SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Jackie Biskupski delivered her 2019 State of the City address to a crowd gathered at East High School Thursday night, touting progress in affordable housing, transit, infrastructure, safety and protecting the environment.
She spoke about the passage of the first affordable housing plan in more than two decades, adding 2,500 affordable units since 2016, including 400 units dedicated to transition from homelessness. She specifically mentioned Daniel Day, who spent four years living at the Road Home shelter.
“Six months ago, Daniel moved into a one-bedroom apartment, funded through the city’s House 20 Program, designed to help stabilize individuals experiencing homelessness, those who are the highest users of costly emergency services like Police, Fire and ambulances,” according to the mayor.
She says today, Daniel, who has health problems, is on a health care plan helping him recover so he can get back on his feet and get back to work. She referenced the city’s Welcome Home Program, which she says offers low-interest loans to stable buyers with limited income.
On the issue of crime, she credited Police Chief Brown’s strategy of assigning more officers into neighborhoods as one reason crime is down 25 percent citywide over three years.
“That is 6,000 fewer victims and 6,000 fewer incidents putting pressure on the criminal justice system,” says Biskupski.
Mayor Biskupski says she and the city are “all-in” when it comes to climate change, offering up the Salt Lake City Fire Department as an example of how the city is using clean vehicles while investing in new technology that will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint. She reminded the crowd that Salt Lake City became the 16th city in the U.S. to adopt a 100 percent clean energy plan.
She says the city is investing in the expansion of transit, specifically mentioning three key lines along 2nd South, 21st South and 9th South. She says commuters who utilize buses along these routes “will see extended hours, more frequent service, and at long last Sunday service.”
Biskupski says investment in street repairs includes an $87 million bond to replace the city’s worst roads. She says work to get roads repaired got the support of 67 percent of voters who supported the road reconstruction bond.