2019 State of the Cities
- Mayor Tom Barrett - Milwaukee, WI
- Mayor Andy Berke - Chattanooga, TN
- Mayor Jackie Biskupski - Salt Lake City, UT
- Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - Atlanta, GA
- Mayor Muriel Bowser - Washington, D.C.
- Mayor London Breed - San Francisco, CA
- Mayor Luke Bronin - Hartford, CT
- Mayor Sharon Weston Broome - Baton Rouge, LA
- Mayor Byron Brown - Buffalo, NY
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg - South Bend, IN
- Mayor Melvin Carter - St. Paul, MN
- Mayor Bill de Blasio - New York, NY
- Mayor Jenny Durkan - Seattle, WA
- Mayor Greg Fischer - Louisville, KY
- Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson - Gary, IN
- Mayor Eric Garcetti - Los Angeles, CA
- Mayor Andrew Ginther - Columbus, OH
- Mayor Toni Harp - New Haven, CT
- Mayor Sly James - Kansas City, MO
- Mayor Tim Keller - Albuquerque, NM
- Mayor Lyda Krewson - St. Louis, MO
- Mayor Jon Mitchell - New Bedford, MA
- Mayor Catherine Pugh - Baltimore, MD
- Mayor Steve Schewel - Durham, NC
- Mayor Andy Schor - Lansing, MI
- Mayor Kathy Sheehan - Albany, NY
- Mayor Yvonne Spicer - Framingham, MA
- Mayor Levar Stoney - Richmond, VA
- Mayor Jim Strickland - Memphis, TN
- Mayor Ethan Strimling - Portland, ME
- Mayor Michael Tubbs - Stockton, CA
- Mayor Sylvester Turner - Houston, TX
- Mayor Martin J. Walsh - Boston, MA
- Mayor Miro Weinberger - Burlington, VT
- Mayor Nan Whaley - Dayton, OH
- Mayor Victoria Woodards - Tacoma, WA
* * *
Mayor Tom Barrett
Mayor Tom Barrett is proud of Milwaukee's progress and energized by its future.
"Our economy is stronger, our neighborhoods are safer, and our future is brighter," he said during his March 11th State of the
City Address. "Of course we have challenges, and we need people across Milwaukee, and beyond, to come together to address these challenges, and make sure Milwaukee is an inclusive, respectful and fair city."
Mayor Barrett discussed his administration's efforts to improve public safety, especially through strengthening community-police relations.
The city is making progress towards Mayor Barrett's 2018 pledge to build or improve 10,000 housing units over the next decade. He highlighted "Victory Manor," a new veteran-focused housing development with 60 units that is now open for occupancy. Six of those units are designated specifically for housing homeless veterans.
Shortly after finishing his address, Mayor Barrett got official word that Milwaukee was selected as the host site for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. "I'm even more excited about the state of the city right now," he said. "As I've told people, this is a city that fights back. We continue to fight back. And I'm proud of our city."
Read Mayor Barrett's address here.
Mayor Andy Berke
- Planning for regional resiliency;
- Smarter students and safer schools;
- Ending homelessness; and
- Building a new Chattanooga dream.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Salt Lake City, UT
In her fourth State of the City Address, Mayor Jackie Biskupski reflected on her administration's achievements during her first term in office. Mayor Biskupski discussed the city's progress on affordable housing, climate policy, transportation, infrastructure, and public safety.
In 2018, Salt Lake City passed its first affordable housing plan in more than two decades. Since Mayor Biskupski took office, the city has added nearly 2,5000 affordable units to its pipeline, including 400 transitional units to help move people out of homelessness.
Last year, Mayor Biskupski proposed a tax increase that became the city's first-ever ongoing revenue source for affordable housing.
She urged other cities in the region to join Salt Lake City in prioritizing affordable housing. "We can't do it alone," she said. "The cultural shift in affordable housing we have created here must expand statewide."
The city has experienced a significant decrease in crime, with 6,500 fewer crimes reported in 2018 than in 2015 -- a 25% drop.
"There is nothing more a Mayor wants to be able to say than this: You are safer in this city today than you were three years ago," Mayor Biskupski said.
Read her State of the City Address here.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered her second State of the City Address, sharing her vision for the city's future.
She announced the creation of the city's first dedicated Department of Transportation, which she called "a one-stop shop to better deliver for our city's mobility future." The new department will eliminate organizational silos and operate with a core focus on improving mobility.
Atlanta continues to push forward to achieve its affordable housing goals. In Mayor Bottoms' first year in office, her administration invested $100 million in public funds to create thousands of units of affordable housing. The city aims to produce and preserve 20,000 units within the city by 2026.
"One of our top priorities is ensuring that longtime residents can remain in their neighborhood," Mayor Bottoms said. "Gentrification is no justification for pushing people out of neighborhoods who've been there for decades."
In 2018, Mayor Bottoms followed up on a key campaign promise to increase transparency by launching the Open Checkbook portal, which allows the public easy access to information about city spending. "Open Checkbook now includes more than $2 billion dollars in spending and more than 100,000 individual expenditures online," she said.
Among the attendees for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom's State of the City Address was Mrs. Hall, Mayor Bottom's kindergarten teacher.
Watch Mayor Bottoms' address here.
Mayor Muriel Bowser
On Monday March 18, Mayor Muriel Bowser delivered the first State of the District of her second term.
Among the many highlights and accomplishments, Mayor Bowser proposed more money for affordable housing, making child care more affordable and the continuation of free rides on D.C.'s popular Circulator.
"In the coming budget, we can and will invest nearly $200 million in the production and preservation of affordable housing," Bowser said in her address, adding that additional monies would be for rehabilitation and preservation of subsidized housing and $20 million for "workforce housing" for middle-class residents. "Affordable housing isn't just a problem for our most vulnerable residents, though - it affects our entire community," she announced.
Mayor Bowser also emphasized the importance of affordable child care. Mayor Bowser shared plans to eliminate taxes on diapers and make child care more affordable by making the early learning tax credit permanent. The credit provides up to $1,000 per child enrolled in a D.C. licensed child care center. Mayor Bowser also advocated for a national paid family leave policy. "We know that policies that support working families benefit our entire community," Bowser said.
In closing, the Mayor revisited her push to make D.C. a state, pointing out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's support, and urging 2020 presidential candidates to do the same: "We will continue to demand our fundamental rights as American citizens."
Read Mayor Bowser's full remarks here.
Mayor London Breed
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Mayor London Breed delivered her first State of the City address at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts on January 30th, focusing on a few core goals: expanding affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and making it easier for people to succeed despite the city's high cost of living.
Mayor Breed remains determined to move San Francisco forward despite the challenges facing the city. "The question is: What do we do next? Hang our head and give up? Concede our problems are too great -- and the soul of our city lost? Anyone who thinks that's what we will do knows nothing about this city," she said.
She announced plans for a charter amendment that would allow "100 percent affordable and teacher housing proposals that comply with existing zoning laws" to sidestep current bureaucratic processes, which are often time-consuming and expensive.
The amendment is proposed for the 2019 November election, when Mayor Breed will be on the ballot for her first full term as Mayor.
To help move people off the streets, Mayor Breed will open 4,000 new places for homeless people to sleep, including new shelters and housing units, and provide housing subsidies. This is an increase from her earlier goal to provide 1,000 shelter beds.
Mayor Breed also announced the creation of a new position in her administration, Director of Mental Health Reform, to better coordinate and strengthen the city's network of mental health services.
Read her State of the City Address here.
Mayor Luke Bronin
In his fourth State of the City speech, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin shared the city's progress over the last year and identified a number of priorities for 2019.
Hartford's finances continue to improve. "We made a plan, and we've stuck to that plan," he said. "And because of that, we're on track to finish this year not only on budget, but able to set money aside to fund vital future capital investments and begin rebuilding our reserves."
Mayor Bronin identified chronic absenteeism in Hartford schools as an urgent priority for the city. He proposed using increased state education funding in new Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont's budget to implement new solutions to improve attendance and performance.
The city is making visible progress in its neighborhoods, Mayor Bronin said, pointing to several projects in North Hartford. "Those projects sat on the shelf for years. We're getting them done."
Watch Mayor Bronin's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome
Baton Rouge, LA
In her second State of the City Address, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome pledged to continue to lead Baton Rouge with her vision of "peace, prosperity, and progress for everyone."
Mayor Broome thanked the community for voting to approve the MoveEBR initiative, which will fund 70 new infrastructure projects that will build road capacity, improve mobility, and enhance the city's appearance.
"Most importantly, you voted YES on improving our quality of life," Mayor Broome said. "While our road projects consist of physical infrastructure, this billion dollar investment creates many intangibles for our citizens that will be realized in the years to come."
The city saw an 18% decrease in homicides in 2018, which Mayor Broome credits to the leadership of new Police Chief Murphy Paul and a conscious effort to improve the relationship between the community and law enforcement.
Baton Rouge also launched a new website, its first redesign in 20 years. Residents can now apply for city jobs online, and local businesses can enroll in the new "vendor self-service portal," which streamlines and digitizes the process that allows them to do business with the City-Parish.
Mayor Byron Brown
"I am proud to report to you that the state of our city is strong, but the hardest work is yet to come," Mayor Byron Brown said. "I am here today to tell you that together we can make 2019 the year that we answered the call."
Mayor Brown delivered his 13th State of the City of Address at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center this weekend, where he announced several new initiatives and projects.
One new initiative, Replace Old Lead Lines (ROLL), is modeled after a successful program in Pittsburgh. "We are told by the state Department of Housing and Community Renewal that Buffalo has some of the oldest underground water lines in the entire state, many of which are lead," he said. "This program will replace lead lines that are broken or damaged in order to prevent lead from infiltrating a home's water system."
Mayor Brown discussed a number of successful investment projects on Buffalo's East Side. He announced a new $65 million investment from the state, which will help spur growth in and create avenues for upward economic mobility.
Building on the city's status as a community where immigrants and refugees feel safe and secure, Mayor Brown announced the creation of a "complete count committee." The committee will work to ensure that every resident is counted in the upcoming 2020 census.
Watch Mayor Brown's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
South Bend, IN
"For the better part of this decade, the City of South Bend has been the work of my life. That work has been so rewarding, so demanding, and so absorbing that it is difficult to believe it will end in a few short months."
Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivered his eighth and final State of the City Address on Tuesday, March 12th, reflecting on his administration's accomplishments and looking towards the city's future.
While crime has gone down since Mayor Pete took office, he noted there is still work to be done. "Sustained work across this community helped drive major reductions, most notably in gun violence," he said. "Still, my phone lights up far, far too often with the latest report of an act of violence in our city."
Under Mayor Pete's leadership, downtown South Bend has seen a resurgence, including several new hotels, office developments, and a growing restaurant scene. "Simply put, downtown South Bend is back," he said.
The Mayor also discussed infrastructure funding, and why cities need a partner in the federal government if they want to invest meaningfully in infrastructure. "Right now, our staff tells me we have enough funding to pave every lane-mile of road in the city every 100 years," he said. "Unless an affordable paving material is invented that can last more than 15 years, it's going to take a new revenue model to meet our road funding needs in the long run."
Read Mayor Pete's address here.
Mayor Melvin Carter
St. Paul, MN
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter discussed housing, public safety, and economic development in his second State of the City Address on March 14th.
Mayor Carter announced a number of public safety initiatives, including a new Neighborhood Justice Program that will provide non-violent, first-time offenders an alternative to criminal prosecution. He will also issue the first Executive Order of his Administration, mandating the creation of a Returning Residents Advisory Council aimed at the needs of St. Paul residents who have recently been released from incarceration. The goal is to make St. Paul "safer, more inclusive and more welcoming."
The city can also improve public safety by addressing its affordable housing needs, Mayor Carter said. He hopes to use funds from St. Paul's Affordable Housing Trust Fund for a new program to ensure that students from low-income families have stable housing, similar to Minneapolis' new "Stable Homes, Stable Schools" program.
Mayor Carter also highlighted a number of exciting upcoming development projects underway in St. Paul, including the RiversEdge development along Kellogg Boulevard. AECOM's winning proposal for the project includes mixed-use towers with housing, retail, restaurants, and office space. AECOM is a Democratic Mayors Alliance Member.
Read Mayor Carter's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York, NY
Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his sixth State of the City Address on January 10th, highlighting efforts to continue fighting income inequality and further progressive change across New York City through a number of new initiatives.
"Life in the fairest big city in America should never feel impossible," Mayor de Blasio said. "New York City is already the greatest city in the world and we now need to be the greatest city to live in. That's what the fairest big city in America means and that's exactly what New Yorkers deserve -- to live in a city where work is rewarded and all this prosperity is shared."
Mayor de Blasio's administration will launch the largest, most comprehensive plan in the nation to guarantee health care for every New Yorker. The plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening NYC's public option and guaranteeing anyone unable to afford or ineligible for insurance, including undocumented New Yorkers, has direct access to services.
New York will become the first city in the nation to mandate Paid Personal Time for workers. The Mayor will pursue local legislation which would require private employers with five or more employees to offer at least 10 annual days of Paid Personal Time, allowing employees to take paid time off for any purpose, including vacation, religious observances, bereavement, and time with family.
The City also recently created the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants, which will spearhead its anti-harassment and outreach initiatives across city agencies, enhance interagency enforcement, and more closely engage with tenants and advocates.
Watch Mayor de Blasio's address here.
Mayor Jenny Durkan
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke about the city's future in her State of the City Address on February 19th.
"We have a generational opportunity to intentionally choose what kind of city we want to be 50 years from now," she said. "Because today, Seattle is at a turning point. Seattle is quite literally under construction. And now is that moment in time that we can build the city we want."
Since Mayor Durkan took office, the city has committed $710 million to affordable housing, and she announced that Seattle is on track to add 3,600 permanent affordable homes by 2022.
This summer the city will partner with the Seattle Housing Authority and King County Metro to provide passes to more than 1,500 low-income residents, building on a program Mayor Durkan launched last year to provide ORCA transit passes to public high-school students.
One of Mayor Durkan's first initiatives as Mayor was to launch the Seattle College Promise tuition program, which provides participating students with two years of tuition assistance to any Seattle college. In last week's address, she announced that the program will expand beyond tuition assistance and begin providing resources for other education-related costs, such as textbooks and childcare.
Read Mayor Durkan's address here.
Mayor Greg Fischer
In his ninth State of the City address, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer highlighted the city's economic achievements over the past decade and presented new initiatives to strengthen the community.
Since 2014, Louisville has attracted 80,000 new private sector jobs, 2,700 new businesses, and $13 billion in capital investment. Several major projects are in the pipeline, including a new soccer stadium, a new performance venue, and the restoration of Colonial Gardens.
Mayor Fischer discussed Lean into Louisville, a new program which will include conversations, activities, and events to urge community members to confront racism and inequality in their neighborhoods and beyond.
"We must lean into these subjects to understand the historical roots of discrimination and to understand that classism, bigotry, hate and violence have no place in any city that expects a growing and prosperous future," Mayor Fischer said.
Read Mayor Fischer's address here.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
In her State of the City Address on February 22nd, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson shared her administration's recent accomplishments and discussed efforts to strengthen the city's economic standing.
Mayor Freeman-Wilson and city officials are developing a plan to stabilize the city's finances by reducing its debt and increasing yearly revenue. She pledged that by implementing this plan, Gary will have a balanced budget in 2021.
"You can't just cut your way out of a deficit," the Mayor said. "We're going to grow our way out."
Within 2018 alone, Gary attracted $1.5 billion in investments from major businesses including Amazon, Alliance Steel, and Fulcrum Bioenergy.
Mayor Freeman-Wilson discussed a number of projects that have been approved in recent months, including significant repairs along two major roads, Airport Road and Clark Road, and improved sidewalks to boost pedestrian safety.
Watch Mayor Freeman-Wilson's address here.
Mayor Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles, CA
- A zero carbon buildings mandate;
- A zero emissions transportation network;
- A zero carbon electricity grid;
- Commitment to a zero waste future;
- 100% wastewater recycling by 2035;
- A new Jobs Cabinet, to create 300,000 new green jobs over the next 15 years.
Mayor Andy Ginther
During his annual State of the City address on January 31st, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther shared his vision for Columbus' future and unveiled plans to continue his Administration's progress.
"I see an affordable city with dynamic, inclusive growth, mixed income neighborhoods that support family stability and mobility that provides equity and improves the quality of life for all of our residents," he said.
Building more affordable housing and expanding broadband access are two of Mayor Ginther's core priorities.
The Mayor announced the inclusion of $3.8 million in the 2019 capital budget for a test project to build 30 new affordable homes that would be part of a newly-formed land trust intended to keep them affordable in the future. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition will contribute an additional $7.2 million for the homes.
Mayor Ginther also discussed his commitment to "digital inclusion." His administration will meet with internet providers to discuss the expansion of high-speed internet access to low-income neighborhoods, where it either isn't offered or comes at a prohibitive cost.
Read Mayor Ginther's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Toni Harp
New Haven, CT
Mayor Toni Harp delivered her State of the City Address last Monday. She led with a core message of gratitude for New Haven's first responders, and went on to highlight areas where the city made significant progress in the last year.
In 2018, New Haven attracted development, added jobs, and developed new ways to serve the community, especially its most vulnerable residents.
Improving senior center facilities has been a major goal for the city. Recent achievements include restoring the hot meal program at the East Shore Center and providing thousands of farmer's market vouchers to those in need. Additionally, the city is partnering with Yale University, New Haven Public Schools, and JP Morgan Chase to fight food insecurity.
Mayor Harp praised the city's first responders for their impressive response to the city's opioid challenges, especially during the overdose crisis on New Haven Green last August.
"I remain so proud to be Mayor of a city where first responders worked tirelessly throughout this mass-casualty circumstance to effectively treat - and save - every single one of those victims," she said.
Watch Mayor Harp's address here.
Mayor Sly James
Kansas City, MO
Mayor Sly James reflected on his accomplishments as Mayor and urged the community to support his universal pre-K plan during his eighth and final State of the City Address last week.
Kansas City has seen a resurgence under Mayor James' leadership. "I've learned that we are no one's understudy. We are not fly-over country," he said. "We are instead recognized by this nation as a rising-star city. Kansas City has arrived."
Core accomplishments from his tenure include improved elementary school reading rates, a new form of public transit in the KC Streetcar, and the construction of a new airport terminal, which is currently underway.
Mayor James spent much of his address discussing the importance of passing his universal pre-K plan, which would have been funded by a 3/8-cent sales tax. The plan would have ensured that high-quality, affordable pre-K is available to all local children by creating and supporting a strong citywide pre-K program.
Voters decided against the measure on April 2nd.
Watch his State of the City address here.
Mayor Tim Keller
Flanked by the city's "One Albuquerque" slogan, Mayor Tim Keller delivered his first State of the City Address at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in January.
He outlined a number of accomplishments from his first year in office, including bringing 1,000 new jobs to downtown Albuquerque, reducing the city's rape kit backlog by half, and reaffirming the city's status as a welcoming community for immigrants and refugees.
When Mayor Keller took office last year, he identified public safety as a core priority and set a goal to bring in 400 more officers over the next four years. The city is on target to reach that goal, and for the first time in a decade, crime rates have gone down in Albuquerque.
Addressing homelessness will be at the forefront of Mayor Keller's 2019 agenda. The city made impressive strides over the past year, including transitioning the Westside Shelter from an emergency Winter shelter to a year-round facility. The city will continue to partner closely with non-profits to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, Mayor Keller said.
Watch Mayor Keller's address here.
Mayor Lyda Krewson
St. Louis, MO
Mayor Jon Mitchell
New Bedford, MA
Mayor Catherine Pugh
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh delivered her annual State of the City Address on March 11th, dedicating significant attention to public safety and affordable housing.
"There is not a single person in this city, including me, who can say that we are satisfied with the level of crime today," she said. "There is too much violence, too many illegal guns, which have left many in our city, including me, angered and devastated."
Last year, Mayor Pugh shared a comprehensive violence reduction plan that included new technology for the city's police department. Since then, she has secured a $2 million state grant to incorporate computers in every police car in Baltimore. The installations are anticipated to be completed by the end of the month.
Baltimore will also be expanding its Safe Streets program from 4 to 10 sites throughout the city to strengthen the program's impact on reducing gun violence.
Mayor Pugh celebrated several victories regarding affordable housing. Baltimore has fewer vacant buildings, more affordable units, and an additional $18 million in its Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund since the beginning of 2018. Thecity also won a $30 million HUD neighborhood grant, she said.
Read Mayor Pugh's address here.
Mayor Steve Schewel
In his second State of the City Address, Mayor Steve Schewel outlined the initiatives and strategies his administration has undertaken in pursuit of one key question: "How are we going to make the city we love a city for all?"
Mayor Schewel's largest announcement came on the affordable housing front. He proposed a $95 million bond issue for next November which would "fund affordable housing and change the future of our city forever," he said. This spring, the city will launch an affordable housing loan fund to allow non-profit developers to borrow money to obtain property on a quicker timeline.
If passed, the $95 million bond would build more than 1,800 new affordable rental units, preserve an additional 800 affordable units, move at least 1,700 homeless households into permanent housing, and fund a number of other initiatives including emergency rental assistance, legal aid for evictions, and home repairs for low-income households.
"We will act on a scale that few, if any, other cities in this country are doing, certainly no other cities of our size," Mayor Schewel said. "But this isn't just about the scale. It is also about where the housing will be. We will create an inclusive downtown in Durham, a racially diverse downtown, the impossible dream for growing American cities. We will choose the future that is worthy of a city that wants to live up to its claim to be a progressive beacon for the South and the nation."
In addition to affordable housing, Mayor Schewel discussed education, new efforts to improve community-police relations, and the city's inaugural participatory budgeting initiative, which will begin in May.
Watch Mayor Schewel's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Andy Schor
In his first State of the City Address, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor reflected on his first year in office and set forth a number of priorities for the city's future.
At the core of Mayor Schor's address was the launch of a new campaign to attract and retain residents by highlighting and building on Lansing's core strengths. The plan, called Vision 2030, will focus on community, diversity, livability, and urban design. Mayor Schor also unveiled a new logo for the city.
Since Mayor Schor took office in 2018, the city has forged new economic partnerships and made key investments to improve daily life, such as making the city more walkable.
In 2019, the Mayor's Office will continue its work to make it easier for residents to walk from place to place. "Many sidewalks are no longer a trip hazard. We still have many more miles of sidewalk to fix, but we have made a good start in year one," Mayor Schor said.
The city also plans to upgrade the meter system downtown so that residents can pay for parking with their smartphones.
Read Mayor Schor's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan delivered her 2019 State of the City Address before the Common Council, focusing on economic development, equity, efficiency, and public safety.
"We have done a lot of work in the last year, continuing to build on the investment that we made in moving our city into the 21st century," she said.
Mayor Sheehan discussed the city's recent investment in an upgraded street light system, which will not only save energy, but also play a role in improving public safety.
"Between the new camera system being deployed this year and our lighting capabilities on our LED streetlights, our ability to identify criminals by face in real time will be greatly enhanced," Mayor Sheehan said.
Albany had a strong year for economic development, winning a $10 million state Downtown Revitalization grant. Mayor Sheehan noted that private developers are pursuing construction downtown, and a number of vacant buildings are in the process of being rehabilitated.
Listen to Mayor Sheehan's address here.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer
Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer shared highlights from her first year in office and identified a number of goals for the future during her State of the City address on January 28th.
Property values and resident incomes have risen in the last year. "Citywide, taxable property value is certified by the state at $9.8 billion, representing growth and value of $1.3 billion dollars. $132 million of that increase is from new development within our city," Mayor Spicer said.
The passage of the Fuller Middle School Building project was one of the city's major achievements in 2018. In December, voters approved a debt exclusion to fund the city's share of a $98 million project to construct a new middle school. Mayor Spicer identified the project as an example of government working together for a singular goal.
This year, Mayor Spicer will launch the 2030 Advisory Council. Comprised of Framingham residents ages 21 to 31, the Council will aim to foster community and civic engagement, facilitate communication with City Hall, and advocate on behalf of the interests of younger residents.
Read her State of the City Address here.
Mayor Levar Stoney
"I'm still excited." Two years into his term as Mayor of Richmond, Mayor Stoney remains energized about serving the Richmond community, especially with regards to education, constituent services, and jobs.
Since he took office, the city has undertaken repairs spanning 175 miles of road, 2,900 alleys, 3,200 sidewalks, and 50,000 potholes. Last year, the city launched the Office of Constituent Services and the RVA311 App, which allows residents to make requests for service on their phones.
The median household income has gone up approximately 5% -- among the highest gains in the nation -- and unemployment has dropped to 2.9%.
Education remains Mayor Stoney's chief priority for his tenure as Mayor. In December, he presented an $800 million plan to fully fund the school facilities needs that were identified by Richmond Public Schools. The city council unanimously approved the proposal this week.
"Committing to this plan will ensure that another generation does not come and go without addressing the critical needs of our facilities," Mayor Stoney said.
Mayor Stoney also discussed his Navy Hill development plan, which includes the replacement of the Richmond Coliseum.
Watch his full State of the City Address here.
Mayor Jim Strickland
Keeping with his mantra to be "brilliant at the basics," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland focused on infrastructure, public safety and economic development during his State of the City address on January 28th.
Reducing crime remains a core priority for Mayor Strickland, who has set a goal of increasing the police force to 2,100 officers by the end of 2019. One main objective is to drive down crime rates among its youth.
"We've got to reduce juvenile crime and that's why we're doing so much for juveniles now," Mayor Strickland said. "More summer jobs, more in our community centers, more in our libraries to give working people something to do."
Mayor Strickland announced the launch of the Memphis Community Catalyst Fund, a dedicated, renewing source of funds that the city will use to make infrastructure improvements in key neighborhoods.
The city plans to dedicate $2 million to the fund in its first year. Mayor Strickland said that they are still finalizing the details but will make a formal proposal when they present their budget to the City Council in April.
Read Mayor Strickland's address here.
Mayor Ethan Strimling
Mayor Ethan Strimling shared a progressive vision for the City of Portland during his fourth State of the City Address.
"I am very proud of what we have accomplished in our city in the last three years, but we can't rest on our laurels," he said. Mayor Strimling is up for re-election in 2019.
Throughout his address, he called for larger investments in public transportation, universal Pre-K for all 4-year-olds, and the addition of solar panels at all city schools. He also urged the Council to fully fund the Portland Promise agenda, which seeks to close the achievement gap in Portland schools.
With the goal of getting more cars off the road, Mayor Strimling wants to add 15 buses to the Metro fleet to reduce wait times and increase ridership. He announced that in the coming year, his administration will study the feasibility of bringing a light rail service to the eastern waterfront.
Mayor Strimling also discussed his proposals to require all city businesses to provide paid sick time for all employees, and for businesses receiving city contracts to pay a living wage. Both proposals are currently pending before Council committees.
Read Mayor Strimling's Address here.
Mayor Michael Tubbs
Mayor Sylvester Turner
Mayor Martin J. Walsh
In his fifth State of the City address, Mayor Marty Walsh shared Boston's achievements over the past year and pledged to continue that progress in spite of dysfunction at the federal level, especially in the areas of infrastructure, climate policy, and affordable housing.
"What happens in Washington, we feel on the streets of Boston," Mayor Walsh said. "But here's what matters more: what we do in Boston can change this country. We've done it before, and we'll do it again, because in this time of uncertainty and division, Boston offers a way forward."
The city's economy is strong, with unemployment sitting at 2.4%, its lowest ever recorded. Boston has been named the best city in the entire world to find a job, and was also recently ranked #2 in the nation for moving people up and into the middle class.
When Mayor Walsh took office five years ago, Boston had a shelter system. Now, he said, the city has a housing strategy -- one that has led the city to house over 1,600 chronically homeless people.
Last year, he launched Boston's Way Home Fund, with a goal to raise $10 million over four years for supportive housing. Just one year in, they have already raised $5 million.
Read Mayor Walsh's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Miro Weinberger
During his seventh State of the City Address last night, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger prioritized climate change, housing, and fiscal responsibility.
This summer, Burlington is set to release its Net Zero Energy City Roadmap, which will comprehensively analyze the city's current energy use and outline strategies to achieve net zero. Mayor Weinberger said that the city's net zero energy goal is "perhaps the most ambitious climate goal of any city in America."
Burlington will also add bike lanes and introduce e-bikes and e-scooters in an effort to be more green, he said.
The city will host a Housing Summit next month to review a range of key housing policies and identify a number of priority housing initiatives to develop in the coming months. Draft ordinances for these reforms will be delivered to the City Council for formal vetting by October.
Mayor Weinberger discussed fiscal responsibility and public infrastructure, which he called "the foundation on which all of our other progress is built." In 2019, the city will focus on these areas by eliminating the property tax increase planned for the next year, implementing an additional reform to stabilize its pension system, and use savings to replace its old, worn-out fleet of sidewalk plows.
Read the Mayor's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Nan Whaley
Mayor Nan Whaley focused on equity and progress in Dayton during her sixth State of the City Address. She pledged to work to reduce barriers for residents living in poverty to ensure that all Daytonians have the opportunity to succeed.
Mayor Whaley has convened a task force to research and ultimately make recommendations for reducing eviction rates in Dayton. Task force members will include elected officials and representatives from the courts, legal aid groups, nonprofits, and responsible landlords.
"We must look unflinchingly at the impact on our communities of color and people living in poverty," she said. "For these Daytonians, it may feel like they have been in free-fall for years - and they don't have a parachute at all."
Under Mayor Whaley's leadership, Dayton has emerged as a leader in combatting the opioid crisis. From 2017 to 2018, Dayton and Montgomery County reduced overdose deaths by half. She hopes that the city can be a model of compassionate recovery for other communities across the nation.
"I want Dayton to be known as the place that figured out how to move past the stigma of addiction and instead treat it like the disease that it is," she said.
Watch Mayor Whaley's State of the City Address here.
Mayor Victoria Woodards
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards discussed affordable housing, job creation, and community outreach during her second State of the City Address, themed "Our Destiny in Motion."
"We can passively accept the changes that emerge as our future unfolds, or we can choose to take a more active role in shaping our future as a city," Mayor Woodards said.
In order to connect directly with residents across the city, Mayor Woodards is launching a monthly "Coffee with the Mayor" series to give constituents the opportunity to engage and provide feedback in person.
Tacoma will be doubling down on its affordable housing efforts in the coming year. One upcoming City Council ordinance would make it easier to create affordable secondary dwelling units on properties. "There is no way to address [homelessness] without ensuring our community has enough affordable homes," Mayor Woodards said.
Over 2,100 new jobs were created in Tacoma last year, mostly by businesses with between five and 50 employees. Mayor Woodards' priorities include making Tacoma an easier place to start a business, encouraging new green jobs development, and ensuring that businesses offer a living wage.
Read Mayor Woodards' State of the City Address here.