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Republican Candidate For Philadelphia Mayor Shares Her Vision For The City

By Chris May

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  CBS 3 Eyewitness News spoke with Republican candidate for Philadelphia Mayor Melissa Murray Bailey.

Look around at the candidates for Mayor. Some bring name recognition, others years of government experience.

Melissa Murray Bailey brings neither, and that's the way she likes it.

"We really want to change Philadelphia and make it better. We need to have a different approach," she said.

Just 36, this native of Absecon, Atlantic County has lived and worked as a business executive in world class cities Washington, Melbourne, and Singapore. Three years ago she settled in Society Hill with her husband and daughter and developed a passion for making Philadelphia a more attractive place.

"Until we focus programs on making things better for every Philadelphian, we're not going to be able to take the city forward and realize the vision of a better Philadelphia for everybody," she said.

For Bailey it starts with education. Coming from a family of public school teachers, she wants their voices heard.

"I know that the intent of the teachers and their hearts are all in the right place and we need to listen to them on how we can get the best resources to the students," she said.

But simply pouring money into schools she says is not the answer. She sees government constantly asking for more from taxpayers without transparency and without results.

"I think we need to leverage data to see what programs are working and what programs are not. And if programs aren't working, we shouldn't be spending money to fund them anymore," she said.

As an outsider, Bailey believes she's uniquely positioned to tackle issues that help drive businesses and families to the suburbs like crime and the wage tax. But she knows it won't be easy. If elected, she'd be the first woman ever to serve as Mayor, the first Republican in more than 60 years.

"People who say I really do want the school system to be better, I really do want less crime and I want more companies and small businesses to be able to thrive in the city so more people can have jobs, then I think they owe it to themselves and to the city to at least listen to a different perspective," she said.

Melissa Murray Bailey will compete in the Fall against one of six Democratic mayoral hopefuls. The Primary is set for May 19th.

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