Mayor Greg Stanton emphasized communicating with Phoenix residents and investing in higher education in a speech about the revitalization of downtown Phoenix Thursday afternoon.
The Phoenix Community Alliance, a nonprofit that focuses on creating a vibrant downtown, held a board of directors meeting hosted by the Hotel Palomar to get the community involved in re-energizing downtown Phoenix. PCA Chairman Mo Stein introduced Mayor Stanton to the stage with words of praise.
“I think it would be impossible for anyone to say that this city has not been on a great trajectory these last nine months because of Greg’s leadership and his commitment to doing the things he said he was going to do during his campaign,” Stein said.
The first thing on Stanton’s agenda was to promote myplanphx.com where anyone can submit feedback and ideas on how to better the city of Phoenix. The feedback will help the city update its General Plan and decide how to use federal grant money.
“MyPlanPHX is a general plan that we need to get right,” Stanton said. “We’ve been given the opportunity to do it the right way, not just in public meetings but now through social media. Tell us what you love and hate about Phoenix and your big ideas for the city.”
The persistent theme of the meeting involved letting public voices of Phoenix residents be heard. Jill Goldsmith, an attorney and leadership coach at Jill S. Goldsmith, PLLC, emphasized how important it was for residents’ voices to be heard.
“We as individual members have an exciting opportunity and perhaps responsibility to shape downtown Phoenix to make it what we want it to be,” Goldsmith said.
Stanton made it clear that a big piece to the future of Phoenix’s puzzle deals with education. He said that without investing in higher education, the city of Phoenix will not be able to recruit a better workforce.
“We need to be much more active in job training and much more entrepreneurial about our businesses,” he said. “Job training and workforce development is not the sexiest issue in the world but I’d like to argue that if we are going to advance in this economy and move this city forward we’ve got to close that gap.”
David Roderique, president of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said he was pleased with what Stanton had to say.
“I’ve been pleased with the mayor and his support for downtown and the fundamental components to make a good downtown,” Roderique said. “Obviously education and housing are key parts of that and he talked about both of those today.”
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