May 29, 2013
The West Phoenix Revitalization Area (WPRA) 2012 Annual Report has been released, showing many successes in west Phoenix. The WPRA was created in 2004 to improve the quality of life across 52 square miles in west Phoenix by improving safety, enhancing economic development and investing in cultural and educational opportunities.
Some of the successes highlighted in the 2012 annual report include:
- A 33.5% reduction in property crime (2005-2012)
- A 14.1% reduction in violent crime (2005-2012)
- Increased effort to fight graffiti with nearly 24,000 sites painted using more than 5,000 gallons of paint
- Opening of the environmentally-friendly Helen Drake Senior Center
- More than $12 million invested in revitalizing foreclosed properties
- More than 54,000 residents received job training/placement assistance
- Restoration of three after-school centers
- Improvements to various sidewalk, street and canal projects
The WPRA Community Advisory Board was established in March 2006 to advise and provide recommendations to the Phoenix City Council on all matters pertaining to the revitalization of west Phoenix.
WPRA Board Chair Jim Miller expressed his gratitude to city staff and board members saying, “Their leadership and dedicated service, in partnership with residents and the local business community, produced outstanding results in west Phoenix.”
The Phoenix City Council is proud of the work that has been done in west Phoenix. Four council members oversee districts which are part of the revitalization area.
Councilman Tom Simplot, District 4: "West Phoenix is a dynamic part of our community and I am proud to represent this area on the Council. In 2012, we dedicated the Ed Pastor Pedestrian Bridge near Isaac Middle School.
Congressman Pastor helped secure federal funding for this project, which leveraged capital improvement funds from the City of Phoenix to improve safety for students and enhance public art."
Councilman Michael Nowakowski, District 7: "The positive changes we continue to see in West Phoenix have happened because we decided, as a city, that the people and the neighborhoods on the west side are worth the investment. We have created a ‘Take Back Our Neighborhood Program’ in Maryvale which has created community partnerships that have generated great results, and I look forward to positive changes ahead."
Councilwoman Thelda Williams, District 1: "This is a great example of how we can create tremendous results by going outside City Hall and engaging community groups, volunteers and businesses. Creative partnerships and collaborations like this will serve as a model for how the city addresses the needs of the community in a more sustainable way."
Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela, District 5: "I am inspired by the community partnerships that we have created through this initiative, including our active and dedicated collaboration with our neighbors at Grand Canyon University. Together, we continue to positively impact residents of all ages, including young people through the Maryvale Merits Program, and our more senior residents who now have the state of the art, ‘green’ Helen Drake Center to call their own. I will continue to work with all stakeholders to make the transformation of west Phoenix a top priority in the years ahead."
The West Phoenix Revitalization Area 2012 Annual Report can be viewed on the Neighborhood Services Department website.