Stanton praises downtown growth in his final State of the City

Mayor Greg Stanton poses for a photo at his final State of the City address March 6, 2018. (Dylan Simard/DD)

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton praised the growth of downtown Phoenix in his State of the City address Tuesday.

The speech, held in the Sheraton Grand Hotel, was Mayor Stanton’s last address before he steps down to run for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix.

Jacob Tetlow, vice president of transmission and distribution operations for Arizona Public Service, introduced the mayor’s speech with praise for the downtown Phoenix community and the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

“I wouldn’t have envisioned (downtown Phoenix) as a place I’d necessarily want to send my daughter,” he said. He said he recently toured the ASU Downtown campus with his daughter, who is graduating high school, and said she told him it looks like “a very fun place to be.”

“The diversity, the culture, the sporting, the restaurants. It’s a great downtown,” Tetlow said.

Stanton opened by acknowledging Phoenix’s economic development during his 6-year tenure as mayor.

He said in the last year Phoenix had the highest wage growth of any region in the United States and small businesses raised their wages more in Phoenix than anywhere else and has near record low unemployment rates.

“That’s success that few thought even possible six years ago. We should all be proud of it,” he said.

Phoenix has had a substantial rebound after the subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing recession. The metro Phoenix economy sits under the record-low national average for unemployment as of Dec. 2017 according to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.

“None of this success-none of it- happened as a result of chance,” Stanton said. “It’s the result of smart choices that we have made. Together, we have made Phoenix stronger than ever.”

Stanton also made remarks on President Trump’s proposed trade war.

“A self-defeating, escalating unilateral trade war instigated by the White House is bad for Arizona.”

Mayor Stanton also had praise for the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus.

“When it comes to creating talent ASU Downtown has been great for ASU and for Phoenix. It’s a partnership that under Michael Crow’s transformative leadership has blossomed. And again, even without bond dollars, we are finding ways to make that partnership stronger. We helped build the Beus Center for Law and Society and ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law,” Stanton said.

Stanton praised the upcoming relocation of the Thunderbird School of Global Management to the Downtown Phoenix campus. He said the school, one of the best international business schools in the word, is “huge for downtown Phoenix.”

Mayor Stanton closed his final State of the City address with words of optimism for his constituents.

“Serving as your mayor has been the greatest honor of my life. I want to thank each and every one of you- for your friendship, for your partnership and for making me more optimistic than ever about what our future holds … Phoenix has a very, very bright future.”

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