Mayor Greg Stanton said in his state of the city speech Thursday that the city is strong and needs to continue to create high-wage jobs, do more with less and be more livable to create a new Phoenix economy.
Stanton also announced a slew of new initiatives dealing with school safety, reading by third grade, gun buy-backs and job training.
“Together, we will build a future where the new economy roars,” Stanton said. “We will create a Phoenix blessed with safety and opportunity, full of educated young minds and thriving health. The future of Phoenix is not guaranteed. We have to make the right choices. We have to earn it. And we will.”
In his first year in office, Stanton set a bold agenda and accomplished many economic goals, including:
-The Phoenix Access to Care Ordinance that draws down federal dollars to cover the costs of the uninsured at hospitals
-$400 million in bioscience projects to treat more than 60,000 patients a year, creating an annual economic impact approaching $500 million. The projects include the Health Sciences
Education building, the University of Arizona Cancer Center, the Arizona Biomedical Corridor and work on the Mayo Clinic’s cancer center
-Being a leader on increasing and fostering business and trade relations with Mexico, Arizona’s largest trading partner, leading two trade missions to Mexico and creating the Mexico Trade Task Force with city council members
-Updating the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and disabled residents so that Phoenix values all its citizens
Now, Stanton said, he wants to focus on a new Phoenix economy that can compete globally and develop locally, with a diverse and robust mix of industries. He said in order to build a strong future economy, we need to create high-wage jobs and a competitive and educated workforce, balance the city budget without gimmicks and grow the city sustainably to make Phoenix more livable.
“The city must play an increased role in supporting education,” Stanton said. “We must create the smarter, more technologically advanced workforce Phoenix needs for success. We also need safer neighborhoods and to embrace our city’s diversity. We must build a downtown that pulses with life.”
Stanton announced new projects for Phoenix:
-Downtown Phoenix, Inc., an organization that will be a focal point to create an even more vibrant downtown, with new grassroots leadership led by David Kreitor
-Phoenix School Safety program to double the number of police officers in schools citywide and working with every school in Phoenix, public, private and charter to develop a clear and effective emergency response plan
-$100,000 gun buyback program to give the option of anyone to drop off a weapon
-Partnership with the Maricopa Community Colleges for a “Corporate College” that will aid in job training by preparing students for the workforce
-Read On Phoenix, an initiative with Helios, the Arizona Community Foundation, the Piper Foundation and United Way to ensure that every Phoenix child can read by third grade
"Make no mistake, we will keep moving forward,” Stanton said. “I will do everything in my power to make Phoenix everything we want it to be. The state of our city is strong, but together, we will create the even stronger future Phoenix so richly deserves.”