and families like ours. In a second term, my focus will be redoubled to make Scranton a great place to work, live and raise a family. Every kid should be able to have safe places to learn and play, and their families should have access to good jobs that create a quality of life. Every kid in Scranton should be able to thrive, or even go to the White House.
That’s the next step of this movement. To combat the systemic challenges facing our community and not just beat them, but thrive.
Thank you to all of you who gave us your work, hope and love. I want to thank the volunteers who talked to friends, families, and neighbors. I want to thank my husband, Ryan, and my mom, Lynda, along with our beautiful Sloane who spent her first year sharing her mom with the City.
I’m Paige Cognetti. I’m your mayor. And I’m just getting started.