2017 State of the Cities
From public safety and economic development to inclusiveness and infrastructure, Democratic Mayors have used their 2017 State of the City addresses to set priorities and outline bold visions for their cities. Below you'll find summaries of State of the City addresses from the following Mayors:
- Mayor Greg Fischer - Louisville, Kentucky
- Mayor Martin J. Walsh - Boston, MA
- Mayor Kasim Reed - Atlanta, GA
- Mayor Steve Adler - Austin, TX
- Mayor Stephanie Miner - Syracuse, NY
- Mayor Robert Garcia - Long Beach, CA
- Mayor Jennifer Roberts - Charlotte, NC
- Mayor Jorge Elorza - Providence, RI
- Mayor Jackie Biskupski - Salt Lake City, UT
- Mayor Jim Gray - Lexington, KY
- Mayor Bill de Blasio - New York, NY
- Mayor Toni Harp - New Haven, CT
- Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson - Toledo, OH
- Mayor Jim Strickland - Memphis, TN
- Mayor Sharon Weston Broome - Baton Rouge, LA
- Mayor William Bell - Birmingham, AL
- Mayor Byron Brown - Buffalo, NY
- Mayor Tom Henry - Fort Wayne, IN
- Mayor Kirk Caldwell - Honolulu, HI
- Mayor Ed Murray - Seattle, WA
- Mayor Andrew Ginther - Columbus, OH
- Mayor Mike Duggan - Detroit, MI
- Mayor Setti Warren - Newton, MA*
- Mayor Jon Mitchell - New Bedford, MA
- Mayor Tom Barrett - Milwaukee, WI
- Mayor Frank Jackson - Cleveland, OH
- Mayor Luke Bronin - Hartford, CT
- Mayor Catherine Pugh - Baltimore, MD
- Mayor Ted Wheeler - Portland, OR
- Mayor Frank Spano - Yonkers, NY
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg - South Bend, IN
- Mayor Sly James - Kansas City, MO*
- Mayor Chris Coleman - St. Paul, MN
- Mayor Muriel Bowser - Washington, D.C.
- Mayor Mark Stodola - Little Rock, AR
- Mayor Steven Fulop - Jersey City, NJ*
- Mayor Bob Buckhorn - Tampa, FL
- Mayor Miro Weinberger - Burlington, VT
- Mayor Joe Hogsett - Indianapolis, IN
- Mayor Lovely Warren - Rochester, NY
- Mayor Eric Garcetti - Los Angeles, CA*
- Mayor Megan Barry - Nashville, TN*
- Mayor Madeline Rogero - Knoxville, TN
- Mayor Kim Bracey - York, PA
- Mayor Betsy Hodges - Minneapolis, MN
- Mayor Sylvester Turner - Houston, TX
- Mayor Michael Tubbs - Stockton, CA
Mayor Greg Fischer - Louisville, KY
Mayor Greg Fischer focused on Louisville's economic growth in his seventh State of the City address on February 2nd. Under his leadership, the city's unemployment rate has dropped from 10 percent to just 3.5 percent, the lowest in 15 years. "Our city overall has achieved a level of prosperity unlike anything in recent memory," Mayor Fischer said. He highlighted the extensive development and innovation happening all over Louisville, with an "unprecedented" $9 billion invested in projects citywide.
Mayor Fischer also spoke about the critical role of Louisville's growing immigrant and foreign-born population. Believing that "a great city must be a global city," the Mayor worked to develop the Global Louisville Action Plan, which he said will help the city attract and expand its foreign-born community.
Read or watch Mayor Fischer's State of the City address here.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh - Boston, MA
In the final State of the City address of his first term, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh prioritized education, innovation, and economic growth. He announced his plans to introduce legislation that would provide a free, high-quality pre-kindergarten education to every child in the city, to be funded by surplus tourism taxes. The Mayor is gearing up to invest $1 billion in Boston Public Schools, which he called the "foundation for equal opportunity." Mayor Walsh also highlighted the city's growth during his first three years in office. With 60,000 new jobs and 19,000 new homes, "we're making great progress, but there's plenty of room to improve," he said.
On the topic of public safety, he announced newly created neighborhood trauma teams to "coordinate immediate response and sustained recovery" for victims of violence in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods. Boston still remains one of the safest large cities in the country, with crime down 9 percent since 2014.
Read or watch Mayor Walsh's State of the City address here.
Mayor Kasim Reed - Atlanta, GA
The state of the city is "stronger than it has ever been," said Mayor Kasim Reed in his final State of the City address as Mayor of Atlanta. Mayor Reed focused on the city's impressive efforts on crime reduction and economic development, and introduced a new measure to bolster Atlanta's arts community.
In addition to the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. corridor, major infrastructure improvements, and the renovation of city-owned Philips Arena, Mayor Reed highlighted the $6 billion expansion of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, which remains the busiest airport in the world. The Mayor also touched on public safety, which he has made a core priority since assuming office in 2010. Since then, crime in Atlanta has dropped more than 27 percent and the police force has gained hundreds of officers.
Mayor Reed also unveiled a new plan to increase the city's sales tax by one-tenth of a penny to dedicate to the arts. The funding will help young and emerging arts programs in their work to enrich the community.
Read Mayor Reed's address here.
Mayor Steve Adler - Austin, TX
"It's time, at long last, for Austin to get real results managing growth," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in his 2017 State of the City address. Managing growth and promoting affordability were at the core of Mayor Adler's address, which was titled "The Spirit of Austin."
Re-writing Austin's convoluted and confusing land development code is one of the most crucial projects of 2017, Mayor Adler said. The re-write, which has been given the name "CodeNEXT," aims to develop a code that achieves two fundamental goals: protecting Austin's neighborhoods, and helping affordability by increasing housing supply. "If we do this right, the code re-write will help us increase mobility, hold down housing prices, protect the character of our neighborhoods and address gentrification in an equitable manner," Mayor Adler said.
The Mayor also spoke about the regional workforce master plan he ordered last year, the first of its kind in central Texas. He announced a goal to lift 10,000 Austin residents out of poverty in the next 5 years by getting them fit to fill jobs in targeted industries like information technology, healthcare, and skilled trades.
Read Mayor Adler's State of the City address here.
Mayor Stephanie Miner - Syracuse, NY
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner reflected on the accomplishments of 2016 and outlined plans for her final year in office during her eighth State of the City address. Her two terms as Mayor have been marked by a commitment to economic development, revitalization, and improving education in Syracuse. Since 2015 alone, Mayor Miner established a $15 minimum wage and helped bring graduation rates to an eight-year high.
Though crime continues to trend downward, violence remains a central concern in Syracuse. To improve public safety, Mayor Miner announced that the Syracuse Police Department is creating a Homicide Task Force. The city will also employ new "Shotspotter" technology, which will allow law enforcement to pinpoint gunfire in Syracuse.
Mayor Miner earned a standing ovation when she pledged to stand by the city's immigrant and refugee communities. "As long as I am Mayor, Syracuse will be a sanctuary city for vulnerable families who had the misfortune of being born in a war-torn corner of our world," she said.
Watch Mayor Miner's State of the City address here.
Mayor Robert Garcia - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia identified several core priorities in his January 10th State of the City address, including climate change, infrastructure, affordable housing, public safety, and civil rights. He highlighted the advancements made by Long Beach in 2016, including a historic $150 million investment plan largely dedicated to infrastructure improvements.
Mayor Garcia also reiterated Long Beach's commitment to combatting climate change, while acknowledging that breaking free from the city's reliance on fossil fuels will be an uphill battle. "This not only makes sense for the environment, but it also makes financial sense, because we can't continue to count on oil as a major source of revenue long-term," Mayor Garcia said.
Long Beach will remain an inclusive and diverse city, the Mayor also pledged, regardless of the new administration. "No matter what happens elsewhere, I plan to vigorously defend our values and the civil rights of our people," he said.
Watch Mayor Garcia's State of the City address on his Facebook page here.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts - Charlotte, NC
On February 6th, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts delivered her State of the City address at East Mecklenburg High School, her alma mater. She focused on affordable housing, transportation, job creation, and inclusion.
The Mayor reported that Charlotte is currently the second-fastest growing city in the United States, and sits first in the country for growth in the number of businesses. With rising rent prices, expanding affordable housing is a priority for Charlotte. Mayor Roberts announced that the City Council recently moved to accelerate its affordable housing plan and aims to add 5,000 new units over 3 years. The Mayor also spoke about the importance of improving the city's transportation, including safe walking and biking paths.
A portion of Mayor Roberts' address was dedicated to inclusivity and tolerance. Following last year's controversy over House Bill 2, more commonly known as the "bathroom bill," the Mayor promised to continue to stand up for all members of the community. "Every individual is worthy of dignity and respect," she said.
Watch Mayor Roberts' State of the City address here.
Mayor Jorge Elorza - Providence, RI
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza delivered his annual State of the City address on February 1st. The city's finances were at the core of the Mayor's remarks. He had some good news to report: following a difficult fiscal year 2015, fiscal year 2016 ended with the largest surplus in city records. "This means that we'll be paying off the cumulative deficit three years sooner than anyone expected," he said.
Recognizing that Providence still faces significant challenges financially, Mayor Elorza recently submitted a 5-year Capital Improvement Plan to the City Plan Commission. Now, for the first time, the city will have a "predictable and reliable schedule for investments in infrastructure." He proposed investing $120M in infrastructure over the next 5 years.
Mayor Elorza also used his address to call for increased civic engagement at the local level. "If you are concerned that our city is not living up to its full potential, I invite you to be part of the solution," he said.
Watch Mayor Elorza's State of the City address here.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski - Salt Lake City, UT
Affordable housing and homelessness were at the core of Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's second State of the City address.
Salt Lake City faces a serious shortage of affordable housing. Mayor Biskupski spoke about her broad, upcoming plan, which seeks to address the root causes of affordability. "We are not simply focused on numbers, but in laying groundwork across the city to support and foster affordable housing," she said.
Mayor Biskupski will also continue her work to mitigate Salt Lake City's homelessness crisis in the coming year. A main priority in 2017 is moving forward with four 150-bed homeless shelters, including one center that has been subject to pushback from residents of the neighborhood. The Mayor called on the community to support and engage with city efforts, saying that it's
important for Salt Lake City residents to hold onto "core values."
Read or watch Mayor Biskupski's State of the City address here.
Mayor Jim Gray - Lexington, KY
"I'm here to tell you that in Lexington, we are moving forward," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said in his State of the City address. He used his address as an opportunity to have a frank conversation about where the city is thriving and where it must work to improve.
Mayor Gray proudly reported that Lexington's economy is strong. Unemployment has dropped from 7.7 percent to 2.8 percent since 2011, with 15,000 new jobs created in the past six years. Lexington's healthcare sector, which makes up about 10% of the work force, has played a key role in the city's growth, Mayor Gray noted.
With the addition of 50 officers since 2011, the Lexington Police Department is stronger than ever. However, the Mayor firmly believes that addressing public safety goes beyond police response. "As a community we must respond, especially on behalf of our young people," he said. Mayor Gray encouraged community members to sign up to become a mentor through one of the city's numerous programs and partner initiatives.
Read Mayor Gray's State of the City address here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio - New York, NY
delivered his fourth State of the City Address at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater on February 13th. Inequality was at the heart of his address, which celebrated the city's strong economic development and low crime rates but also stressed the need for progress in job creation and affordability.
Job creation "will be the new front line in the battle to keep New York City affordable," said the Mayor, who pledged to bring 100,000 new good-paying jobs to the city by 2026, including 40,000 in the next four years. The city will also expand upon existing affordable housing programs, including one that provides legal aid to residents facing eviction in court. Additionally, Mayor de Blasio proposed a new 2.5% tax on homes more than $2 million. The "Mansion Tax" will help fund affordable housing for seniors.
Mayor de Blasio also touched on public safety, noting New York City's historically low crime rates in 2016. He referenced plans for every NYPD officer to have body cameras by 2019, following an agreement reached at the end of January.
Read or watch Mayor de Blasio's State of the City address here.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson - Toledo, OH
2016 was a "banner year" for economic development in the city of Toledo, Ohio, Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson proudly reported in her second State of the City Address. Massive investments by manufacturers in the city's automotive sector will bring hundreds of new jobs and expanded facilities in the years to come.
The Mayor also shared that they have kept the drinking water safe for every man, woman and child living in Toledo, "a city where water is a resource and catalyst for economic development." The city is investing $500 million into EPA-approved advancements at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant and continues to play a key role in improving the water quality of Lake Erie.
Toledo also made improvements in gun safety and reductions in crime in 2016. The city instituted a Gun Safety Program to promote community education and provide free gun locks to prevent needless deaths. Additionally, Toledo Police officers removed 1,054 guns from city streets in 2016.
Read Mayor Hicks-Hudson's State of the City address here.
Mayor Toni Harp - New Haven, CT
"There's no question in my mind but that New Haven has emerged as a model American city, not because it's perfect, and not because there are no challenges ahead but because of its determination to continue working together to overcome those challenges," said Mayor Toni Harp in her fourth annual State of the City Address.
The Mayor focused on crime reduction, development, and job creation during her remarks. New technologies and the continued hard work of local law enforcement have led to a steady decline in crime rates, the Mayor reported. The number of homicides has dropped by over 59% since 2011, and by 13.3% in the last year alone.
Mayor Harp also outlined several ambitious large-scale development projects underway throughout the city, including The District, a project that will transform an old CT Transit bus depot into a technology and incubator hub. "[The District] is perhaps the best example of of the creative economy taking root in this city," she said. She also spoke about New Haven Works, a partnership between the Mayor, Board of Alders, Yale University and more than 60 employers that has helped place over 900 residents in new jobs to date.
Read Mayor Harp's State of the City address here.
Mayor Jim Strickland - Memphis, TN
reflected on his first year in office and set new goals during his inaugural State of the City address as Mayor of Memphis.
Mayor Strickland used his address to discuss ways to reduce violent crime, which remains a persistent issue in the city. The Mayor announced several steps that his administration has taken to meet their goal to "investigate, identify and convict the mostviolent and repeat offenders we have and get them off the streets," he said. He congratulated 31 new graduates of the police academy.
However, law enforcement is just one aspect of the city's crime reduction efforts, the Mayor noted. He said that youth programming is also critical and called on community members to "join those who are already doing great work" through mentoring programs and initiatives in the Memphis area like HopeWorks, the Workforce Investment Force, the Boys & Girls Club, and local churches.
Watch Mayor Strickland's State of the City address here.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome - Baton Rouge, LA
In her inaugural State of the City address, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome presented a bold plan for her first term as Mayor-President of Baton Rouge. The plan has four core priorities: public safety, traffic congestion, economic development, and flood recovery.
The homicide rate in Baton Rouge is the lowest it's been since 2005, but with growing distrust between law enforcement and the greater community, public safety remains a serious concern for the Mayor. "We cannot go forward as a community without collectively addressing the critical issue of police-community relations," Mayor-President Broome said. She reiterated her intent to bring changes to the Baton Rouge police department and work on rebuilding relations.
Mayor-President Broome also addressed ongoing flood recovery efforts following devastating damage this past summer. She is working to secure more federal funding for the recovery efforts so that the city's general fund does not suffer.
Mayor William Bell - Birmingham, AL
Mayor William Bell had a number of exciting developments to share during his annual State of the City Address in Birmingham, Alabama. The city has seen a significant uptick in economic growth and development in recent years, the Mayor said. There is currently $1 billion worth of residential and commercial construction underway in Birmingham, in large part due to public-private partnerships and the city's continued investment throughout the downtown area.
Mayor Bell also announced that the city could soon see an influx of hundreds of new auto jobs. One of Birmingham's major auto suppliers has asked the city to consider its plans to expand their facility, which would create 400 to 600 jobs. The Mayor also highlighted successful city initiatives like "Operation Green Wave," an extensive clean-up effort. Since its launch in September, Operation Green Wave has led to more than 6,000 lots beings cleared and the removal of over 35 tons of garbage and debris from various city areas.
Watch Mayor Bell's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Byron Brown - Buffalo, NY
The city of Buffalo is thriving, as outlined by Mayor Byron W. Brown in his 11th State of the City Address. Buffalo has enjoyed significant economic growth in recent years and continues to attract key investors. "We've become a place for new and existing companies from around the world to relocate and to expand," the Mayor said. He also announced that, for the 12th straight year, there will be no increase in residential or commercial property taxes in the city.
Mayor Brown discussed the city's efforts to improve public safety, including the construction of two new police sub-stations. The crime rate in Buffalo is down by 35 percent since 2005, when Mayor Brown was first elected. He also touched on the importance of education, announcing that Buffalo will dedicate an additional $1 million to the Say Yes initiative, which works to increase graduation rates.
Watch Mayor Brown's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Tom Henry - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry delivered his tenth State of the City address last week. His address, titled "Fort Wayne: Point of Destination," centered on downtown development, infrastructure, and public safety.
"We continue to be a city on the move and we're seeing the results," Mayor Henry said, noting that 26 companies invested $421 million in Fort Wayne last year. Additionally, construction is underway on several new developments throughout the city, including the $40 million Skyline Tower, which will feature restaurants and retail outlets in addition to over 100 apartments.
The Mayor also highlighted Fort Wayne's historic investments into neighborhood infrastructure. Over the course of the next year, the city will invest $25 million to improve sidewalks, curbs, street lighting and more. Public safety remains another priority for Mayor Henry, who announced that Fort Wayne is adding 28 police officers and increasing resources to address drugs and violent crime.
Read Mayor Henry's State of the City address here.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell - Honolulu, HI
Affordable housing was at the core of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's State of the City address on February 16th. The Mayor announced a comprehensive new affordable housing plan that will balance regulation changes with incentives for owners and developers. "We need to facilitate and stimulate 800 units of housing that's affordable every year, and this administration is committing to do that for the next four years," Mayor Caldwell said. His plan would also require rental rates to remain affordable for a longer period of time by extending the existing 10-year guideline to 30 years.
Mayor Caldwell also identified the completion of Honolulu's public transit system as a main priority for the next four years. When completed, the rail will span 20 miles with 21 stations. Expanding affordable housing and establishing a strong transportation infrastructure will be a "game-changer" for Honolulu and form a solid foundation for the local economy and culture, the Mayor said.
Watch Mayor Caldwell's State of the City address here.
Mayor Ed Murray - Seattle, WA
Mayor Ed Murray broke tradition by delivering his 4th State of the City address at Idris Mosque in Seattle. "We are here because as a welcoming city to all, we stand in support and solidarity with the Muslim members of the Seattle community," the Mayor said.
During his address, Mayor Murray unveiled several new initiatives for the city and outlined plans to challenge the Trump administration's executive orders regarding immigration. Beyond ensuring the safety and security of Seattle's immigrant and Muslim populations, Mayor Murray's core priorities include education, police accountability, homelessness, and housing affordability.
Mayor Murray expressed his commitment to reduce racial and economic disparities in Seattle schools and outlined his action plan on education. The Mayor proposed a new source of revenue for public schools in the form of a two-cents per ounce tax on sugary beverages. The proposed tax would raise roughly $16 million per year. "This is the right way for Seattle to fund programs important to the health and success of so many of our underserved students of color," the Mayor said.
Read or watch Mayor Murray's State of the City address here.
Mayor Andrew Ginther - Columbus, OH
Columbus Mayor Mayor Andrew J. Ginther focused on neighborhoods and public safety during his State of the City address, which he delivered at the Columbus Police Academy on February 23rd. "Together we will make Columbus America's Opportunity City," he said.
Mayor Ginther discussed CelebrateOne, the city's initiative to reduce infant mortality, which remains a serious issue in Columbus and disproportionately affects the city's African American population. Over the past year, CelebrateOne provided 1,000 cribs to residents in need and trained its first class of "Connector Corps" to educate new mothers and check on infants. "Now, more than ever, we must concentrate on creating a system in which no expectant mother or mother of an infant falls through the cracks of our social safety net, regardless of her income, her background or her neighborhood," Mayor Ginther said.
The Mayor also announced his plans to work with Council President Zach Klein to develop a pilot program to partner with Columbus residents to patrol their own neighborhoods. "At the community's request, this direct investment in neighborhood safety will complement the Community Crime Patrol, which has helped Columbus neighborhoods for more than 30 years," he said.
Read Mayor Ginther's State of the City address here.
Mayor Mike Duggan - Detroit, MI
Mayor Mike Duggan's State of the City address identified several areas of focus for the last year of his first term as Mayor of Detroit: affordable housing, neighborhoods and job training.
The Mayor announced a new initiative to help curb Detroit's unemployment rate, which is the highest in Michigan. "Detroit at Work" will pair unemployed residents with employers and provide job training for open positions throughout the city. The program is a "clear path to jobs," Mayor Duggan said.
Mayor Duggan also spoke about the Neighborhood Strategic Fund, a $30 million fund established by the city's philanthropic community that will be directly invested into Detroit neighborhoods. Plans for the funds include the renovation of vacant buildings, the construction of a mixed retail residential complex, and the creation of a bikeway and walkway. Mayor Duggan hopes that these projects will spur further investment from the philanthropic community and allow for more neighborhoods to be targeted for revitilization.
Read Mayor Duggan's address here.
Mayor Setti Warren - Newton, MA*
"I don't see it at all as an end, my final year, but rather a foundation of what is possible in our city," said Newton Mayor Setti Warren in his final State of the City Address. Mayor Warren touched on the accomplishments of his two terms as Mayor, unveiled a new transportation strategy for the city, and urged residents to promote diversity and inclusion.
The city's new transportation strategy, "Newton in Motion," will make more roads more accessible and navigable for all residents. The outline includes plans to expand bike lanes and establish a bike share program within the next 18 months. The Mayor also announced a pilot program for a public-private shuttle that that will transport employees to work during commuting hours.
During the address, Mayor Warren also urged city residents to take the "One Newton" pledge to commit to fostering a community that is welcoming to all residents, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, or background.
Mayor Jon Mitchell - New Bedford, MA
Mayor Jon Mitchell used his State of the City address to present a bright vision for New Bedford and outline his plans to build on the strides the city has made in recent years.
"New Bedford is engineering one of America's most remarkable urban turnarounds," he said. At the close of November, the New Bedford area unemployment rate fell more than any other metro in America, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The city has also enjoyed a major surge in manufacturing, the diversification of its port and the development of a vibrant retail and restaurant scene.
Mayor Mitchell also addressed what he called the most vexing public safety challenge facing New Bedford and the surrounding region: opiate addiction. Two years ago, the Mayor established the Opioid Prevention Task Force, which joins government and community partners to combat addiction. The city is focusing its energy and resources to warn children of the perils of drug use, making sure to communicate the message early, often, and in an age-appropriate way.
Read Mayor Mitchell's State of the City address here.
Mayor Tom Barrett - Milwaukee, WI
Mayor Tom Barrett delivered his State of the City Address at a familiar venue -- Harley Davidson University in Milwaukee, where he worked one of his first jobs on the assembly line. "Everyone remembers their first job. That first job teaches us how to work with people, show up on time, and be responsible," he said, before discussing his Earn & Learn program, which aids Milwaukee teens in securing that valuable first employment experience.
With exciting development projects downtown and a growing economy, "the heart of Milwaukee is thriving," the Mayor reported. $3.4 billion in investments have been completed since 2005, with an additional $1.7 billion in investments under construction. Further, the city's unemployment rate sits at 5.1%, down from 13% seven years ago.
However, crime remains a persist issue in Milwaukee. The city is working to find innovative ways to bolster public safety, including the drafting of a community-driven violence prevention plan by the Office of Violence Prevention.
Read or watch Mayor Barrett's State of the City address here.
Mayor Frank Jackson - Cleveland, OH
Last week, Mayor Frank Jackson delivered his twelfth State of the City Address as Mayor of Cleveland. During the address, Mayor Jackson laid out his vision for the city, which he feels can make impressive strides in the coming years if residents band together. "To be a great city, we have to go beyond our self-interests, ladies and gentlemen. We have to go beyond our self-interests and focus on the people's best interests," Mayor Jackson said.
In November, Cleveland residents voted for .5% increase in income taxes. A good portion of Mayor Jackson's address was dedicated to laying out priorities for the additional revenue. Key targets for the funds include public safety and youth programming, with an eye towards violence prevention. Mayor Jackson announced the addition of 93 police employees, as well as the creation of a new unit called the Neighborhood Impact Community Engagement Squad, which will focus on community policing practices.
Watch or listen to Mayor Jackson's State of the City address here.
Mayor Luke Bronin - Hartford, CT
"What we are doing here to rebuild our Capital City - aiming not only at solvency, but beyond that to vibrancy and growth - is an essential part of making the State of Connecticut competitive again," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said on Monday. The Mayor's State of the City address acknowledged Hartford's deep financial challenges while presenting a path forward and highlighting accomplishments from the past year.
Education is an area where the city has a "moral imperative to do far more," Mayor Bronin said. Wide gaps persist between Hartford's neighborhood schools and magnet schools. In the coming weeks, the Board of Education will choose a new Superintendent for Hartford Public Schools. Mayor Bronin pledged to be a full partner with the new Superintendent to continue to tackle the issue and find new ways to increase the quality of education.
Mayor Bronin also highlighted a landmark agreement reached between the city and the Hartford Fire Fighters Association. The agreement "will save our city nearly four million dollars next year alone - with changes to pension contributions and benefits, active and retiree health care, and salary schedules," he said, before thanking the firefighters for stepping up.
Watch Mayor Bronin's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Catherine Pugh - Baltimore, MD
In her first State of the City Address last week, Mayor Catherine Pugh presented her vision for Baltimore, emphasizing education and job creation as critical tools in the fight against crime. Mayor Pugh also stressed the importance of providing quality services and opportunities to Baltimore's children, whom she called "the foundation for the future of our city."
The Baltimore school system currently faces a funding crisis. Recently, Mayor Pugh proposed a $180 million, 3 year funding plan in conjunction with the state delegation that would begin to close the gap in available resources.
The Mayor also announced that the City of Baltimore will hold its first ever jobs fair next fall. "Our event will invite the citizens of Baltimore to apply for openings with city government and we will ask contractors, companies and corporations to join us at this event to offer employment and training to Baltimore residents," she said, noting that there are currently 76,000 unemployed residents in the city.
Read or watch Mayor Pugh's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild - Tuscon, AZ
With impressive economic growth and advances in community development programs, the state of Tuscon is strong, as reported by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild in his fifth State of the City address.
In August, it was announced that Tuscon had the third-fastest job growth rate of any metro in area in the United States. Mayor Rothschild attributed the achievement to hard work, strong infrastructure, andclose partnerships between the city, the state, the business community, and outside organizations. He announced that Raytheon is investing $233 million in buildings and infrastructure and creating 1,900 high-paying jobs to Tuscon over five years, and credited incentives with helping make it happen.
Mayor Rothschild also spoke about the launch of Help for Homebuyers, "a compilation of new and preexisting homebuyer assistance programs including Pathway to Purchase, President Obama's program that provided $48 million in down payment assistance to homebuyers locally." The program helped 1,371 individuals and families purchase homes in Tucson and South Tucson in just seven months.
Read Mayor Rothschild's State of the City address here.
Mayor Virg Bernero - Lansing, MI
Mayor Virg Bernero reflected on the accomplishments and challenges of the past 12 years during his final State of the City address as Mayor of Lansing, Michigan. Mayor Bernero has announced that he would not seek another term.
Since Mayor Bernero took office in 2006, the city has seen $2.4 billion in new economic development and the creation of over 12,000 jobs. "But we can't rest on our past success," the Mayor said. "I've got nine more months and we're going to keep our foot on the gas every step of the way."
Developing new and attractive housing will be key to the city's continued success, Mayor Bernero said, adding that new housing developments will help Lansing retain recent graduates from the area's colleges and graduate schools. Affordable housing is also an important part of the puzzle, he said. "Ironically, some people claim we can't afford more affordable housing. They are wrong. We have to step up as a city to make more affordable, quality housing available to all of our residents."
Read Mayor Bernero's State of the City address here.
Mayor Ted Wheeler - Portland, OR
Homelessness, affordable housing and sustainable development were at the core Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's inaugural State of The City address in March.
The Mayor pledged to create 1,300 affordable housing units in the city this year, almost half of which will be affordable for those earning less than 30% of the city's median income. In total, the units will house 3,000 people. He also reiterated his campaign pledge to promote fairness in housing issues by establishing an Office of Tenant and Landlord Affairs.
While homelessness remains a pressing issue in Portland, Mayor Wheeler commended the efforts of the city, county and private sector to find new and innovative housing solutions. "We know that traditional shelter doesn't work for everyone," the Mayor said. "Increasing the number and kinds of shelter available for those experiencing homelessness is critical."
Read Mayor Wheeler's State of the City address here.
Mayor Frank Spano - Yonkers, NY
"I can say today we have arrived," Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said in his recent State of the City address. Mayor Spano, who has been in office since 2012, pointed to several signs that Yonkers is entering a bright new era. The city has a high-school graduation rate above state average, 4,000 new housing units in development and one of the nation's lowest crime rates for a city of its size.
Mayor Spano unveiled a proposal asking for tax-exempt non-profit organizations with properties worth over $1 million to make voluntary payments to the city. The payments, called PILOTS, would be 25% of the amount that the organization would otherwise pay in property tax. "Many other communities, like Boston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, that face financial challenges, have partnered with their major tax-exempt institutions in this very same way," the Mayor pointed out. Yonkers is home to several large non-profit property owners, including Sarah Lawrence College and St. Joseph's Seminary.
The Mayor also proposed building a $10 million, "state-of-the-art" firehouse on School Street to enhance public safety.
Watch Mayor Spano's State of the City address here.
Mayor Ras Baraka - Newark, NJ
In his third State of the City address, Mayor Ras J. Baraka presented an optimistic vision for Newark and celebrated the strides the city has made since he took office in 2014. With a thirteen percent reduction in overall crime, plans for a new 22-acre public park, and $2 billion in construction underway or in the pipeline, Newark is changing.
Jobs, immigration, and public safety were also key topics of the Mayor's address. He announced that his "Hire. Buy. Live. Newark." initiative will secure full-time jobs for 2,020 residents by the year 2020. "Hire. Buy. Live. Newark." is a partnership between the business community, medical institutions, universities and workforce development programs that aims to connect unemployed residents with jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Towards the end of his address, Mayor Baraka addressed the crowd in Spanish and reiterated Newark's status as a Sanctuary City. "Our commitment to democracy will make us safer and more prosperous, not fear and division. We are a sanctuary city because it is who we are, our essence, a maker city, full of immigrants and ex-slaves escaping terror in the south," he said.
Watch Mayor Baraka's State of the City address here.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg - South Bend, IN
"South Bend is on a roll," said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at last week's State of the City address. Nearly 4,500 jobs have been created since he first took office in 2012, and the unemployment rate has been cut in half. The city is experiencing its fastest level of growth in over two decades.
Mayor Pete discussed his Smart Streets initiative, which aims to spur economic growth and improve accessibility by converting downtown's one-lane highway-like streets into two-way streets with sidewalks and bike lanes. He believes that Smart Streets has played a key role in attracting investment to South Bend, which saw $261 million in private investment in 2016.
The Mayor also focused on equality and inclusivity during his address. He hopes to expand pre-k in South Bend and improve educational opportunities across the board. "We have an obligation to help those who are less fortunate -- not just for their sake but for all of our sake's, so that we can live in the kind of community that we all want to have," he said.
Mayor Sly James - Kansas City, MO*
2016 was a landmark year for Kansas City, Missouri. From the launch of its streetcar system, the funding of a new mental health assessment and treatment center, and the continued success of the "Turn the Page" literacy program, Mayor Sly James had a lot to highlight in his sixth State of the City.
Mayor James also took the time to urge support for the city's $800 million infrastructure bond proposal, which residents ultimately passed on April 4th. The long-term proposal was in line with his emphasis on service, good leadership and resiliency. "What we really need is deeper trust within our community -- we need a long-term vision and we need more leadership and less politics," he said.
The Mayor also spoke about the ongoing challenge of violence in Kansas City. "I carry the weight of this with me every single day, and I am not satisfied," he said. He announced that the final actions and recommendation steps of the city's anti-violence task force are expected soon.
Read or watch Mayor James' Address here.
Mayor Chris Coleman - St. Paul, MN
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is closing out his tenure as Mayor on a high note. "Our city is growing, with our population exceeding 300,000 for the first time since 1970, private-sector jobs are back to their prerecession levels," he said in his his twelfth and final State of the City Address last week. "People and businesses are investing in all four corners of our city.”
Mayor Coleman, who is running for Governor of Minnesota in 2018, also focused on jobs, innovation, community policing, and education during his speech. St. Paul's new Innovation Cabinet, which the Mayor formed in partnership with Councilman Chris Tolbert, will release an action plan in July with specific plans about how the city can better attract technology and innovation opportunities to St. Paul.
Public safety has been a core priority for Mayor Coleman's, and he hopes the progress will continue. In 2016, St. Paul held more than a dozen "Safe Summer Nights" during which officers served meals to thousands of kids and families. The Mayor also established a new Community Engagement Unit aimed which will foster "proactive outreach" to communities throughout the city, he said.
Watch Mayor Coleman's State of the City address here.
Mayor Muriel Bowser - Washington, D.C.
Last week, Washington, D.C. Mayor Bowser delivered her State of the District address from the campus of the University of the District of Columbia. She focused on upcoming priorities for the District, the relationship between the city and federal government, and the values that make D.C. unique.
"Because of our D.C. values, we are the human rights capital. Our diversity alone does not make us great; our embrace of it does," Mayor Bowser said. "That's why, since Election Day this past November, we have worked to ensure that no one undermines our core D.C. values of fairness and equality, of mutual respect and justice, of falling down and getting back up, and of self-determination."
The Mayor also spoke about her new budget, which makes historic investments in public education and emergency medical services. Reducing inequality remains another core priority for the Mayor. Her five-year plan to foster prosperity includes solutions for unemployment and homelessness, which she says should be "rare, brief, and non-recurring."
Read Mayor Bowser's State of the District address here.
Mayor Mark Stodola - Little Rock, AR
Public safety was at the core of Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola's State of the City address of March 29th. While crime is down nearly 20% since Mayor Stodola took office in 2007, improving safety remains the city government's "number one responsibility," he said.
In response to an officer shortage, Little Rock has
embarked on an aggressive recruitment plan that includes classes, adjustments to the interview structure, and financial and housing incentives. The plan is designed to attract new recruits while ensuring that standards remain high and that the community's diversity is adequately reflected in the police force. The Police Department also recently established a 16-member Violence Reduction Team that has had record success in the number of arrests made and weapons confiscated since its inception six weeks ago.
Beyond public safety improvements, 2016 was a year of progress and construction for Little Rock. Mayor Stodola cited the completion of the Broadway Bridge, the Josephine Pankey Community Center and Police Substation, and a new state-of-the-art $12 million ambulance facility, among others.
Read Mayor Stodola's address here.
Mayor Steven Fulop - Jersey City, NJ*
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop's six-part State of the City series recently concluded. Starting in February, Mayor Fulop delivered six addresses, one in each Ward of the city. He chose to deliver multiple speeches because each ward has its own unique characteristics, issues and needs, he said.
Mayor Fulop announced exciting developments in each of his speeches, including the construction of two police stations in the Heights and Downtown, and the addition of new walking posts with more police officers in Journal Square. He also discussed plans to turn a Hudson Community College building into a museum owned by the city, which would be part of an arts district currently in development.
All six addresses were accompanied by a video highlighting the Ward's distinct qualities and the Mayor's priorities for the area. You can view the videos, as well as each of Mayor Fulop's addresses, on Jersey City's Youtube channel here.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn - Tampa, FL
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivered his State of the City Address last week with a strong focus on economic development and jobs.
One of Mayor Buckhorn's major achievements has been successfully reshaping the city's system for business and construction permitting. Streamlining the process has spurred development, with Tampa permitting more than $11 billion in projects since 2011, including $2.1 billion last year alone.
Tampa's impressive rebound from the 2008 recession was another main focus of Mayor Buckhorn's speech. He noted that the foreclosure rate dropped from 5 percent in 2010 to less than 2 percent today. Additionally, unemployment in Tampa is down 24% since the Mayor first took office in 2011.
Mayor Buckhorn also announced a new initiative, Autism-Friendly Tampa, to help children and families affected by autism. The initiative will bring together the City and the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida to ensure that Tampa residents with autism can have the same experience as all other residents. Police, fire and parks and recreation staff will receive specialty training, and the city will also develop a guide to connect residents to autism-friendly events and programs in Tampa.
Watch Mayor Buckhorn's address here.
Mayor Miro Weinberger - Burlington, VT
"The State of the City is strong and advancing toward an even brighter, increasingly dynamic, and more just future," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said on April 3rd. He identified five main goals for the City during his address: Improving the character and quality of public spaces, dramatically increasing investment in roads and sidewalks, expanding alternative transportation options, reducing the city's environmental footprint, and making critical public safety enhancements.
The Burlington Police Department will grow in size for the first time in 15 years when a group of new officers is sworn in this July. Mayor Weinberger also announced new specialized equipment and the professional education of a team of over a dozen officers to respond to complex and hazardous mental health calls and other incidents. "To police this City the right way - building trust and legitimacy and stopping those that would harm the community - these are investments we must make," he said.
The Mayor also touched on the impact of President Trump's travel ban on the Burlington community. Burlington welcomes hundreds of New Americans each year, which has made the community more culturally rich and strengthened the local economy, the Mayor said. "At a time when the federal government is trying to close doors and turn its back on our most pressing challenges, we here in Burlington must continue to work harder than ever to keep our doors open, and to keep advancing," he added.
Read Mayor Weinberger's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Joe Hogsett - Indianapolis, IN
Education, public safety, and homelessness were central to Mayor Joe Hogsett's second State of the City Address, which he delivered in Indianapolis last week.
The Mayor introduced "The Indianapolis Promise," an upcoming education Executive Order that seeks to ensure that every student in the city has access to a quality education after high school. The Indianapolis Promise calls for the creation of a task force to identify and form partnerships with philanthropic and corporate partners who will invest in education.
Mayor Hogsett also unveiled a new initiative to reduce the number of illegal guns on Indianapolis streets. The city recently launched an anonymous tip line where teenagers and young adults are encouraged to report illegally obtained guns. If the tip leads to charges, the reporter can receive a reward up to $750.
Watch Mayor Hogsett's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Lovely Warren - Rochester, NY
Last night, Mayor Lovely Warren delivered her State of the City Address in Rochester, NY. She highlighted her administration's key achievements and presented a bright path forward for the city. "We're building off of what we have done. We have reignited the city by working together," Mayor Warren said.
Job creation and economic development were at the core of the Mayor's address. "The downtown you see today will not be the same downtown you see a year from now," she said. Ongoing projects include several new hotels and a $1.7 million project to bring on-street parking to the downtown corridor. She also noted that 30,000 jobs have been created or retained in Rochester during her administration.
Though graduation rates have risen five percent since 2013, Mayor Warren says there is more to be done in terms of improving education. "We were going backwards. The fact of the matter is we're going forward. All of our numbers are improving and that's something that we will continue to be proud of," she said.
Read Mayor Warren's State of the City address here.
Mayor Eric Garcetti - Los Angeles, CA*
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his fourth State of the City address in April, charting a bold plan that prioritizes homelessness, affordable housing, jobs, and immigration.
Last fall, voters approved a tax increase to help fund key city initiatives including efforts to end homelessness, which Mayor Garcetti called "the moral issue of our time." He proposed that the city dedicate $176 million to "house the unsheltered, connect them with services, and keep our communities safe and clean." Increasing access to affordable housing is also central to the housing crisis, the Mayor added. He called on the City Council to pass the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee, which will raise $100 million dollars a year, and leverage up to $300 million additional dollars every year for affordable housing.
Mayor Garcetti also strongly reiterated the city's stance on immigration. "The LAPD will never act as a federal immigration force. Neither will our airport and port police. Or our firefighters. Keeping our city safe means not making victims or witnesses afraid to report a crime," he said. The Mayor also highlighted the $10 million dollar L.A. Justice Fund, which he launched to help provide legal aid to local immigrants facing proceedings.
Read or watch Mayor Garcetti's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Megan Barry - Nashville, TN*
On April 26th, Mayor Megan Barry delivered her second State of Metro address as Mayor of Nashville. In addition to detailing her recommended budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, Mayor Barry discussed Nashville's efforts surrounding transit, economic development, and paid family leave.
"Nashville cannot wait any longer to embrace our future," Mayor Barry said, in reference to modernizing transit. "We will be a 21st-century, transit oriented city, and we are not going to look back 10 years from now and say we failed when we had to succeed." The Mayor then announced that work to create light rail service on the Gallatin Pike corridor "begins today." She noted that development along the corridor has demonstrated a market for the mixed-use, transit-oriented type of development that will be necessary to make the light rail system successful.
Mayor Barry also announced that she will recommend a new Paid Family Leave policy to the Commission. The policy will allow Metro employees to take six weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, or a seriously ill spouse, child or close relative. "It's the right thing to do for the health and well-being of our employees, and it's the right thing to do for their families," she said.
Other key budget items include investments in affordable housing as well as a $36 million increase in the schools' operating budget, which will fund teacher pay increases, expand literacy and English-language programs, and invest in social-emotional learning.
Read Mayor Barry's State of Metro address here.
Mayor Madeline Rogero - Knoxville, TN
During her State of the City Address, Mayor Madeline Rogero presented a bold plan to move Knoxville forward, with an emphasis on serving those most in need. She highlighted several items in her new budget that will help uplift struggling communities, including a new $2 million affordable housing fund and a second $250,000 allocation for the highly-anticipated Change Center, which will serve as a community center for teenagers. The city began construction for the Change Center in March. The budget also includes year one of a three-year commitment to the Boys and Girls Clubs to support their programs at four local housing developments.
Mayor Rogero's address also reflected her continued commitment to sustainability. "We will continue our investments in making Knoxville greener and more sustainable, to ensure that the quality of life we enjoy is shared by generations to come," she said. Knoxville had previously committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 20 percent (when compared to 2005 levels) by the year 2020. Thanks to efforts to reduce energy use and increase fuel efficiency, the city has already achieved a 15 percent reduction.
The Mayor also proposed a $17.5 million investment into a new project to retrofit the City's streetlights to LED technology. In addition to improving light quality and benefiting the environment, retrofitting the streetlights will save the city money over time. The project would be funded by a capital bond issue that will pay for itself in less than a decade and is then projected to save the city over $2 million annually.
Read Mayor Rogero's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Kim Bracey - York, PA
Mayor C. Kim Bracey delivered her sixth State of the City Address at the Valencia Ballroom in York, PA last week, with a strong focus on the city's fiscal health and initiatives to increase equality across the city.
In line with Mayor Bracey's objective to reverse the trend of rising property tax rates, the city's past two budgets have included property tax cuts. Her Vision 2020 seeks to cut property taxes 15 percent by 2020, and calls for a 4 percent property-tax reduction in 2018, followed by an 8 percent cut in 2019.
The Mayor also highlighted new goals surrounding education and highlighted the positive effects of quality early education on future career success. While half of York's three and four year-olds are already eligible for free pre-K, Mayor Bracey called for universal access to pre-kindergarten education. "The cost of action is less than the long-term cost of inaction," she said.
She also announced a new initiative to create community centers called "WINS," or We Inspire Neighborhoods. Serving as satellite locations for neighborhood police officers, the centers will provide nutrition, health and career resources.
Read Mayor Bracey's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Betsy Hodges - Minneapolis, MN
Mayor Betsy Hodges called for "One Minneapolis" during her State of the City address, which she delivered at the Masjid An-Nur mosque in north Minneapolis on May 23rd. She chose the location to send a signal of solidarity and support to the city's Muslim community. During her address, the Mayor presented her vision for Minneapolis to become a city "that works for everyone, and a city where everyone contributes to making it work for everyone else." She also focused on affordable housing, downtown development and public safety.
The city is currently working to make policing more community-based and transparent. Today, every officer who responds to a 911 call in Minneapolis is wearing a body camera. "True public safety requires a collaboration between law enforcement and the community," the Mayor said, after thanking the "brave men and women of the MPD" for putting themselves on the line for the community every day.
Mayor Hodges also touched on the reconstruction of Nicollet Mall, a lengthy project that is set to be completed by the end of the year. "Downtown's central spine will be transformed into a bustling mile of offices for the 21st century workforce, outstanding food and entertainment, public art and public spaces to delight every imagination, and, yes, a wide range of creative, specialty retail," she said. She also spoke to the city's broader success in attracting new investment. "We have had five straight years of more than one billion dollars in development permits in Minneapolis, and the cranes keep going up in the sky," Mayor Hodges said.
Watch Mayor Hodges' State of the City Address here.
Mayor Sylvester Turner - Houston, TX
In his State of the City Address, Mayor Sylvester Turner shared his bold plans for Houston to become a tech hotspot. His vision includes the creation of an innovation district to spur entrepreneurship and create new high-paying jobs.
Given the city's status as a leader in the medical, space, and energy fields, the Mayor feels it is time for Houston to diversify and expand its economy. Last year, he commissioned a Task Force to investigate why Houston has lagged behind in rankings measuring high-tech start up density and venture capital investment. "In the spirit of collaboration," the Mayor said that the Task Force is collaborating with the Greater Houston Partnership, an economic development organization.
Mayor Turner also discussed homelessness, which he called "a humanitarian issue in our own backyard." He recently announced a comprehensive, 6-point holistic plan to respond to homelessness in Houston. The plan will "expand efforts to permanently house the homeless; increase shelter options; implements common sense, public safety policies; and launch a public awareness campaign."
Read Mayor Turner's State of the City address here.
Mayor Michael Tubbs - Stockton, CA
Mayor Michael Tubbs presented a bright, hopeful vision for Stockton during his inaugural State of the City Address on May 19th. "This nation is looking for a comeback story...a reason to have hope. Why not you? Why not us?" he asked.
Affordable housing, education, public safety, and workforce development are among the Mayor's priorities for his first term. One goal is to create opportunities for youth who might be at risk of drifting towards criminal or gang activity. "As a young mayor, I will continually focus on Stockton's youth," he said. Elected at just 26 in 2016, he is the city's youngest ever Mayor.
Mayor Tubbs is also convening a small business roundtable and joining a partnership with University of the Pacific to study how to boost the lagging job skills of residents to meet the demands of the 21st-century economy.
Watch Mayor Tubbs' State of the City here.