In Her Annual State of the City Address, Mayor Kate Gallego Says “Phoenix is Where the Future Happens”

From Greg Stanton X account.

Mayor Kate Gallego presented an optimistic vision for Phoenix’s future in her annual State of the City Address at a Great Chamber of Commerce Luncheon today (April 23, 2024.)

Mayor Gallego’s address starts about 15 minutes and 50 seconds into the event.

Maintaining the theme from previous addresses that “the future is Phoenix,” the Mayor, after thanking her father and many individuals on her team at the City and local public safety, relayed that the people of the fifth largest city of the country have made “Phoenix the place where the future happens.”

The Mayor also cited news outlets singing Phoenix’s phrases like the Washington Post which referred to the city as “a rising star city” and the Wall Street Journal which called the largest city in the state a location where “opportunity has a new address.”

Ms. Gallego then touted several of the positive industrial and job creation developments she and the City Council have presided over during her term and the last year like:

  • The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC,) Intel (in Chandler,) and Netherland-based ASM will be constructing the most advanced semiconductors in Phoenix. TSMC’s investment is over $65 billion (the revenue equivalent, according to Gallego, to the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the World Series every two weeks.)
  • Automated cars gaining mass use in the city. According to Ms. Gallego, “Thanks to Whamo, we’re the largest autonomous vehicle Zone in the world.”
  • Biomedical research institutions setting up shop including the expansion of the Mayor Clinic and the creation of the Biotech Corridor. In her address, the Mayor proclaimed that “the road to curing cancer will come right through here in Phoenix.”
  • A Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program through Phoenix College.
  • The development of an Arizona State University Medical School.
  • The construction of a new “cutting edge” terminal at the western end of Sky Harbor Airport to “accommodate for future growth.” In her address, the Mayor said that this new terminal “will be beautiful with Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions and equipped with a new Customs facility that will help us welcome even more people from all over the world.”
  • The expansion of light rail service toward Metro Center and a projected expansion into South Central Phoenix.
  • Major steps in conserving water and protecting the city supply like upgrading the Cave Creek Water Central Plant.
  • Launching sustainability programs like increased access to solar panels, cool pavement, and tree plantings to make Phoenix reliant solely on clean energy by 2050.
  • A Community Assistance Program to relieve the stress on law enforcement on mental health issue calls.
  • Every front-line police officer now has a body camera and the establishment of a Civilian Review Board for law enforcement.

Throughout that portion of the address, the Mayor made a point to thank several local, state, and federal residents and leaders for helping make these achievements possible including people who have benefitted from some of these programs, members of the Phoenix City Council, former Mayor and current House Representative Greg Stanton, and the Biden/Harris Administration for its passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

In the last quarter of the Mayor’s speech, she addressed the housing crisis and the lingering homeless problems facing the city.

On housing, the Mayor noted that the city has made inroads in preserving 50,000 homes by 2030. The city has also made it easier for multigenerational housing to expand with permit allowances for home expansions. She also committed to cutting red tape for housing developers to move faster in creating new homes.

On homelessness, the Mayor cited the creation of the “Phoenix’s city office of Homeless Solutions” with 36 full-time employees to help the homeless find solutions to their predicament. She also said that the city has “stepped up” to get people into more temporary shelters as a way to get them into more permanent housing, including those converted from shipping containers.

She also spoke about plans to make Phoenix “the most accessible city in the world.”

With summer approaching, the Mayor told the audience, that with 645 heat-related deaths last year, it was time “to prepare for extreme heat the way other communities do for hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.”

Touting the creation of a 2024 plan to combat extreme heat, Ms. Gallego said “This year we will open overnight cooling centers extend respite hours and public facilities, and coordinate both volunteer and emergency personnel outreach efforts. No person should die in the summer because an air conditioning went out or because they are unsheltered.”

The Mayor closed her address by stating:

“We are reaping the benefits from years of intentional planning attention to the right issues and a steadfast belief in our limitless potential. Phoenix is more prosperous healthy and happy than we were decades ago. The state of our city is strong. If we continue to leverage our strengths and harness our ingenuity, I know we can rise to the challenges we face. We must and we will continue to rise for the sake of pursuing an even better future for us all. Thank you for allowing me to lead this incredible city, my beloved home. The future is bright in Phoenix and Phoenix is the future. Thank you.”

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