In a virtual address to Phoenix residents sponsored by that city’s Greater Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Kate Gallego recounted what Phoenix has accomplished in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic and outlines her goals to make the fifth largest city in the country stronger, smarter, greener, and better.
Thanking everyone for their hard work and persevering through the Coronavirus, the Mayor said “what a year” at the beginning of her address.
She then described what the people and industries of Phoenix were able to accomplish during the last year, stating: “The truth is: in the midst of a pandemic, we got a lot of work done.”
Among the accomplishments cited by Ms. Gallego were:
- The conclusion of an agreement with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company which projects to have a $16 billion impact on the Phoenix Economy.
- The continuation of construction building. Phoenix is the only major city, during COVID 19, that had a positive development in this area.
- Advancing Phoenix’s drive to become a Bioscience center for the country.
- Pursuing sustainability goals that adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Getting the Women’s Final Four in 2026.
Mayor Gallego concluded her introduction, stating:
“Because we didn’t stop and didn’t give up when times were hard, Phoenix is now poised to charge full-force out of the pandemic and lead the nation’s recovery. No, not all of our problems are solved. There is plenty of work to do. Frankly, the world we knew before the pandemic is gone. Yet, by making hard decisions and investing wisely, we have diversified our local economy, stayed clear-headed about how to best fight COVID-19, and grown even stronger.”
Mayor Gallego Addressed COVID 19.
Ms. Gallego also addressed the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, saying:
“We cannot tell the story of a stronger Phoenix without speaking about the pandemic. We are in the throes of another surge. What we do next will be decisive. The science has shown us that masks work. Until we have a vaccine, masks are the single best defense against the virus. While Phoenix has had a mask requirement in place since June, there is still no statewide mandate. We can stick to this piecemeal approach or we can do it right. Today, I call on Governor Doug Ducey to issue a statewide mask order to help prevent new infections, and to keep that order in place until we have wide distribution of a vaccine, more effective treatments, or both. We don’t know when a vaccine will be ready; however, we do know that even in the best of circumstances, it will take months to deliver this vital shot in the arm to everyone in Arizona. I pledge our city’s full cooperation with the effort to distribute the vaccine. We will make sure it gets to every resident in every corner of Phoenix.”
She also said that Phoenix, along with other local and state governments are in need of increased federal aid.
Making Phoenix Stronger, Smarter, Greener, and Better
The bulk of the Mayors address concerned moving Phoenix forward over the next several years. While recognizing the efforts of fellow members of the Phoenix City Council, the Mayor outlined many initiatives designed to make Phoenix stronger, smarter, greener, and better.
Among these new initiatives are:
- Expanding Phoenix’s Bioscience infrastructure and creating a climate where the cure for cancer, may be found in Phoenix.
- Taking abandoned infrastructure and reconstituting it as educational and job training centers.
- Expanding terminals and shifting cargo capacity at Sky Harbor Airport.
- Sustainable Economic Development at the Salt River.
- Bridging the digital divide for families whose children are learning virtually thanks to COVID 19.
- Combatting homelessness.
- Building and expanding on past and future public transit programs and initiatives.
- Repairing vital infrastructure like roads (potholes)
- Combatting Climate Change by expanding recycling, solar power infrastructure, and light-colored pavements.
- Promoting equality and assistance for all groups including Native Americans and the mentally ill.
- Improved training for Phoenix Police towards a “scenario-based” approach.
- Investments in police body cameras and mental health awareness training for law enforcement officers
The Mayor concluded her address by stating:
“As we head into 2021, we are at an inflection point. This has been a good year in spite of everything COVID threw at us. The virus did not defeat us; it made us stronger. As Phoenix emerges, we will be better than ever. Thank you for choosing me to lead the city through the next four years. Thank you for inviting me here today, and for the gift of your time and attention. We have a lot to do, so let’s get to work!”
Please click below to read the full text of Mayor Gallego’s State of the City Address.