Serving as mayor of Mesa for the last six years has been a humbling and inspiring experience.
Our fast-growing city has accomplished great things, but there is still much more to do. My guideposts as we move forward can be summed up with 5Es: Economic Growth, Education, Environment, Emergency Response and Equality & Compassion.
Despite the daunting challenges of COVID-19, Mesa experienced Economic Growth. Anchored by a vibrant arts and culture scene and invigorated by ASU @ Mesa City Center, our downtown continued to welcome exciting new restaurants and retail.
This urban rebirth is driven by a unique combination of education, innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and history.
Economic growth is not just isolated to downtown. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s new control tower is taking shape and developments in the Falcon District continue to strengthen our aviation industry.
Southeast Mesa is a highly desirable location for high-tech manufacturing, and home to respected companies like Dexcom, and the future site of the first U.S. facility for electric vehicle maker, ElectraMeccanica.
Education and workforce development continue to shape the future for Mesa. Put simply, an educated workforce and a sustainable economy go hand in hand.
Thanks to the Mesa College Promise, starting next fall graduating high school seniors who live in Mesa can continue their education at Mesa Community College with no costs. Apple, AT&T and SRP are among the generous businesses supporting the Promise.
Mesa’s new Education and Workforce Development Roundtable, an advisory group of key community leaders, is focused on policies to increase educational attainment and expand job creation.
Equality and compassion are part of Mesa’s DNA; they are ideals embedded in all our programs. The pandemic identified a growing digital divide and we are committed to ensuring that every person in Mesa has access to basic utilities, including high-speed internet. In today’s new learning and working environments, it’s clear that internet access is essential.
To protect and preserve our environment, we’re laying the groundwork today with a comprehensive climate action plan that will protect our resources for future generations. Our food waste to fuel program combined with our solar portfolio have put us well on our way to long-term sustainability.
Emergency response and public safety are always priority #1 for any big city. We could not have predicted the impact and intensity of COVID-19, but I’m proud of how Mesa responded. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Mesa Fire, Medical and Police Department teams for their heroic response.
I’m also pleased with how we put the Federal CARES Act dollars to work in Mesa. Every city department played a role.
We delivered 4 million meals to Mesa families, supplied over 9,000 laptops to students for remote learning and helped over 5,500 families to bridge the digital divide. We also supported over 500 small businesses through grants and tech assistance and kept thousands of residents in their homes with rent and utility assistance and foreclosure prevention programs.
2020 showed once again that Mesa’s secret sauce is our incredible reservoir of smart, compassionate and resilient people.
Now it’s time to capitalize on that momentum by focusing on policies that fuel our economy, connect people to education and jobs, demonstrate equality and compassion, preserve and protect our environment, and prioritize public health and safety.
I look forward to what we can accomplish together.