2019 State of the Cities
- Mayor Jackie Biskupski - Salt Lake City, UT
- Mayor London Breed - San Francisco, CA
- Mayor Sharon Weston Broome - Baton Rouge, LA
- Mayor Byron Brown - Buffalo, NY
- Mayor Bill de Blasio - New York, NY
- Mayor Jenny Durkan - Seattle, WA
- Mayor Greg Fischer - Louisville, KY
- Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson - Gary, IN
- Mayor Andrew Ginther - Columbus, OH
- Mayor Toni Harp - New Haven, CT
- Mayor Tim Keller - Albuquerque, NM
- 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 Martin J. Walsh - Boston, MA
- Mayor Nan Whaley - Dayton, OH
"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.
"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 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 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 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.
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 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.