State of the City 2021
Since taking office in 2019, Mayor Jane Castor has guided the City of Tampa through a pandemic, a historic Super Bowl hosting experience—and victory, in addition to countless milestones on the path to Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow. To honor how far Tampa has come in just two years, Mayor Castor delivered a State of the City presentation unlike any other on June 2, 2021.
This year’s State of the City features a virtual tour of the places where Tampanians live, work, and play. We invite everyone to watch this virtual State of the City video to catch a glimpse of significant accomplishments from the last two years and to receive a behind-the-scenes look at Mayor Castor’s goals for redefining Tampa’s future for everyone.
Download the 2021 State of the City Fact Sheet for a summary of Mayor Castor’s key initiatives and achievements.
Mayor Jane Castor
Mayor Jane Castor is the 59th Mayor of the City of Tampa. Born and raised in Tampa, Jane has spent a lifetime in service to the community, first as a police officer, then as Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, and finally as the city’s 59th Mayor. She graduated from Chamberlain High School and attended the University of Tampa on an athletic scholarship.
Jane spent 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, serving in nearly every capacity and in nearly every neighborhood of the city. In October of 2009, Castor became Tampa’s first female Chief of Police, serving for six years in that role. During her time as a senior staff member, Castor worked to reduce major crimes by 70% citywide. While Chief, she developed and successfully executed a progressive policing strategy during the 2012 Republican National Convention and oversaw the successful Bollywood Awards, held in America for the first time. In addition, she oversaw the multi-jurisdictional security plan for Super Bowl XLIII and led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative.
Castor was instrumental in the development of the plan that reorganized the police department, consisting of 1,300 officers and employees with a $145 million annual budget – creating three smaller, more manageable districts. Decentralization ensured commanders had the necessary resources to fulfill their missions and gave officers the opportunity to immerse themselves within the community.
Community outreach was a cornerstone of her career. During her time as a beat cop working night shifts, Jane knew the families, business owners, and community leaders in her neighborhood and, as chief, she expected every officer to do the same. Under her watch, the ‘golden rule’ was that “everyone was treated with dignity and respect”. She also brought an added focus that to be successful, the police department had to be immersed in the community as a partner.
To that end, Jane developed and implemented an enhanced Citizen Academy to allow the community to get an inside look at the police department and foster positive working relationships. She also created the Young Citizens Academy, to provide younger citizens with an opportunity to become familiar with the field of law enforcement and to be mentored by officers. Additionally, the police department partnered with the Florida Holocaust Museum and the Anti-Defamation League to have every officer tour the museum and participate in discussions about the importance of their role in the community. Committed to youth, Jane raised funds to build a $4 million gymnasium and recreation center for at-risk children. The Police Athletic League now offers afterschool and summer programs for more than 500 disadvantaged youth. Under Jane’s leadership, the police department also built an additional RICH House in the city. They provide a safe haven for children in economically challenged neighborhoods and have provided after-school guidance and support to hundreds of needy children. Jane created RISE Tampa, a foundation aimed at providing law enforcement training and equipment not available through budgetary means, in addition to supporting youth programs in our community.
Jane continues to be very active in the community including participation on the Gracepoint Mental Health and Wellness Board of Directors, Starting Right, Now Board of Directors, RISE Tampa Police Foundation Founder and Board Chair, Bike Walk Tampa Bay Board Chair, and The Athena Society Board of Directors and GTE Financial Supervisory Committee. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a Police Foundation Fellow.
On a national and local level, Jane Castor is recognized for her leadership in both law enforcement and community involvement. She is honored to have been the recipient of numerous awards including:
2015 University of South Florida President’s Distinguished Citizen Award
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police
2014 Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Woman of Influence
Leadership Tampa Alumni Parke Wright III Leadership Award
The 2014 Florida Holocaust Museum’s Lobenberg Humanitarian Award
2013 Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s Community Advocate Award
2011 Tampa Connection’s Betty Tribble Citizen of the Year Award
2010 University of Tampa Alumni Achievement Award
2009 National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executive’s Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award
2007 Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award for Community Engagement
2006 University of Tampa University Athletic Hall of Fame
Under her leadership, the City of Tampa has also received several awards and recognitions. In 2019, Tampa Bay was recognized amongst the top areas for women-owned business growth. One of the top 10 best metro areas for startups, the best small tech market in North America, 5th best city for recreation, the best city in Florida, 23rd amongst large US Cities, best city for veterans to live in, and one of the most fun cities in America.
At the start of her administration, Mayor Castor established the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow (T3) advisory teams to focus on the most pressing issues facing our city: transportation, development services, workforce development, affordable housing, and sustainability and resilience. She also passed PIPES--the largest water and wastewater infrastructure plan in our city’s history, and the first budget starting in the black since the great recession, established a minimum pay of $15 an hour for city employees, and announced a federal grant for body-worn cameras. She was also named ‘Best Mayor’ in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay.
Since taking office, Mayor Castor has continued to achieve major accomplishments under the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow vision while gaining praise for her exemplary leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. She took swift action to prioritize the health and safety of the community, leading the region with a mask mandate that played a critical role in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in Tampa Bay by a projected 1.4 million. Under her leadership, the City of Tampa also quickly organized relief efforts to help families and businesses impacted by the crisis, including One Tampa, which offered financial relief to individuals, families, and businesses, and Lift Up Local, a program that supported business efforts to reopen responsibly and allowed restaurants and retail store to expand outdoor seating onto the public right of ways.
Jane Castor is a proud Seminole Heights resident where she lives with her longtime partner Ana Cruz, both Tampa natives who enjoy fishing, Lightning hockey games, and family time with their two boys Sergei and Seely.