Mayor Jane Castor today hailed the “extraordinarily strong” state of the city in a speech that celebrated Tampa’s resiliency and summoned residents to work together to tackle challenges and enhance the quality of life of future generations.
"For decades, Tampa aspired to be called America's Next Great City," Mayor Castor told hundreds of residents at the Tampa Convention Center.
"Well, I will tell you this: Tampa, we have arrived. The rest of America has discovered Tampa, a city that works together to face challenges while brimming with optimism. A city the Forbes has waned as the number one emerging tech hub. Where entrepreneurs of of all stripes want to start, expand, or move their businesses. A city where its best and brightest can find lifelong opportunities in their hometown, that is attracting young professionals from around the country -- and that has been consistently ranked as one of the top cities that people are moving to."
The 2022 State of the City Speech was the first public state of the city event since the COVID pandemic started two years ago.
Mayor Castor thanked city employees and all Tampa residents for working together and ensuring Tampa not only made it through the health crisis, but thrived. She spoke of the the city’s multi-pronged efforts to create more affordable housing, its unprecedented investments in replacing aging infrastructure, aggressive sustainability programs, and the importance of improving roads and transportation options.
"This moment in time presents us with enormous opportunities and responsibilities, we can choose to be a city where households of all income levels have housing opportunities and choices," Mayor Castor said. "We can choose to be a city with world-class transit and safe options for getting around instead of growing potholes and traffic jams. We can choose to be a city where better jobs reward hard work and lift families out of poverty and into the middle class. We can choose to be a city that puts the quality of life for our residents first."
Some notable State of the City stats:
- The city currently has 103 active construction projects - a $1.7 billion investment in Tampa's infrastructure.
- The city is on track to meet the mayor's goal of creating 10,000 housing units by 2027.
- The city has spent $103 million on housing efforts in the past two years.
- The city's COVID relief programs kept more than 5,000 residents in their homes.
- The city's transportation system is seeing more than $120 million in major improvements, including the transformational West River Walk Project.
- The city distributed to residents more than 1,000 trees to protect and strengthen Tampa's tree canopy.
Download Mayor Castor's remarks here.