“Phoenix is Rising Again!”
That was the predominant theme in Mayor Kate Gallego’s annual State of the City Address before the members and guests of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
Readers can watch and read the Mayor’s address by clicking below.
Describing the fifth largest city in the United States as one that has soared from the stress during the height of the Coronavirus (where the Mayor touted the distribution of 300,000 COVID tests and vaccines,) Ms. Gallego highlighted several achievements over the last year that have made Phoenix a rising success story.
These achievements include:
- The conclusion of the large economic development deal with the bringing in of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The Mayor relayed how she had told First Lady Jill Biden that “I intend Phoenix to be the strongest semiconductor hub in the United States, with the best semiconductor training programs in the world.”
- The emergence of Phoenix as one of the top five life science markets. This includes the Mayo Clinic expansion known as Discovery Oasis.
- Winning a million dollar grant/prize from the Bloomberg Cities Challenge for the innovative Mobile Career Unit.
- Giving thousands of children laptops with high speed internet.
- Expanding the Community Assistance Program where more mental health specialists will go out into the field to help those with behavioral health issues.
- Helping people pay their rent and mortgage with $78 million in assistance.
- Issuing 22-thousand permits for new single- family homes and multi-family units.
- Promoting small business expansion. Saying “small business is big business in Phoenix,” Mayor Gallego touted the eight million dollars earmarked for small business assistance and two million for arts and cultural organizations.
- Improvements in Phoenix Infrastructure like the advent of Electric Charging stations and the funding of the South Central Light rail line.
- Combatting climate change with its tree equity initiative, pledge to cut emissions to net zero by 2050, and commitment to electric charging stations and electric buses.
- Tackling homelessness, including veterans and creating places for them to call home.
The Mayor thanked those who help make this Phoenix Success Story Possible.
Mayor Gallego was very magnanimous in thanking and saluting the efforts of people who have helped make the recent Phoenix Success Story possible. These people include:
- Phoenix City Manager Jeff Barton for his budget stewardship.
- Phoenix Councilwoman Ann O’Brien for her assistance in helping Phoenix’s economic sector.
- The leaders of Maricopa Community Colleges for helping create a talent pipeline that will help fill the future semiconductor jobs.
- The healthcare workers who have helped Phoenix Residents weather the COVID 19 Pandemic.
- Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman for helping spearhead the distribution of high speed internet laptops to children in need of access to that valued learning tool.
- Councilmember Carlos Garcia and Councilwoman Betty Guardado for helping forge strong economic partnerships with Mexico.
- Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari for her assistance in helping develop what is starting to be called “the Electric Valley” where Phoenix is becoming “a hub for the manufacture of components for electric cars and charging equipment.”
- Councilman Jim Waring for helping to expand the Life Science economic sector.
- Vice Mayor Laura Pastor for her work on creating a partnership to help detect cancer early in firefighters and police officers.
- Councilwoman Deb Stark for her work on police officer issues.
- Senators Sinema and Kelly along with Representatives Stanton and Gallego for their work in securing federal dollars for Phoenix transportation infrastructure.
On Divesting from Russia.
When discussing Phoenix’s emerging global portfolio, Mayor Gallego conveyed that the city pension fund (COPERS) has divested itself from any investments with Russia because of that nation’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine last month.
“I have never, and will never, defund the Phoenix Police Department.”
Ms. Gallego saluted the bravery and hard work of the many members of law enforcement who continually work to keep Phoenix safe.
She committed to keeping them safe and to rooting out those few bad apples that give the police a sour reputation.
Like President Biden, Mayor Gallego reaffirmed her commitment to funding the police, including a nine percent raise for police officers and a $7500 hiring bonus for new law enforcement recruits, saying “I have never, and will never, defund the Phoenix Police Department.”
Mayor Gallego in her concluding remarks continued her theme of Phoenix Rising again, stating:
“I hope that by now, you’re in agreement with me that Phoenix is Rising Again. We are a center of business innovation and worldwide influence. We are compassionate, yet we are doing what’s necessary to enforce the law and keep our people safe. We are creating opportunity, whether it’s in education, housing, or building a leading-edge career.
We took an incredibly difficult time and turned it into an incredible opportunity for innovation and growth…
…In the ancient story, the immortal Phoenix destroys itself by fire, in order to rise again. Now, we are living a wonderful, modern, and innovative twist to the story: no longer must the Phoenix destroy itself. Instead, it rises forever higher, and we rise with it.”