April 11, 2012
Stanton: ‘Phoenix must
lead state in new economy’
Caption: Mayor Greg Stanton
Mayor Greg Stanton said Wednesday in his first State of the City address that Phoenix must lead as Arizona emerges from the recession by breaking the “boom and bust cycle” and building a diverse and sustainable economy.
Stanton will lead a national task force to protect cuts to defense industries, invest in biosciences and work to bring Arizona State University’s law school downtown to ensure Phoenix attracts more high-wage jobs.
“We cannot afford to sit idly by,” Stanton said. “It is time for action, and where others have fallen short, Phoenix will lead. I refuse to look back and lament the things we should have done. Instead, we will do them.”
As head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ new Defense Transition Task Force, Stanton will work together with mayors nationwide to move past partisan Washington politics that threaten high-wage defense jobs in Arizona, which is home to the fifth highest defense spending in the nation with companies like Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon.
Stanton said he would continue the city’s investment in biosciences and education by collaborating with the Mayo Clinic and ASU to establish the city's second major biomedical campus. The city will also lead in health sciences with University of Arizona’s Health Science Education building and UA Cancer Center downtown.
A new sustainability partnership with the Baron Collier Company to turn a vacant lot near Central Avenue and Indian School Road into a sustainable area will jump-start a new form of public-private partnerships.
“These contracts and programs, and the high-wage jobs they bring, are central to our long-term economic development,” Stanton said. “We know what must be done, and now we are leading to make sure it does get done.” Stanton emphasized the need to form a new organization that will bring new ideas to downtown business.
“The most exciting things happening in our downtown right now are led by committed local talent, like Film Bar, the Crescent Ballroom and Roosevelt Row,” Stanton said. “Let’s capture the creative minds leading exciting things in our downtown and invite them to take leadership in our development.”
The day of the speech also marked Stanton’s 100th day as Mayor. In that time frame, the Mayor set an ambitious and innovative plan that worked to prepare the city to compete globally and work regionally to choose the right path of economic success.
From making it easier for small and local Phoenix businesses to gain city contracts to solving a bus strike and instituting a new era of transparency, Stanton fulfilled his promises and vowed to lead Phoenix toward a new, stronger economic future. Together with the city’s balanced budget and Phoenix’s maintained AAA bond rating, Stanton said Phoenix is ready to move forward.
“We must always have the courage to take on big challenges,” Stanton said. “Always push, always strive, because our future is in front of us, and it is ours to define. Now let’s go out and get it.”