Grateful to God for the freedoms we enjoy, and desirous of establishing a form of improved municipal self- government in which all qualified citizens may participate equally without any distinction based on race, color, religion or national origin, we, the electors of Philadelphia, hereby adopt this "Philadelphia Home Rule Charter", prepared by the Philadelphia Charter Commission under authority of the Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, approved April 21, 1949, P.L. 665.