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Mayor Jane Castor Stresses Unity and Calls for Focus on Parks, Arts, Transportation

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After Mayor Jane Castor and seven City Council members were sworn in for new, four-year terms today, the mayor touted Tampa's key ingredients for success: Unity, collaboration, and far-sighted thinking.

"The next four years will be about not only investing in the physical infrastructure- like roads, pipes, and housing that keep us resilient as a city, but investing in the infrastructure of people. Like the arts, parks and places that will continue to make Tampa thrive as a community," Mayor Castor said in the first speech of her second term.

Castor congratulated the new Tampa City Council: District 1 At-large, Alan Clendenin; District 2 At-large, Guido Maniscalco; District 3 At-large, Lynn Hurtak; District 4, Bill Carlson; District 5, Gwendolyn Henderson; District 6, Charlie Miranda; District 7, Luis Viera - and said they will work together to ensure that as Tampa grows, it protects and nourishes its diversity, history, and unique spirit.

The mayor announced a new early childcare initiative starting in the Grant Park and Orient Park neighborhoods and called for action to improve roads, sidewalks and overall transportation.

"To my friends on City Council, I say this: We are not waiting for a surtax to fix our roads, our sidewalks, to make our streets safer or provide mobility options. Transportation is our Achilles Heal. The time to act is now -- by working together to address one of our city’s greatest needs," Mayor Jane Castor said.

More excerpts:

"It’s not just our growth that matters, but how we grow. The key to our success is protecting our quality of life, community spirit, diverse culture and colorful history that makes Tampa special for today’s residents- but also as we plan and prepare for Tampa’s tomorrows.

"It’s about ensuring that families can experience generational wealth without being priced-out of the neighborhoods they grew up in, and that we experience inclusive prosperity anchored by a strong middle class."

"We will bring people together through our cultural assets that are the cornerstone of our community. The arts not only add flavor and soul to our quality of life, but they are a crucial component in a stronger and more diversified economy- including workforce opportunities for the next generation."

"Our first responders are on the front lines keeping us safe every day and we will ensure that TPD and Tampa Fire Rescue have the equipment and personnel needed to keep crime low and to address the growing number of medical rescue calls that we see across the city."

"Our tree canopy is a very important part of this and is a treasure that we must preserve. It serves as so much more than just aesthetics: it plays a crucial role in our stormwater system AND mitigates heat. That’s why, with the support of our Sustainability and resilience office, I’m excited to announce that we will be planting over 30,000 trees by 2030 to strengthen and preserve our tree canopy."

The Ceremony can be viewed at Facebook.com/CityofTampa.

Download Mayor Castor's full remarks here.