Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay appeared together on Ted Simons PBS show Horizon on May 19, 2022 to tout the fifth largest city in the nation’s growing Bioscience sector.
Please click here to view the exchange.
Mayor Gallego also made news by indicating that the Phoenix City Council will likely refer a bond funding initiative to residents so growth in the bioscience area and other vitally important sectors will continue to thrive.
At the beginning of the interview, in response to Simon’s question on what is a bioscience hub, the Mayor commented:
“There was just a study of emerging bioscience markets (From Flinn,) we are number one in life science job growth. We are seeing companies that are spinning out of our universities, the City of Phoenix invested in bringing T-Gen to our core, and we’ve had 30 companies come out of there. We have one company that’s on the cutting edge of m-RNA technology, which we’ve all seen over the last year as the place to be. Another that can help you diagnose cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. This is good news for people who live in our city, who want the best possible health care. Our investment in innovation is going to make us a safer city.”
Both Gallego and MacKay both discussed the rebranding of the initial initiative from biomedicine to bioscience because it created greater recruitment possibilities for companies, both nationally and internationally, that specialize in the more general biosciences industries.
Director MacKay relayed:
“When we first started this in 2000, the early 2000s, it was really focused on the medical school, you know, that type of thing. As bioscience has really evolved into implantable and wearable technologies, we thought it was better to re-brand as a broader biosciences, as opposed to just biomedicine.”
Mayor Gallego agreed, stating:
“It’s been very helpful. We’re seeing interest from all other the world, particularly European companies who are looking for a North American outpost and they want to know who is on the cutting edge but also who will welcome them…”
McKay noted that the prime area for this hub is primarily located around 30 acres from Van Buren to Polk Streets in one direction and between fourth and seventh streets in the other.
Mayor Gallego hints at new Bond Initiative.
When discussing the funding commitments already allocated to the growth of the bioscience sector from public and private sources (about $3.5 billion combined in Gallego’s tenure alone,) the Phoenix Mayor relayed “a little bit of breaking news” when she offered that:
“Next month, the City of Phoenix is likely to announce that we will be going to our voters in 2023 with a bond package. The 2006 package was instrumental in bringing the bioscience core to our city and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to build on that success with the support of our voters. Hopefully, the people who are watching Horizon say having better access to cutting edge medicine, to the startups that are solving challenges is good news for Phoenix and we want to build on the success.”
Later, responding to a follow up question from Blog for Arizona, Mayor Gallego conveyed:
“It has been 16 years since our last bond program was approved by voters, and now is the time to give residents the opportunity to address unfunded capital needs to strengthen our city. We’ve identified eight areas for the potential 2023 General Obligation Bond Program: Public Safety, Streets & Storm Drainage, Parks & Recreation, Neighborhood & City Services, Housing & Human Services, Environment & Sustainability, Arts & Culture, and Economic Development & Education. The City’s Fiscal Capacity Committee will give its recommendations for the total amount of the bond program at the City Council’s June 7th Policy meeting.”