"Good afternoon and welcome. I want to first thank our hosts the Metro Chamber and Matt Mahood for putting on this event. I think it's incredibly important to have a consistent dialogue and engagement about where we are as a city and where we want to go. I'm honored to be here today to give my first State of the City address.
During my campaign, we stressed three main priorities for the city: public safety, education and economic development. We also developed a 100 Day Plan to outline the things that we wanted to accomplish right out of the gate. We've worked hard to make significant strides on all of these fronts in an effort-- to set the pace for change we want to see in the city. We want to quicken the pace, raise the bar, and set a new standard for how city government can operate.
I start my days at 4:30 in the morning and am often working until 10 or 11 o'clock at night. Honestly, I wasn't sure how this would jive with City Hall culture, but from my conversations with city employees as I greet them in the morning to talking to the retired Sac City cops who drive me through my long days, I've been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm that I've been met with.
People say that they haven't worked this hard in a long time, but they also express a newfound appreciation for their job and the role their playing in the transformation of our city. In fact, the enthusiasm and energy in the city is palpable. People like the pace we're setting. It's different and exciting. And it's something we have to take advantage of.
I'm proud of the things we've been able to do in the last 3 months and want to share some of those with you today.
In Public Safety:
-We were able to add 8 more cops to the beat. Newly graduated from the Sac City police academy, we're slowly but surely working to swell the number of our city's finest. The goal is to get us to the state average of 2 cops per 1000 residents.
-This past Saturday, we held a Gang Summit... the first in a series of initiatives to tackle the growing gang violence in the city. 100 young people were in attendance, sharing ideas about how we can curb the proliferation of crime. We need these types of forums to assess what's right and what's wrong in our approach to rid our streets of this menace that takes a toll we can never truly understand. It's more than financial, more than our collective safety. Gangs rob us of our rich, young promising lives. Our challenge is far greater than addressing crime - from prevention to cure, our challenge is to rebuild hope in the neighborhoods where gangs would breed.
-I am working to get COPS funding in the stimulus package, working to get Homeland Security grants and we are working with the Sheriff's department to consolidate services to become more efficient. This will also help with our goal to decrease crime and improve our public safety.
-Our children are our city's most important asset. We must have a highly educated workforce to compete globally - this will help attract more businesses to Sacramento and build a stronger economy.
-For the first time in a long time, we brought together all of the Superintendents in the city to discuss the challenges that we face and how the administration can support their efforts.
-We have an education summit planned for March 9th which will bring together the nation's most recognized leaders in school reform to help us develop a city wide plan for action.
In Economic Development:
-Even in these difficult times, we are seizing on opportunities to spur economic growth. Last week we broke ground on the Docks Promenade along the Sacramento River. In the short term, the first phase of this project will produce 75 new construction-related jobs and will inject $5 million revenue into our local economy right now. In the long-term, this is a catalyst project that will spur on more development efforts along the waterfront bringing in more investment dollars and more jobs for our city.
-Just yesterday we broke ground on the K Streetscape project that will generate another 50 jobs and inject another $4 million in our local economy.
Outline: Mayor Kevin Johnson's State of the City Address
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