Progress through Dialogue and Action, Strength through Diversity
State of the City Address
Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson
Mayor of Salt Lake City
January 16, 2007
Progress through dialogue and action, strength through diversity. That, along with an uncompromising standard of excellence, has been the guiding principle of our administration during the seven years we have had the honor of serving the people of Salt Lake City.
In this, my last State of the City Address, I am pleased to report that our great, richly diverse city is extremely safe, healthy, and strong - a place where the quality of life is unsurpassed. I am pleased to report that, although the road is not always smooth, the progress in Salt Lake City continues.
We tend to expect progress, and some even assume that, somehow, it will necessarily occur. However, progress is not at all assured.
In so many ways, the people of our great nation are in the midst of regressan appalling retreat, a stupendous movement backwards. Most Americans are worse off than at the beginning of this century, with an enormous, and growing, disparity in wealth. The number of Americans in poverty has increased, as has the number of Americans without health insurance. The income of most families has not kept up with inflation. Adjusting for inflation, the hourly wage of the
average non-supervisory worker in the US is lower than in 1970. That is egression. As "CEO
pay [in the US] has soared from less than thirty times the average wage to almost 300 times the
typical workers pay," (Paul Krugman, "The Great Wealth Transfer," Rolling Stone, December 14, 2006) opportunities for upward social mobility are slim. As Paul Krugman recently noted, "Its easier for a poor child to make it into the upper-middle class in just about every other advanced country . . . than it is in the United States." That is regression. The purchasing power of the national minimum wage - which Salt Lake City has been precluded from increasing locally, thanks to anti-home-rule laws passed by the Utah Legislature is at the lowest level since the 1950s. That is regression.
Things have been moving backward for most people in our nation. Add to that the unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq that has had mind-numbing costs in lives, tragedy, and national treasure; the historic deficits and accumulated debt we will be foisting upon our children; the incredible damage being done to our delicate atmosphere, with long term ramifications for the health and safety of our planet; and the wholesale demolition of our nations moral standing in the world as our federal administration justifies horrendous human rights
abuses, including kidnapping and torture, while our Congress denies access to the courts for those who seek to challenge their imprisonment or the conditions of their confinement, which often are outrageous by any standard of civilization. That is not only regressionit is moving the failure to recognize and honor fundamental individual rights back to before the Magna Carta.
As our nation moves backward in so many tragic ways, we seek, and have achieved, much progress in Salt Lake City.
Progress means stepping forward, improving, evolving. It is about getting - and being - better. The progress upon which our administration has focused is about the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones, our neighborhoods, our city, our state, our nation, and our world. It is not only with the present in mind, but with a view toward those in the future who will
be affected by our decisions today. Progress also requires that, as a community, we not only pursue what is in the interests of the powerful or the majority. It requires that, instead of being a city where, in the words of Thucydides, "the strong do what they will and the weak do what they must," (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (431 BC), Chapter XVII) we honor the fundamental rights and interests of all, regardless of their differences, including those who will come along in the future, and that we respect and advance the dignity of all people.
Progress is about buildingand leaving for the futurea better world and better communities. Whatever affects the people of Salt Lake Citywhether it is garbage collection, federal housing policy, or the prospect of catastrophic global climate change - it is the responsibility of all leaders, whether in the business, religious, or civic communitiesincluding municipal officials - to take a stand, and to take action. Those who do not, those who say "Its
not my job" or "Its none of my business are not only derelict in carrying out their responsibilities as leaders; they are derelict in fulfilling their moral duties as human beings with choices and the ability to help make a positive difference.
From a fiscal point of view, tremendous progress has been made in Salt Lake City, both last year and during the past seven years. Persistent fiscal responsibility has resulted in far less money being spent than budgeted, far more money being raised than budgeted, and an enormous increase in the citys reserve fund. Last year, actual expenditures by city departments were $2.8
million less than the Council authorized in the budget and actual revenues were $8.9 million more than anticipated in the budget. From fiscal year 1999 to fiscal year 2006, the fund balance has increased from $20.4 million to $31.6 millionan astounding 55% increase in the citys reserves.
The diversity in Salt Lake City is unprecedented, with people of different races and ethnic origins; people of many faiths and of no faith; people of different sexual orientations; people of all ages, economic circumstances, and backgrounds; and long-time natives, as well as newcomers from all over the world, living, working, and having fun togetherand in times of
crisis, as when sweet Destiny Norton was kidnapped, coming together to help those who are in need.
Our community embraces that diversity, valuing the strength and enrichment it brings to our City and our individual lives. City government is more inclusive than ever before, with a place at the table for all, as the many opportunities for vigorous, stimulating, constructive dialogue and working together abound. For example, in 2000, I issued executive orders implementing a non-discrimination policy and an aggressive affirmative action program in City
recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion. Due to the persistent efforts of Phyllis Caruth and our Citys Human Resources Division, led by Brenda Hancock, and now by Jamey Knighton, the percentage of the City governments workforce from the ethnic minority community has increased more than 30% in these past seven years. We are employing far more people, and in higher-paying positions of greater authority, from the ethnic minority community than ever before. The number of City administrators from the ethnic minority community has increased
85% since 2000.
Thanks in large part to the diligence, commitment, and constant vigilance of Diana Karrenberg, of my appointments to City boards and commissions, 32%one-thirdhave been people of color.
Never before has there been such diversity among City staff and our city boards and commissions. That is progress of which we can all be very proud.
Our new Administrator for Minority Affairs, Josie Valdez, will ably continue the remarkable efforts of her outstanding predecessors, Mark Alvarez and Archie Archuleta, in ensuring that members of our minority communities receive the opportunities and support to which they are entitled.
Natural open spaces enhance our quality of life. They preserve our heritage, particularly unique geoantiquities like the Lake Bonneville shoreline, shown here. Open spaces enhance sustainable economic development. They provide crucial places for recreation, education, and aesthetic and spiritual inspiration and enrichment. The preservation of natural spaces is a victory
of spiritual values over short-term material greed. Progress entails protecting natural open spaces so they will be available in their natural state for our children and later generations. Thats what responsible, forward-looking stewardship is about.
Many years ago, North Salt Lake obtained ownership of property within the boundaries of Salt Lake City through condemnation in order to obtain certain water rights. That property, which former North Salt Lake Mayor Kay Briggs characterized as "a treeless bunch of rocks," is an essential part of the unique, irreplaceable Bonneville Shoreline. It is a precious geoantiquity.
To sell it to be covered with suburban homes and asphalt would be an outragenot only toward those who value this astounding, pristine place now, but toward our children and later generations. However, simply to obtain large sums of money, North Salt Lake presently seeks to betray its responsibility of stewardship and the values of preservation by selling the property to
whomever brings in the highest bid.
Although Salt Lake City has, for many years, zoned the property as open space, North Salt Lake seeks to defeat that zoning, either through the courts or, most perniciously, through the Legislature while the matter is before the courts. Special legislation to allow this avoidance of the protections provided by our zoning ordinances would be an astounding abuse of the legislative processand a further insult to the interests of our children and later generations in preserving these few remaining magnificent places. This situation poses a clear conflict of valuesa fork in the road leading either to a retreat from preservation or toward progress and the fulfillment of our sacred obligations as responsible stewards.
I am grateful to the members of the City Council who have supported us in this important challenge. I am particularly grateful, as always, to Ed Rutan for his passionate dedication to this matter. Ed believes in the values we are pursuing in this matter as fervently as anyone. He and the remarkable team of lawyers in the City Attorneys Office perform at an extremely high professional level, handling incredibly complex, diverse matters. Our City is fortunate to have the services of people like Ed Rutan, who lives his commitment to professionalism, public service, and personal generosity of spirit.
Our open space efforts have been expansive. Since the beginning of our administration, we have acquired or converted over 450 acres to open space, including lands as diverse as the eastern part of Library Square, Hidden Hollow in Sugar House, Cottonwood Park in Rose Park, and Willow Heights Conservation Area in Big Cottonwood Canyon. That is tremendously important progress.
Through collaboration between the City Council and the Administration, we now have an open space ordinance to help us protect more valuable spaces. The ordinance, coupled with the $5 million bond approved by Salt Lake City voters for the preservation of open space, will enable our community to preserve crucial green space through the Citys Open Lands Program. That is a path toward progress, for which later generations will be grateful. We look forward to working with the City Council to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities we now have to preserve valuable open spaces in perpetuity.
In order to progress as a community, we need stability and continuity in the institutions and social relationships on which we all rely. Crime, including the predatory, destructive drug trade, erodes the mutual trust and cooperation needed for individual security and the advancement of the common good, leaving fear and tragedy in their wake. Over the past seven years, the Salt Lake City Police Department has made remarkable strides to promote the safety of those who live and work in our city, as well as those who visit our city. Now, under the conscientious, determined leadership of Chief Chris Burbank, the Police Department has combined innovative methods with good old-fashioned police work to make life better for law-abiding people in our city.
Richard was a model high school student, even being elected Student Body resident. One week after his election to that office, Richard began to exhibit symptoms of a mental illness. During the next year, he experienced family and social problems. Richard dropped out of high school and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was in and out of local hospitals on a regular basis, and by 2001 had been stabilized on medication. Unfortunately, Richard did not consistently take his medication. Although he was able to re-enter high school and eventually graduate a year later, he spent a good portion of that year living in a vacant field. Over the next two years, Richard lived in
many different low-cost apartments and spent many nights on the streets homeless.
Beginning in 2003, Richard had stopped taking his prescribed medication.
During the following months, police were called numerous times because of Richards conduct.
By the end of 2003, Richards delusions had become more severe. Believing God wanted him to protect an acquaintance from her husband, he broke into the womans apartment and rearranged the furniture to confuse her husband. Meticulously organizing all of the womans undergarments on the bedroom floor, he created a shrine to her, which included pictures, flowers and a knife. Richard was found by police cuddling one of the womans young children in the hallway. He was taken into custody and booked for burglary. He believed he had done nothing wrong as he had been sent by God. Fortunately, the responding officer was a trained member of the Crisis Intervention Team. The officer clearly identified Richards delusions and requested mental health
follow-up. The Crisis Intervention Team met with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and Salt Lake City Mental Health Court staff to have the case adjudicated through Mental Health Court.
During the next several years, Richard took his medication regularly, and entered college. In 2005, he was married and now lives in a small town with his wife and son. He works full time for a landscape company and maintains a loving relationship with his parents and family members. Richard now publicly speaks about his experience in an attempt to assist others.
Focusing on constructive problem-solving, rather than being solely concerned with enforcement and punishment, we established Crisis Intervention Teams, to ensure mentally ill people receive appropriate care and attention. Our view is that if the conduct is a result of a mental health problem, we should be focused primarily on resolving the mental health problem, not on punishment and retribution. Because of the training and dedication of police officers to
recognize mental health disorders and to respond with an understanding of why some people may be acting in a manner that could, under other circumstances, elicit a violent response from police, lives have likely been saved, and treatment, rather than retribution, has helped bring about dramatic, positive changes in peoples lives. This approach represents progress for everyone
The Police Department has integrated officers more closely with Community Action Teams, which involve residents in healing the damage criminal activity inflicts on offenders, victims, and the community through strong collaboration with the Police Department, all levels of City government, and outside agencies such as the Salt Lake Valley Health Department and Valley Mental Health. Despite inexplicable drastic cuts in federal funding during the past few
years, which is symptomatic of the regressive federal policies toward cities generally, our Police Department has made great progress in proactive, constructive community-oriented policing. Our police officers know that deterrence and community-building can be their most important
A few years ago, we formed, for the first time in the Citys history, a Police Civilian Review Board to examine individual complaints about police officers conduct. Under the Review Board system, greater fairness and accountability are provided for citizens and officers alike. Thanks to the dogged efforts of Ty McCartney and the several dedicated volunteers who
devote so much time, energy and talent to their service on the Board, greater trust has been built between our police officers and members of the public. That is important progress. We are proud to learn that use-of-force complaints against police officers were 18% lower in 2006 than in 2005. That, too, is significant progress.
Perhaps the most encouraging progress in connection with law enforcement and
deterrence is the remarkable decrease in the rate of serious crime in Salt Lake City. As crime has increased in most large cities in the United States this past year, Part One Crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, larceny, and auto theft, are down 8% from 2005 and 10.7% from 2004. Signifying tremendous progress, this marks the lowest level of serious crime in Salt Lake City in fourteen years.
Our police department was the first in the state to voluntarily institute a system to gather data so that we could have a better idea of whether racial profiling was occurring. That system will continue into the future to ensure that Salt Lake City avoids the practice of racial profiling, which is unjust, divisive, and erosive of trust between law enforcement and much of the
community. That is important progress.
The Police Department and our entire community were faced with a very difficult child abduction and homicide case this past year. The tragic loss of adorable six-year-old Destiny Norton evoked a highly emotional response and accusations against the Department. Despite those accusations and intense scrutiny, our officers conducted themselves throughout the case with professionalism, honesty, and compassion. We are all proud of those who served with such distinction in our Police Department during this extremely challenging period.
We also honor the many hundreds of good people from throughout our community who assisted in so many ways during the search for Destiny. The tenacity and love demonstrated during those difficult days was inspiring and reminded us, once again, how this community pulls together when the need arises.
During the coming year, the Police Department will work in collaboration with our City Attorneys Office to more effectively prosecute public nuisances. The Police Department will continue its progress in ramping up its efforts to recruit sworn and non-sworn officers, particularly within the minority community.
One final note regarding the amazing progress in our Police Department: Last seen alive in mid-February 1986, fourteen year old Tiffany Hambletons body was found more than a month later in a ditch near 1300 South 3600 West. She was stabbed numerous times in the upper chest and neck area. Her body was clad only in a tee shirt and socks. Eight years after Tiffanys murder, in 1994, I met Tiffanys mother, Vicki English, and her grandfather, Fran Brunyer. They related to me their heartbreak over Tiffanys murder and how their grief was magnified by the inability of police to find her killer. Not to have answers, not to have closure, and to know that the vicious killer was still free haunted Vicki and Fran every day of their lives, for years on end. I have now known Vicki and Fran for 13 years and I well know the sorrow and frustration
they have lived with since Tiffanys murder 21 years ago.
Soon after I was first elected, I asked that our Police Department pursue cold homicide cases like Tiffanys in order that loved ones might find closure and that the perpetrators be brought to justice. A Cold Case Unit was formed, which has made remarkable progress over the past year in finding evidence, much of which is through new DNA technology, and making arrests. One of those arrests occurred a few days ago. It was the arrest of a man charged with the
murder of Tiffany Hambleton.
After we formed the Cold Case Unit, Detectives Cordon Parks and Kelly Kent
reexamined all available evidence and followed up on literally hundreds of leads. Due to the persistent, tenacious efforts of the detectives, and due to the outstanding services provided by Sorenson Forensics, it appears that Tiffanys loved ones may now obtain the answers they have been hoping for all these yearsand that justice may indeed be achieved.
The story doesnt end there. With the arrest of suspects in the 1998 killing of Cathy Cobb and the 2001 murder of Kang Ho Lee at the Sunshine Market, there have been arrests made in three cold cases during just the past week, and four since 2006. I congratulate Chief Burbank, the members of the Cold Case Unit, and our entire Police Department for their tremendous work, which constitutes astounding progress in the quest for justice and some measure of comfort for
families of homicide victims.
Our Salt Lake City Prosecutors Office works in close collaboration with the Police Department to ensure the stability and health of our city by rationally and comprehensively addressing the harmful effects of crime. Since the beginning of my administration, I have worked with Sim Gill, our intrepid, innovative City Prosecutor, to implement a comprehensive restorative justice approach in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Restorative Justice Program provides a new model of criminal justice that focuses on making things better for victims, offenders, their families, taxpayers, and the community at large, including taxpayersrather than focusing on incredibly expensive, wasteful, and destructive punishment and retribution. The Restorative Justice Program directly addresses root causes of criminal conduct and the harmful effects of criminal activity, and strives to heal in every way possible victims, offenders, and the community.
Our Restorative Justice Program addresses a wide range of activities that undermine the cohesiveness of our community and our quality of life, including drug abuse, drunk driving, public sex crimes, low-level misdemeanor offenses, prostitution, and the solicitation of prostitutes. The Program has had great success in reducing recidivism and costs to taxpayers. For example, 330 offenders entered the Johns Offender Program from 2001-2005, a non-shame
based program (unlike the Phoenix Johns sting pictured here) to address the root causes of behavior for those who solicit prostitutes. Only one offender was discharged without successfully completing the program, and less than 10% of program participants were rearrested for the same offense. The program saved taxpayers an astonishing $495,000 in trial costs. Clearly, we are making great progress in reducing the serious social and financial costs of crime
in Salt Lake City.
This year, our City Prosecutors Office and Police Department, in collaboration with the YWCA and the Safe at Home Coalition, will begin to provide comprehensive services to all victims of domestic violence at one location, the Family Justice Center. Victims will no longer have to travel all over town to multiple locations to obtain the services they need. We will also
subject domestic violence and protective order offenders who at high risk of re-offending to an enhanced sentencing program that will closely monitor and evaluate their compliance. Finally, the Justice Court will begin implementing a paperless system for arraignments and the discovery process, which will improve efficiency and save taxpayer money and City resources. Under the outstanding leadership of Sim Gill, the Prosecutors Office continues to be fiscally responsible and socially responsive, providing a progressive restorative justice approach focusing on cost-effectiveness, problem-solving, and accountability.
Our Fire Department is critical to progress in Salt Lake City, saving lives during medical emergencies and protecting our homes, businesses, and physical infrastructure from the devastating effects of fire. During the tenure of our vigilant, hard-working Fire Chief, Chuck Querry, we opened Fire Station #9 at the International Center on Salt Lake Citys west side, resulting in a nearly four-minute decrease in response time to calls for service from the surrounding area. Under Chief Querrys leadership, the Fire Department has introduced two new paramedic engines, resulting in an estimated 20% reduction in response time to advanced life-support calls. Salt Lake City has the highest ratio of paramedics to citizens of any city in Utah. The Department created Salt Lake Citys first Heavy Rescue Team, equipping firefighters to handle specialized rescue situations, and implemented a task performance test to ensure all
firefighters can meet the physically demanding challenges of fighting fires and assisting citizens during emergencies.
Last year, the Fire Department's Public Education Division increased Citizen Emergency Response Training to Salt Lake City residents by fifteen percent. The Department also improved its capacity to handle hazardous materials with an enhanced haz-mat unit and new decontamination equipment. That is all life-saving progress.
Although there have been difficult budget ramifications, we have worked with the outstanding advocates of the Firefighters Association and the Fire Department administration to achieve and sustain four-handed staffing on all Fire Department apparatuses, signifying a commitment to progress in the safety of our firefighters and the public.
This year, the Fire Department will install and train personnel in the use of mobile data terminals. This technology will provide personnel en route to an emergency call with critical information such as building layouts, hazardous materials, and utility information. The Department will also begin using FirstWatch software, which monitors 911 calls and looks for patterns of activity that suggest terrorism or a major disaster. These improvements will enhance the safety and well being all Salt Lake City residents. We are grateful to the outstanding men and women of our Fire Department, which has, these past seven years, constantly progressed.
To address the tragic, corrosive effects of drug abuse in our community, I convened the Mayors Coalition on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs. Under the dedicated leadership of Abbie Vianes, this team of nationally renowned experts, local treatment providers, and family members who have experienced the devastating effects of substance abuse has aggressively promoted public education. The Coalition has organized parent and clergy training sessions to
educate the public about the warning signs and effects of substance abuse. We also host a Brown Bag Lunch Speakers Series each month, broadcast on SLC-TV, which provide a wealth of expertise and practical information to use in combating the scourge of drugs in Salt Lake City.
Last year, the Utah Transit Authority generously extended through the end of January a run of seventeen bus placards designed to raise awareness about drug overdose. Previously, Reagan Outdoor Advertising generously provided use of numerous billboards for a powerful public education campaign encouraging people to seek medical help for those who exhibit signs of drug overdose. We held three clergy seminars, a Freedom Forum on substance abuse, and a town hall meeting on preventing underage drinking, which I co-hosted with First Lady Mary
Kaye Huntsman and South Salt Lake Mayor Robert Gray. The Coalition also held a press conference and sent a letter to the parents of every high school student in the Salt Lake City warning of the risks of underage drinking at graduation parties. We are urging the School District to implement proven drug prevention and harm-reduction strategies and will continue to advocate for better, more effective education about all forms of substance abuse, including the abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs, subscription drugs, and tobacco. As we continue this work, we keep in mind that this can be a matter of life and deathand that an honest, proven approach to prevention, harm-reduction, and treatment can make an enormous positive difference in the lives of many people, their families, and our entire community.
In collaboration with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Teen Advocates against Tobacco, and the City Council, we recently developed an ordinance to ban smoking in City parks and at mass gatherings. Because of our efforts, visitors to Salt Lake City parks, and participants at mass gatherings like the Utah Arts Festival, the Living Traditions Festival, and the Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival need no longer fear exposure to dangerous secondhand smokeor going home with smelly clothes and hair from the smoke of others.
This year, in partnership with many community stakeholders, the Coalition plans to undertake a comprehensive campaign against underage drinking. This effort is vital to the health and safety of our community, since underage drinking can severely impact brain development. We will also work with pharmacies to give customers the information they need to prevent
prescription drug abuse among their friends and loved ones.
With the spirited, committed leadership of Luann Clark, the Citys Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) has aided thousands of Salt Lake City residents in obtaining proper housing. In the past seven years, HAND has utilized nearly $30 million from a variety of local and federal sources to make available nearly 2000 units of affordable housing and over 350 units of market-rate housing. The projects HAND has completed include a unique project at our Veterans Hospital that provides transitional housing for homeless veterans; the
remarkable Bridge Project on the west side, which provides affordable living and office spaces for artists and cultural organizations; the Jefferson Apartments, which provide low-income housing one block from a TRAX line; and Sunrise Apartments, a 100-unit housing development for chronically homeless people.
This past year, despite an irresponsible, outrageous, regressive 9.5% cut in the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, HAND rehabilitated one hundred twelve houses, provided over a million dollars in rehabilitation and new construction loans, and successfully solicited pledges to support the vital Weed & Seed program. In recognition of her years of brilliant, dedicated service and successes, LuAnn Clark received the Local Government Service Award from NeighborWorks America. Congratulations, and thank you to LuAnn.
This year, HAND will work with others throughout the country to persuade the federal government to shoulder its responsibilities to local governments by increasing CDBG funds. HAND also will work with our administration and City Council to finally adopt and implement a new citywide housing plan. If that plan does not present irrational and unnecessary obstacles, such as a proposed prohibition against funding of 100% affordable housing projects, we should
be able to continue much of the great progress experienced the past several years.
Safe, inviting public spaces are vital for residents to be able to gather, recreate, and reflect. Without quality gathering places like public parks, residents become isolated in their homes, cars, and offices, and loneliness and social division result. The extraordinary hard work and dedication of Rick Graham, our Director of Public services, and Val Pope, who heads our Parks Division, have helped City residents fulfill our need to associate, communicate, and celebrate with one another.
Thanks to the efforts of the Public Services Division, Liberty Park is a phenomenally beautiful jewel in our city, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over the past few years, we installed a new lighting system, a jogging path, and a segregated bike and skating path in Liberty Park, making it safer and more usable for the thousands who visit the park each year. We also built a bridge and gazebo on the Parks lake island, reconstructed the North Shelter and Tennis House, and completely rebuilt the concession building. With the generous support of the Rotary Club, we constructed Rotary Play Park, the first park in Salt Lake City accessible to children of all levels of ability. Snapshots of Liberty Park before and after the improvements of the last seven years would demonstrate the kind of progress to which we should commit in all of our major parks.
In 2006, the Public Services Department, with the remarkable hands-on work of Rick Graham and Kay Christensen, augmented its admirable record of achievement by securing new market tax credit funding for the Sorenson Unity Center, which we expect will be completed this fall. The Sorenson Unity Center will be a unique, magnificent facility that will offer a remarkable range of services, programs, and facilities to the historically underserved Glendale
and Poplar Grove neighborhoods.
This year, we will begin construction of the first phase of improvements to Pioneer Park, using a plan authored by community residents and stakeholders. I appreciate the Councils agreement to finally fund the first phase of the renovation of this severely underutilized park. Given that the Central Business District will have a population of ten thousand, with nearly five thousand housing units by 2010, and that the population of the Gateway District is expected to increase by ten to fifteen thousand over the next ten to twenty years, it is imperative that we devote the same commitment and energy to Pioneer Park as we did to Liberty Park. Much more needs to be done at Pioneer Park in order for its potential to become reality. Residents and businesses in the area surrounding Pioneer Park have taken a leap of faith by locating there, with a vision of what the area can be some day. I urge the Council to demonstrate the same level of courage, vision, and commitment in funding major improvements in Pioneer Park, as the neighboring residents and businesses have vigorously sought. This opportunity poses a choice: Either maintain the unsatisfactory status quo, or support progress toward a world-class park. I
beseech the Council: Listen to the community and support this wonderful place in the heart of our city.
Our public spaces are being enlivened and utilized at historic levels. Our City Library, which opened in 2003, was named by Library Journal "Library of the Year" for 2006. The energetic leadership of Nancy Tessman has made all of that possible. We will miss Nancy and wish her the very best. That magnificent place has given patrons access to a wealth of information resources, and has become an invaluable sponsor and partner of community civic, artistic, and cultural events.
Thanks to the efforts of YouthCity, the Center for Documentary Arts, the Utah Science Center, and a devoted Board, under the leadership of Mary Tull, the Leonardo will enter the design phase this year. When completed it will be a major tourist draw, providing exciting art, science, and technology education to thousands of visitors each year. The Leonardo will be one of those places that will attract people from our area of all ages and interests repeatedly, and which visitors to our City will marvel about as they recount to others their experiences in Salt Lake City. Everything about the Leonardo signifies amazing progress for our community.
The Salt Lake City events staff, under the leadership of the ebullient, indefatigable, resourceful Talitha Day and hard-working, creative Tyler Curtis, launched the first Monster Block Party, a free Halloween event at the Gallivan Center attended by twelve hundred people, which is destined to become a major Salt Lake City tradition. We also started the Monday Night Movies series in seven City parks, bringing fifteen hundred viewers together in a well-received
community-building event. Our new Rock n Ribs Festival was officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and attracted competitors from across the West. Four thousand people attended this exciting event. And our Twilight Concert Series attracted thousands of people to each of eight concerts of phenomenal music at the Gallivan Center.
Salt Lake City Gets Fit Together, a fitness program for all who live or work in Salt Lake City, returned for its second year with an online exercise tracking system and weekly emails containing nutrition and fitness tips. This year, the program will expand to include a 5K Fun Run, a volleyball tournament, and a fitness day in Liberty Park.
Jerry Floor and I started the Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival in 2001, to bring world-class music, free of charge, to residents and visitors in Salt Lake City. By last year, attendance had skyrocketed to 55,000, with cumulative attendance for the six years of the festival surpassing 180,000. Along with events like Living Traditions, Gay Pride Day, the Salt Lake City
Marathon, and the Utah Arts Festival, the Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival has greatly enlivened downtown Salt Lake City and brought our community together for memorable cultural experiences and enjoyment. We are grateful to the many sponsors, particularly our main sponsor, Devine Racing and the Salt Lake City Marathon, for making it possible to present four days of
marvelous music to the many thousands of people who attend the Festival without charge. What a gift to the people of Salt Lake City and all who attend this amazing Festival!
Today is a red air quality alert day, when many of us, including the elderly and the young, are warned to avoid exercise outdoors. We deserve so much better than that. Unless City residents have access to clean air and water, and are protected from potential environmental catastrophes like global warming, our other efforts as a city count for little over the long term. Sustained progress is impossible unless the resources needed to sustain life, such as clean, safe,
healthy air and water are available to all people.
Many create a false dichotomy between environmental sustainability and economic growth. The truth is that lasting growth cannot occur within the context of an unsustainable way of life, characterized by poor local air qualityas we experienced today, a red daydependence on fossil fuels, and resulting public health problems.
In Salt Lake City, we have shown how measures to reduce energy consumption and to utilize clean, alternative energy sources promotes a better quality of life, saves taxpayers money, and is central to long-term economic growth. Sound, effective stewardship over the environment and our natural resources has been a central effort of our administration. Thanks to the work of many people throughout City government and the business and nonprofit communities,
particularly the Citys three energetic, dedicated environmental professionalsJordan Gates, Vicki Bennett, and Stephanie Duerand Beverly Miller, the Clean Cities Coordinator, Salt Lake City has become a world leader for climate protection and long-term sustainability.
In 2001, we created the Salt Lake City Green program, a comprehensive initiative designed to enhance sustainability, promote public health, and improve the efficiency of government and corporate operations. One critical facet of Salt Lake City Green is our Climate Protection Campaign. There is vast scientific consensus testifying to the reality and dangers of global warming, including unequivocal consensus by thousands of scientists from over 100 countries participating in the International Panel on Climate Change, and the national scientific academies of 20 nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, and Japan. In response to the growing consensus, in 2002, I committed Salt Lake City to reduce emissions of global warming pollution from our municipal operations 21% from 2001 levels by 2012. Already, we have surpassed that target by 148%, six years early, by reducing greenhouse
gas emissions from our municipal operations by 31% from 2001 levels. We have saved money at the same time.
We have made great improvements to our City fleet to save money, improve efficiency, and combat global warming. We got rid of forty-one gas-guzzling SUVs and purchased smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. We now have eighty-nine compressed natural gas vehicles in our fleet. With the increased use of bio-diesel fuel, 31% of all City vehicles now operate using alternative fuels, including 62% of the Citys heavy vehicles. Fifty-two percent of the Airports light vehicle fleet and 100% of its shuttle buses operate using clean burning compressed natural gas. Natural gas is domestically produced, it emits almost no criteria air pollutants, and it is far less expensive than normal gasoline.
At our wastewater treatment plant, operated by the Public Utilities Department, we capture methane, which has about 21 times the greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide, and utilize it to produce about 6 million kilowatts of electricity per year, saving over $160,000, and resulting in a reduction of the greenhouse equivalent of 13,600 tons of carbon dioxide annually. In collaboration with Salt Lake County, we are now capturing methane produced from waste decomposition at the Salt Lake Valley Landfill and utilizing it to produce electricity. With the ability to produce enough renewable electricity to power 2500 homes, the landfill eliminates the production of over 17,600 tons of carbon dioxide per year, roughly the emissions equivalent of removing over 25,000 cars from the road or planting 35,000 acres of trees.
We also ensured that sustainability remains central to the Olympic movement. On the heels of the incredible 2002 Winter Olympic Games, we delivered a message of peace, youth, and the environment to Torino, Italy without the use of fossil fuels. We look forward to representatives of Salt Lake City joining the Torino contingent as they carry on that Olympic tradition by delivering a message from Torino to Vancouver, the next Winter Olympic Games host city, without the use of fossil fuels.
We are continuing to implement efficiency measures to streamline City energy use, save taxpayer dollars, and preserve our environment for future generations. Recently, I asked City department directors to voluntarily discontinue the tremendously wasteful use of individually sized bottles of water at City functions, which I urge the City Council and our residents to do as well. We convened the Salt Lake City Sustainability Committee, chaired by Vicki Bennett. Composed of City officials and experts from the larger community, the Committee is identifying ways Salt Lake City can improve efficiency and continue to be an example for businesses, individuals, and other governmental entities. Building on the successes of our high performance
building efforts, and aided by the critical work of the Building Services and Licensing Division, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring that all City building projects and projects that receive City funding will be certified according to the US Green Building Councils LEED standards.
Empowering our business community to meet the challenges posed by global warming and fossil fuel dependence has been a critical part of the Salt Lake City Green program. Through the e2 Business Program (the two "es" stand for environmental and economic sustainability), we have helped forty-eight e2 businesses improve efficiency, save energy, and reduce waste and improve profit margins in the process.
We have also helped empower citizens to take responsibility for their personal impacts on our environment. We launched the e2 Citizen program last April. Taking what we learned from our e2 Business program, our climate protection campaign, and other sustainability initiatives, we designed a program to give individual citizens the tools to improve our environment and
combat catastrophic global warming. Over five hundred seventy-five residents are now e2 Citizens.
I have attended and presented at national and international conferences on global warming and energy policy, including the recent Clinton Global Initiative. With Robert Redford and ICLEI, I co-hosted the second annual Sundance Summit: A Mayors Gathering on Climate Change, which brought together thirty mayors from throughout the United States to learn about the science of global warming and how to reduce global warming pollution in each of our communities. While we have made great strides through our climate protection campaign, we are powerless to stop disastrous climate change unless other governmental entities, businesses, and individuals also begin to use clean, renewable sources of fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our successes have helped breed more success in other communities, as they learn about what we have been able to accomplish.
In the coming year, we will seek to expand our recycling program through expanded multi-unit residential and business participation. We will seek to offset our use of electricity through investment in clean technologies or in projects, such as rainforest preservation, that reduce carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration. We will partner with the University of Utah and other educational stakeholders to develop resources and curriculum materials to educate local students about the science of global warming, and how to help solve the problem. We will launch a substantial educational and policy initiative to improve our poor local air quality. We will also develop a long-term climate action plan to reduce global warming pollution.
The work of our Department of Public Utilities has been a critical element of our sustainability objectives. Just as importantly, the Department has ensured that all Salt Lake City residents have access to some of the purest water in the United States. Last year, the Department received the Directors Award from the EPA and American Water Works Associations Joint Program Partnership for Safe Water. The award was given for five years of voluntary compliance to stricter safety standards for drinking water than required by law. Our water treatment plants are among only thirty-four facilities nationwide to meet these standards and receive this award.
The astounding progress by the Public Utilities Department continues. Today, the City closed on the purchase of Donut Falls at Cardiff Fork, a critical watershed area and a beautiful hiking destination that has been closed to the public in recent years. Securing vital watershed lands like Donut Falls will help ensure the continued integrity and purity of our water supply.
The Public Utilities Department has augmented its efforts to protect watershed lands with the Keep it Pure Campaign, which educates Salt Lake City residents, particularly children, on the importance of watershed lands. The Department has partnered with the Cottonwood Canyon Association to arrange outdoor classroom activities on watershed lands during the fall and winter. This year, educational materials on watershed protection will be incorporated into curriculum materials for fourth and ninth grade students in the Salt Lake City School District, to impart an ethic of preservation of our valuable water resources.
In addition to protecting our water supply from the tremendous pressures to develop watershed lands in the Wasatch Canyons, which pressure will only be exacerbated by the construction of a proposed so-called "Interconnect" tunnel or paved road between Park City, Big Cottonwood Canyon, and Little Cottonwood Canyon, we must also conserve water to protect against drought and meet the demands of our growing population. We live in the second-driest state in the Union, and face an additional challenge in that we have, as a percentage of
population, one of the largest daily commuter influxes of any city in the country. Despite these challenges, Salt Lake City reduced its water use by nearly 15% from 2000 to 2006. Our daily per capita use, which doesnt include our commuter population, is 220 gallons daily per capita, well below the state average of 245. This year, we will work with the Council to craft and implement
an ordinance allowing, and perhaps even encouraging, drought-tolerant landscaping, which is found throughout the City in beautiful model gardens.
Throughout his forty-eight years at the Department of Public Utilities, including twenty-seven years as Director, LeRoy Hootons accomplishments have been remarkable. Through his efforts, the Department of Public Utilities has become a national leader for water quality, infrastructure management, and planning. Much of the pristine land in our beautiful canyons will be forever preserved because of LeRoys passion, hard work, and dedication. In recognition of his tremendous, exemplary efforts, and the highest values toward which he has always committed himself, the Public Utilities Building will be renamed the LeRoy W. Hooton Public Utilities Building. We thank LeRoy for his extraordinary service to the people past, present, and future of Salt Lake City, and throughout this region. Later generations will be grateful to
LeRoy for the tremendous legacy he will leave to them.
As beings whose thoughts, aspirations, and hopes are inconceivable without the support and influence of countless other people, we need to collaborate with others to achieve nearly any action we undertake. In order to progress as a city, and promote the common good for all residents, we need social institutions, structures, and environments that foster the human exchange of viewpoints, ideas, and calls to action. Salt Lake City has vigorously promoted these interpersonal exchanges and connections, which are so critical for our unity, understanding, and sense of mutual obligation.
Participation and confidence in government and the political process is critical for promoting progress throughout all sectors of civic life. Throughout my administration, we have introduced unprecedented transparency, openness, and accountability into City affairs. Through Saturday Morning with the Mayor meetings, and News and Community Conferences, as well as One-on-One Meetings With the Mayor, we have provided thousands of people the opportunity to personally provide input to, and gain information from, department heads, other city staff, and me. In partnership with KCPW, I host a monthly "Rocky Hour" on public radio, to promote community dialogue on a wide range of critical issues. This year, with the guidance of Management Services and Char Sylvester, the diligent and outstanding Mayors Office Manager, we developed the Employee Disclosure System to provide transparency of public money
reimbursed to employees. Anyone can now view all employee expenditures reimbursed by the City, as well as all of my reimbursed expenditures since I took office. We also prohibit City employees from accepting gifts in the course of their work, a step toward greater transparency and accountability.
Under the leadership of Ken Cowley, the Citys Information Management System (IMS) team has greatly expanded City information available online and on the Citys cable television station, SLC-TV Channel 17. When I came into office, the content offered on SLC-TV seemed to be limited to scrolling agendas of City Council meetingssometimes agendas of meetings already held. Now, with the help of Bill Haight, John Rand, Jose Solano, and the rest of the SLC-TV team, the station offers a vast, rich, interesting array of content, much of which can also be viewed on-demand at slcgov.com.
With assistance from Management Services, Anne Beck, and the IMS web team, we have vastly improved our web site. Slcgov.com, which now offers a variety of bill-paying features in addition to important City information, has been ranked fifth in the nation by Brown University, and fourth in the nation for midsize cities by the Center for Digital Government. The latter also ranked Salt Lake City as fourth in the nation for "digital government" this past year, recognizing our overall efforts to improve government and civic participation using technology. Thanks to XMission, Salt Lake City residents have free wireless access to the Internet on Main Street, at the City Library, at Pioneer and Liberty Parks, and many other locations within our community.
To encourage civic participation and provide young people with experience working in City government, we began an intern program in 2002. Under the guidance of the always conscientious and reliable Yolanda Francisco-Nez, who is such a credit to our Office, over fifty-five students from colleges across the country have gained valuable experience in the Mayors Office serving our community. We will continue to expand this critical program and allow a greater number of students to gain important insight into the workings of City government.
Salt Lake Citys Division of Economic Development, under the extremely capable and enthusiastic leadership of Alison McFarlane, provides a crucial role in stimulating job growth and attending to business interests in Salt Lake City. Commercial activity, particularly that of local, independently owned businesses, is the lifeblood of our city. In bringing people from many walks of life together in common purpose, our places of work help forge bonds of reciprocity and mutual understanding between people who might not otherwise associate with one another.
The Revolving Loan Fund provides a vital tool for supporting our small business community. With the astute, principled direction provided by Ed Butterfield, our Small Business Manager, the City has expanded its small business assistance to unprecedented levels. Since 2000, the City has loaned over $9 million to Salt Lake City businesses, compared with only $705,000 from 1991 through 1999. That is a 13-fold increase. In total, our Economic
Development Division has granted loans and provided direct loan assistance to approximately two hundred seventy businesses since 2000, and has provided direct business assistancesuch as help with zoning, permitting, and demographicsto nearly twelve hundred businesses.
Through their inspired efforts, Ed and Alison have helped create a sea change in favor of creative, committed support for our small business community.
Salt Lake Citys Economic Development Division continues to be a strong supporter of the Local First organization. With $40,000 of Salt Lake City seed money, Local First has hired a full time director, officially launched the Buy Local First campaign, expanded the organizations website to include more than 250 local businesses in an easy-to-use directory, and created a Local First brochure.
Our city is currently experiencing an unprecedented period of expansion and growth. Nine major development projects are planned for downtown Salt Lake City, with over $1 billion in new investment in the Central Business District projected over the next five years. The City Creek Center development, which commenced this fall, will add retail opportunities, 600 units of housing, a full-service grocery store, and much-needed commercial space to Downtown. I thank Bishop Burton and the LDS Church for involving City officials and the public in the shaping of this project.
Hamilton Partners will also construct a twenty-two story office tower at 222 South Main, adding 420,000 [square feet] of sorely-needed Class A office space to our downtown. This all spells amazing progress, particularly when we look back seven years, at a time when not one office in what was then known as the American Stores Building was occupied.
After six years of property acquisition, more than one year of negotiations, and many hours of staff time, we eagerly anticipate the development of a neighborhood lifestyle center on the corner of North Temple and Redwood Road. The developers for this project have committed to provide grocery and furniture stores as well as several smaller retail sites. The center will also provide professional and community services as well as a convenient community gathering
space. A groundbreaking will be held this spring, with an expected construction period of twelve to eighteen months. This 160,000 square foot center will bring needed retail and community services to our Citys dynamic west side, and create momentum for other retailers to locate along Redwood Road and North Temple.
In our continuing efforts to draw development projects to the diverse and distinctive neighborhoods located west of I-15, we made numerous presentations to real estate agents and developers during 2006. The initiative was designed to inform and educate the development and sales community about the opportunities for commercial, retail, and mixed-use development in Salt Lake Citys west-side neighborhoods. We will expand the West Side Initiative this year by surveying neighborhood groups to identify desired retailers for this rapidly growing, vitally important part of our city.
As a benefit to manufacturing and distribution businesses and Salt Lake City companies that specialize in international markets, Salt Lake City is in the process of reactivating Foreign Trade Zone #30. The Foreign Trade Zone program will be sustained by our remarkable rail, air, and interstate highway systems, and will be a key selling point in our efforts to recruit new businesses.
In close collaboration with Nancy Boskoff and the Salt Lake City Arts Council, we are currently formulating a strategic plan for a dynamic, multifaceted downtown arts district. The plan includes facility assessment, funding options, redevelopment opportunities, and programming strategies for new and existing arts venues. Our administration will work with arts organizations, the business community, governmental partners, and other City stakeholders to ensure Salt Lake City has an arts district to rival any city of our size. In fact, Salt Lake City has already been recognized by American Style magazine as among the top twenty-five arts destinations in the country.
The Citys Redevelopment Agency has augmented and consolidated our economic
development successes. Among its many successes, last year the Agency loaned nearly $6.5 million to renovate buildings for residential, office, restaurant and retail uses. Among a great many notable projects, the RDA helped restore the Sugar House Monument and renovate the surrounding plaza, and aided the relocation of Juniors Tavern, a locally owned business and downtown landmark, to Broadway Boulevard. Thanks to the assistance of the RDA, the City will commence the planned beautification of Broadway Boulevard this spring, adding a raised walkway, planted medians and bollard lighting to 300 South between Main Street and 400 West. These improvements will help create an attractive, charming, identifiable district to complement the many unique specialty shops and residential properties in the area, as well as Pioneer Park. This will spell great progress for our downtown.
Led by Louis Zunguze, the Salt Lake City Community Development Department and the Building Services and Licensing Division, with help from Orion Goff and Larry Butcher, is working to ensure our business and development community obtains the most efficient and thorough service possible when requesting permits from the City. The One-Stop Shop for building permits will ensure patrons of Building Services and Licensing, which issued over 2600 permits and performed nearly 2300 plan reviews last year, will benefit from a more collaborative approach among all of the Citys development review entities.
The Salt Lake City International Airport is central to the Citys economic development efforts, and connects our residents to the wider world. We are so fortunate to have a major hub international airport ten minutes away from our downtown. Under the phenomenal leadership of Tim Campbell and Russ Pack, who has generously served twice as Interim Airport Director, the Airport now serves historic numbers of passengers with unsurpassed efficiency and quality.
Since 1999, the Airport has experienced an 8% increase in passengers, an 89% increase in scheduled departures, and a 120% increase in non-stop destinations, from 51 to 112. We are grateful to Delta for its extraordinarily beneficial partnership with Salt Lake City, and hope to see it continue for many years into the future.
Our airport, led by a tremendously capable and committed management team, has received numerous distinctions and awards. It was rated the most on-time airport in the nation for departures in 2005, and its concessions management garnered a top ranking from Airport Revenue News in 2006. With the wealth of airport experience our new Airport Director, Maureen Riley, brings to the position, we anticipate the Airport will continue its stellar record of progress. We are very pleased to welcome Maureen to Salt Lake City.
Wise transportation choices can result in greater mobility freedom for everyone, far fewer hours spent driving, significantly less household transportation-related expenses, far less social isolation, preservation of open spaces, cleaner air, fewer emissions of global warming pollutants, and improved business and housing opportunities. Poor transportation choices, particularly those that promote dependence on the automobile, can result in greater social isolation, even more traffic congestion in the future, destruction of open spaces, threats to our climate, poor air quality, assaults upon the public health, tremendous pressures on household budgets, and community divisions. That is why our administration has taken a transit-first approach to all development proposals. Our Citys Transportation Division, under the dedicated, visionary leadership of Tim Harpst, has helped move Salt Lake City away from sprawl-inducing dependence on the automobile that perpetuates our addiction to fossil fuels, and toward transit and greater safety and accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The University TRAX line project was a model for community involvement and
attentiveness to local concerns. As a facilitator for that enormous construction project, Bill Knowless leadership, expertise, and wisdom were crucial to the success of that project. The City and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce are fortunate to have him as our construction mitigation coordinator for the exciting development taking place downtown.
Along with our Transportation Division, DJ Baxter and Mary Guy-Sell were instrumental in the design and construction of the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub, the first LEED-certified building constructed by Salt Lake City government. They were also crucial in developing the Citys agreement with UTA earlier this year to extend TRAX from the Delta Center to the Intermodal Hub, a crucial part of connecting the first phase of commuter rail to an expanding light rail system, buses, taxis, cars, and bicycles.
For the past six years, DJ Baxter has worked tirelessly on behalf of our west side residents to persuade Union Pacific to abandon the 900 South rail line so local residents can be free from the noise and vibration of trains moving through the area at all hours of the day and night. This long, difficult negotiation process is now weeks away from completion. During the 2006 Legislative Session, we secured $3.5 million in County sales tax funds with the help of House Speaker Greg Curtis and Rep. Ralph Becker. With the Council's help, we have now completed most of the property acquisition needed for the Grant Tower rail realignment, and are within weeks of finalizing written agreements with UDOT, Union Pacific, and Salt Lake County to formally commence this exciting project. This has been extremely complicated, but we are at
the point of seeing vast progress, thanks to the hard, relentless work of DJ and others.
Construction for the project will begin shortly, and should be finished by mid-2008. Once completed, Salt Lake City will have a quiet zone free from locomotive noise from its northern boundary to its southern boundary, and from 500 West to the Jordan River. Union Pacific will then transfer to Salt Lake City all property associated with the 900 South rail line, from 700 West to Redwood Road. Union Pacific will also transfer to the City all of its property along the Folsom Street Corridor, from I-15 to 1100 West, where Salt Lake City will be able to bring the flow of City Creek to the surface and spur revitalization of the area. DJ has worked his heart out on this project, and deserves our gratitude for his efforts.
To increase available parking for residents and visitors to our downtown, we added over two hundred fifty new center-of-the-street parking stalls to Broadway Boulevard and 300 East. We also introduced reverse-angle (back-in) parking on 200 South to provide for greater safety for cyclists. With the support of the Council, we continue to provide free parking during the holiday season at all City meters. As part of our Green Vehicle Program, alternative fuel and high-efficiency vehicles can now park for free for two hours at any City parking meter.
To improve the walkability of Salt Lake City, reduce auto dependence, and enliven our streets, we undertook an extensive pedestrian safety campaign. I worked with the Citys Pedestrian Safety Committee, led by Dan Bergenthal, to implement a wide array of improvements. Since 2000, the Transportation Division has equipped 189 crosswalks with orange pedestrian flags, installed over 1000 pedestrian countdown timers at every City-owned traffic signal, installed seven pedestrian-actuated overhead flashing lights, painted 500 "LOOK" crosswalk pavement indicators on our streets, built eleven raised crosswalks, and posted 90 signs downtown reminding drivers of laws designed to ensure pedestrian safety.
Last year, we commenced two additional street safety initiatives. We distributed 10,000 pedestrian reflector strips free of charge through our "Be Safe, Be Seen" Program, undertaken with the generous support of Rich Walje and Rocky Mountain Power. We also stepped up enforcement of traffic laws with our "Street Smarts" campaign against pedestrian, bicycle, and motorist violations. For our efforts, we were recognized by the Mean Streets 2004 Report as the most improved city in the US for pedestrian safety, and were honored with the 2006 America Walks "City at Your Feet" award.
After we added over fifteen miles of bike lanes in the past few years, I issued a complete streets executive order to ensure, to the extent possible, that all Salt Lake City streets are accessible to and safe for bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and people with disabilities. We also plan to incorporate safe, segregated bicycle lanes, which have been utilized so effectively in other cities, into our long-term transportation master plans. Segregated bike lanes will allow bicycling to become a safer, more convenient alternative to automotive transportation. The Transportation Division will incorporate these principles into the Downtown Transportation Master Plan, a key focus for 2007. We are moving forward, constantly, with real progress in providing for greater safety and access for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.
Progress requires that we respect and appreciate the past, while taking responsibility for our childrens quality of life in the future. We are related not only to our contemporaries and those who come after us, but also to those who preceded us. We remain indebted to the past while building on its legacy, and hold our resources and achievements in trust for the future. True progress entails a sense of solidarity that transcends economic fortune, social differences, and the present time.
Throughout our administration, our City Planning Division has made historic
preservation a priority, adapting buildings from our citys heritage to fit the present and future needs of our city. The Division shaped a new infill policy, with significant input from neighborhoods throughout our community, to preserve historic districts from "McMansions," "Garage-mahals," and other uses that undermine neighborhoods.
To ensure that future development in our community builds on the successes of the past seven years, City planners have embarked on two simultaneous master planning projects. This year, Planning will complete a Master Plan for the Northwest Quadrant of the city, the last major undeveloped area in Salt Lake City. We will also reexamine and, if needed, update the Downtown Master Plan. This process will take into account downtown development, the extension of light rail to the Intermodal Hub, the construction of commuter rail, and ongoing mixed-use development in the Gateway District. City planners will also seek to secure funding for the preparation of a comprehensive citywide preservation plan, which will begin in early 2007. We are confident George Shaw, our able new Planning Director, will bring his wealth of talents and expertise to these initiatives to serve the best interests of present and future City residents.
Children should, of course, be at the center of any discussion of progress and the future.
Our achievements, institutions, and resources are in trust for them. Their creativity, ingenuity, and optimism must be developed to meet the challenges of the future.
Through the brilliant leadership and generous spirit of Janet Wolf, along with Kim Thomas, Angela Romero, and many other staff, YouthCity has offered unprecedented artistic, cultural, and educational resources to our citys young people. Given the demand for after school activities and enrichment, YouthCity has provided an incomparable service to Salt Lake City. In understanding "family values" straightforwardly, as ideas, approaches, and programs that actually help families, YouthCity programs deserve every measure of our support and appreciation as the most "pro-family" initiatives in Salt Lake City government. Although some, inexplicably, have called for regress and have refused to support youth programs, our astounding YouthCity team has forged ahead, demonstrating immense, life-altering progress every year.
YouthCity has raised over $4 million in addition to the modest support from the City Council to create a dazzling array of programs and refurbishing three decaying City buildings. YouthCity presently includes the YouthCity Government program, which provides a vastly expanded vital civics and service experience to students from every high school in the city; and the Workplace Mentoring Program at Horizonte, which allows students to explore a variety of occupations through hands-on learning, mentoring, and job-shadowing experiences. One hundred percent of Mentoring Program graduates have proceeded to graduate from high school, and all eight of last years participants received scholarships to Salt Lake Community College.
YouthCity Artways has provided innovative arts education and programming to reach tens of thousands of children and their families. The program is a two-time semifinalist for the NEAs "Coming Up Taller" awards, and brought the phenomenal Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration, a nationally acclaimed performing arts festival, to Salt Lake City. YouthCity Artways has improved the fabric of performing arts in our city and has enlivened our public spaces, with murals throughout the city and productions like Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Beginning with little more than one-full time staff person, YouthCity has become a model for cities throughout the state, and has inspired a statewide after school movement. Janet Wolf chairs the board of the newly formed Utah Afterschool Network, which was created to provide a structure of partnerships to sustain new and existing high-quality after-school programs, and was funded by a generous three-year grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. In partnership with the Governors Office, Salt Lake City, the SLC School District, and the State Office of Education, the Network held a statewide summit in Salt Lake City last fall to discuss the future of after school programs throughout Utah. YouthCity has made tremendous, persistent strides to improve the quality of life and services for children, their families, and our entire community.
Though we have made tremendous progress as a city, none of our achievements were guaranteed from the beginning. We have come to expect our quality of life to progress throughout our lifetimes and those of our children. However, we are the chief architects of our collective success or failure. Whether we advance the common good, or let it fall prey to the interests of a few, the responsibility is ours.
Progress is only as certain as the determination of its advocates. It founders when governmental leaders, businesses, and individuals prize short-term gain for a few over long-term gain for everyone. Compounding the problem, our city, state, and nation are all too often dominated by a culture of obedience, where the expectation is a go-along, get-along, status quo-
oriented approach to public policy that undermines the imperatives of justice and the common good. My administration has tried its very best to listen to people all too often silenced in our city and state and advocate for them at every level.
In thinking about progress, the relevant question is not simply what is possible in the given conditions of the present world, but, more significantly, what is desirable in a future world driven by our hopes and dreams. Throughout the past seven years of my administration, we have endeavored to make these dreamsthese aspirations for an inclusive, safe, healthy, interesting, rewarding communitypart of the fabric of our great city.
Progress in City government requires a hard-working, dedicated team. We have set a standard of excellence for our team, trying people out for the team, making some cuts, and building an exceptional team that has served the people of Salt Lake City well. A remarkable leader on that team has been Rocky Fluhart, who has served this city with great distinction and tenacity from the first day of this administration. We are grateful to Rocky and his family for all he has so conscientiously contributed for seven challenging, and rewarding, years. We are also grateful to Sam Guevara, a man who knows how to get it doneand to do it all with good humor, in a way that inspires those with whom he works.
It is up to each of us to advance the common good, preserving the key spaces, resources, and institutions that make our quality of life possible, while extending the benefits they provide to every member of our community, including those who come along in the future. In the end, the measure of our lives, and of our service to others, is whether we have had some part in
progresswhether we have helped move our community and our world toward real