Mayor Jonathan Rothschild delivered his annual State of the City speech on
Wednesday February 26, 2014 at the Tucson Metro Chamber’s luncheon at the Tucson Convention Center. Here’s the entire speech, in case you missed the lunch. Mayor Rothschild was elected in Nov. 2011, so this was his 3rd address.
Tucson in Transition
February 26, 2014 State of the City Address Mayor Jonathan Rothschild
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2014 State of the City Address. I’d like to thank the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Tucson Convention Center for hosting this year’s event. Thanks especially to the Chamber for sharing proceeds with three local nonprofits that are helping with several of my initiatives: 51 Homes Vets, Make Way for Books and Tucson Clean & Beautiful.
Each of these charities works in a different area – ending veteran homelessness, increasing childhood literacy and restoring Tucson’s tree canopy – yet all share the same model for success: bringing together individuals, businesses, government and nonprofits to address community needs.
In June, I accepted the President’s challenge to end veteran homelessness in Tucson by December 31, 2015 – which means placing 1,650 homeless veterans in permanent housing. That’s a goal we’re on track to meet. Working with 18 partner agencies, including the City’s Housing Department, we’ve already housed close to 500 formerly homeless veterans.
In August, in partnership with the Arizona Daily Star, we launched a volunteer recruitment drive to double the number of reading coaches in Reading Seed, a program that pairs struggling readers in grades K through 3 with trained volunteers. Too many of our children don’t read at grade level by 3rd
grade, a critical milestone that predicts future success in school. We met our goal, adding more than 600 volunteers, who will help more than 1,200 students, all, or almost all, in Title 1 schools. 1,200 lives changed – 1,800 if you count the volunteers, who often find their lives changed, too.
In October, in partnership with Tucson Clean & Beautiful, TEP, Long Realty and others, we rolled out our 10,000 Trees Campaign, encouraging individuals, business and community groups to plant desert-adapted trees, especially in neighborhoods that lack shade. That’s another goal we’re on track to meet. To date, we’ve planted more than 4,000 trees.
These are basic needs our community is tackling together, through public-private partnerships: housing, literacy and the environment.