Mayor Gallego’s State of the City Address
By Team Gallego ● Apr 17, 2023
Last week, Mayor Gallego delivered her 2023 State of the City Address!
-Gallego used her speech to discuss how Phoenix is working to tackle big challenges, from affordable housing to the West’s ongoing drought.
What they’re saying: “Water, jobs, housing, health, climate change. At least one of those things probably concerns you if you live in Phoenix.
Mayor Kate Gallego said a lot about these issues in her yearly ‘State of the City’ address, but it boiled down to this: Phoenix’s leaders are going to be practical and navigate complicated issues.” – Arizona Republic
1 big thing: Gallego Announces New Water Purification Facility
Mayor Gallego announced that Phoenix will take the leadon upgrading the 91st Avenue Water Treatment Facility to include Advanced Water Purification technology.
⁉ Why it matters: As the West faces an ongoing drought, taking immediate actions to conserve and create new buckets of potable water is critically important to a growing city like Phoenix and its neighbors.
Phoenix wants to recycle wastewater into drinking water by the end of 2030 and share it with the Valley.”
The plan is to build an advanced water purification facility and treat, then reuse millions of gallons of wastewater that would have otherwise been discharged into the Salt River.
The investment would provide Arizona cities a significant new drinking water supply, which is vital as they work to lessen their dependence on the shrinking Colorado River and diversify their water sources.” — Arizona Republic
The big picture: This is the first time in Mayor Gallego’s tenure that Phoenix has created a new source of potable water. It will recycle more than 60 million gallons of water per day.
Dig deeper: Read the full exclusive from the Arizona Republic.
2. More Affordable Housing
The need to collaborate: Gallego spoke about the growing need for the city, state, county, and other municipalities to work together to create more affordable housing.
“…We know the importance of housing to education access and employment. I’ve heard from too many families that their rent is increasing at an unsustainable rate. I want to assure Phoenicians that we remain focused on making sure they have an affordable place to call home,” the Mayor said in her speech.
“In 2019, we adopted the Housing Phoenix Plan with the goal of building or preserving 50,000 units by 2030 – the most ambitious housing goal ever set by our city. I’m pleased to say that we’re well on our way to achieving it –we have preserved or built more than 26,000 units to date.”
More options: The Mayor spoke about the City’s Community Land Trust Program and called on the private and non-profit sectors to work with local governments to increase the impact of the program.
“In other cities, these programs have gained traction as models to address long-term housing affordability challenges and combat critical systemic inequities.
I am proud that Phoenix is stepping up to ensure the community stewardship of land so that it stays affordable for generations.”
The next move: Gallego called on viewers to work together to expand property acquisition opportunities, invest in more legal and technical expertise, and increase philanthropic investment so that many more families can reap the benefits of stable housing.
3. It’s a Dry Heat: Sustainability Top of Mind for Phoenix
As Phoenix bears the brunt of a warming climate, Gallego has made it her mission to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city in the world.
Why it matters: Hotter, drier summers can impact the city’s most vulnerable residents at an adverse rate.
-That’s why, in her speech, Gallego announced she is calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to add extreme heat to their Declared Disasters List. This would allow Phoenix to unlock more resources, such as pop-up shelters and outreach to impacted communities.
Changing the way we grow: Gallego also spoke about how we can ease carbon emissions by expanding transit options, creating “Cool Corridors,” and bringing communities closer together.
-The central Phoenix bioscience cores, as well as the up-and-coming Laveen tech corridor, are both examples of how Phoenix can develop in more intentional ways, bringing high-wage jobs and services to Phoenician’s backyards.
On the ballot: Prop 400 () & Phoenix’s Bond
The StateLegislature should put Prop 400 to the voters.
-Prop 400 is the half-cent county sales tax that has allowed Maricopa County to invest in road, bus and light rail projects. The legislature has stalled on progress to get this critical measure to county voters, and time is ticking.
-In a recent interview, Gallego urged legislators to stick with the transportation plan developed by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), resulting from more than 400 public meetings and 10,000 participants. More here.
Phoenix bond election coming!
-City Council approved a $500 million general obligation bond program that would fund improvements to parks, roads, fire stations, affordable housing and arts facilities across the city.
-The bond will be on Phoenicians’ ballots in November.