Progress for Phoenix Since Stanton Took Office
Mayor Greg Stanton is working hard to create an innovation-based, export economy that works for every Phoenix family. Since Stanton took office in 2012, Phoenix has seen major progress and reached some incredible milestones under his leadership.
Building A Stronger Economy
- During Stanton's time in office, Phoenix's unemployment rate dropped from 8 percent to 3.9 percent.
- Job growth in the next five years is projected to grow 14 percent, which outpaces other strong software markets such as Seattle, Denver and San Francisco.
- From 2012 to 2017, the number of tech companies and startups quadrupled in the downtown Phoenix core from 67 to nearly 300.
- In 2017, Phoenix jumped two spots – from ten to eight – on the Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Activity Index.
- From 2010 to 2015, Phoenix increased the number of technology jobs by 18.6 percent – the same rate of increase as Denver.
- In 2017, credit rating agencies Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings all lauded the Phoenix economy for its diversification, robust growth and strong fundamentals.
- From July 2016 to July 2017, the Phoenix metro area experienced the highest wage growth in the nation – jumping 7.6 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Stanton led nearly 20 trade delegations to Mexico with Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild, the Greater Phoenix Chamber, the Arizona Chamber, the Hispanic and Black Chambers, Visit Phoenix, GPEC and many others in the Phoenix business community.
- Phoenix opened two trade offices in Mexico – one in Mexico City and one in Hermosillo.
- Since 2012, the Phoenix region has more than doubled exports to Mexico, and exporting businesses now support 100,000 jobs in Arizona.
- Stanton created a Shop Local policy to increase the number of procurement contracts to local businesses.
- The National Federation of Independent Businesses named Phoenix a top five city opening its doors to small businesses in 2014.
- The Hive@Central incubator at Burton Barr Library offers nearly 500 programs and has served more than 36,000 people since its launch in 2014. It helped launch 93 startups and created 139 new jobs as a result.
- All Phoenix City Council meetings are now televised on public access channel PHX11, as well as streamed live on YouTube to increase transparency and civic participation.
- Phoenix hosted Governing Magazine's third annual Government Performance and Innovation Summit in 2017 and was named the highest performing government – the top scoring city on Governing's Equipt to Innovate Survey.
- Stanton took the hammer to pension spiking through several civilian retirement system reforms to get costs under control – reforms that will save taxpayers more than $1.1 billion over the next 25 years.
- Phoenix partnered with local hospitals to become the second city in the nation to pass an Access to Care ordinance, which pumped more than $300 million back into the local economy, delivered life-saving care to our residents, and saved jobs. The State Legislature ultimately followed suit and approved Medicaid expansion for the entire state.
- The City's Innovation and Efficiency Task Force saved tax payers $100 million.
- At Stanton's direction, the Phoenix Planning Department launched 24-hour online permitting and moved all minor construction permits online.
- The City of Phoenix and Maricopa County co-located on the second floor of City Hall to create a one-stop shop for businesses seeking a wide range of permits.
Downtown Phoenix’s Renaissance
- Stanton created Downtown Phoenix, Inc., an organization that unified downtown stakeholder groups and brought more voices to the decision-making table.
- In 2011, the City Council passed a Downtown Form Code that set new development rules to reshape the street experience for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Downtown has become the state’s new live music capital with one-of-a-kind venues and events including McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Viva PHX and Lost Lake Festival.
- Within a span of 27 months, downtown hosted successful and safe events for the Super Bowl, the College Football National Championship, and the Final Four.
- During Stanton's time in office, more than 2,800 residential units have opened in downtown – with another 4,200 under construction or in pre-development.
- City investments helped bring ASU's Beus Center for Law and Society, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and U of A's Eller College of Management MBA program to downtown Phoenix.
- Stanton successfully championed Proposition 104 – now called Transportation 2050 – a 35-year, $31 billion transportation plan that will expand light rail services and extend its track, increase the bus and Dial-A-Ride services and resurface hundreds of miles of roads.
- More than $9 billion has been invested along the light rail line since the system opened not even a decade ago.
- The council accelerated the construction of a three-mile extension of light rail to Dunlap Avenue – completed in 2016 – which had been delayed until 2023 during the Great Recession.
- More than $2 billion in renovations to modernize and expand Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport are underway – the renovations include Terminal 3 and Terminal 4, as well as the extension of PHX Sky Train and a new eight-gate concourse for Southwest Airlines in Terminal 4.
- The mayor and council brought Grid Bike Share to Phoenix in 2014 and saw ridership grow 30 percent from 2015 to 2016 to a total of 9,927 riders. In 2017, City Council authorized an expansion of Grid Bikes, adding 200 new bicycles and 20 new stations.
- Stanton led the creation of a Complete Streets Policy to ensure a more sustainable transportation system that is safe and accessible to all – bicyclists, persons with disabilities, pedestrians, transit users and cars.
Investing in our Youth
- Stanton re-established the City's education office and the Youth and Education Commission.
- Through the Opportunity for Youth initiative and coordinated efforts to address the county's dropout rates, the number of opportunity youth in Phoenix decreased by 26 percent in 2017.
- Phoenix, Arizona State University and Maricopa County joined Starbucks' 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to create the Opportunity Job Fair and Forum in downtown Phoenix, where more than 2,000 young people applied for jobs and more than 500 got offers on the spot.
- Stanton convened mayors from across the state to found the bipartisan Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable with the Helios Foundation, WestEd.
- The City of Phoenix awarded an additional $3.3 million per year to the Early Head Start Program and expanded services to an additional 188 children in targeted communities.
- Phoenix accepted President Obama’s challenge to join My Brother’s Keeper and created a national model for mentoring young men of color.
- Stanton launched the Great Start initiative, which gives rising kindergarteners and their families free access to learning institutions including the Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Children's Museum and the Musical Instruments Museum – a program that serves more than 1,000 each summer.
- Phoenix's participation in the Read On initiative helped increase the reading level for participating students 78 percent from 2014 and 2015.
Planning for our Water Future
- Stanton helped create the Colorado River Resiliency Fund to ensure a reliable supply of water for residents, even as drought risks increase.
- Phoenix partnered with Tucson water providers on an innovative effort that leverage’s Tucson’s existing infrastructure to make it easier and less costly for both cities to access water during shortages.
- Phoenix partnered with the National Forest Foundation and Northern Arizona Forest Fund to complete high-priority restoration projects on national forests in Arizona watersheds.
- A historic agreement between the City of Phoenix and the Gila River Indian Community will help conserve additional water in Lake Mead. Arizona Forward awarded its prestigious Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future to the City of Phoenix for this agreement.
- In 2016, Stanton convened the Western Mayors Water Summit in Washington D.C. to work with the mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco and others on strategic conservation efforts.
A More Sustainable Phoenix
- In 2013, the City launched Reimagine Phoenix, with the goal of increasing Phoenix’s waste diversion rate to 40 percent by 2020, and 100 percent by 2050. In the fall of 2017, Phoenix reached a diversion rate of 30 percent.
- The Ellen MacArthur Foundation invited the Phoenix Public Works Department to join the international Circular Economy 100 (CE100) program.
- Phoenix's Public Works Department, in partnership with ASU, opened a 50-acre Resource Innovation Campus – where innovative businesses can set up shop and access the waste materials they need to make new products.
- The City opened a one-of-a-kind compost facility at a waste transfer station – with the potential to process up to 220,000 tons of compostable material, which can then be sold as fertilizer.
- Phoenix has become a leading municipality for solar energy, producing 32 megawatts of solar energy through City-sponsored projects.
- The mayor and council passed an initiative to convert all 100,000 city streetlights to LED, which will cut energy costs and pollution by more than half.
- Phoenix surpassed its 2015 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, then set an ambitious new goal to reduce emissions by 40 percent by the year 2025.
- Sky Harbor was recognized by the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program and awarded $1.2 million as part of the Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) grant program to support conversion of airline ground equipment to electric.
- Phoenix, the Town of Buckeye and Arizona Public Service partnered to build a 116-acre, 10-megawatt solar plant that opened in 2015.
Opportunity for All
- The mayor and council passed the state’s first ordinance that protects LGBT and disabled residents from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
- Phoenix earned a perfect score four years in a row from the Human Rights Campaign on the Municipal Equality Index.
- Phoenix became the first city in Arizona to offer transgender-inclusive health care benefits to city employees and their families.
- Phoenix joined the Fast-Track Cities Initiative aimed at ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and put new resources toward strengthening and leveraging existing HIV-related programs.
- In 2017, Phoenix joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and pledged to plan and prepare for worldwide trends of rapid population aging and urbanization.
- In an effort to recognize the disabled community as active and determined, the Phoenix City Council approved the adoption of a new accessibility icon.
- Stanton created Phoenix's Human Trafficking Task Force, in advance of Super Bowl XLIX, which recommended measures to make Phoenix a national model for combatting human trafficking.
- The “Love Your Block” mini-grant program was established to encourage residents in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods to start revitalization projects.
Awards and Recognitions
- Afterschool Champion, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence
- Leadership Award, One-N-Ten, presented to Greg Stanton for his commitment to fighting homelessness
- Man of the Year, Echo Magazine
- Advocate of the Year, Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness
- Leader of Political Action and Advocacy, Echo Magazine
- Crescordia Award (2), Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Awards Gala, presented to the City of Phoenix for its Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Phoenix Sky Train
- Champion of Trade, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Outstanding Regional Contribution Award, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
- National Award of Distinction for successfully ending chronic veteran homelessness, United States Navy
- City Livability Award, U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award, Latino Leaders Network, presented to Greg Stanton at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
- Martha K. Rothman Lifetime Achievement Award, Child & Family Resources, Inc.
- Copper Star Bucky O'Neill Award, Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society, presented to Greg Stanton at the Patriotic Gala for his work on veteran homelessness
- Mayor's Climate Protection Award, U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Number One Big-City for Energy Efficiency, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
- Hunger Hero Award, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance
- Presidential "E" Award for Export Service, presented by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
- Sentinel Award, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, presented to Greg Stanton at the annual IMPACT awards
- Southwest's Best Airport/Transit Project of the Year, Engineering News-Record, awarded to the City of Phoenix and Valley Metro for the Northwest Light Rail Extension
- Outstanding Economic Development Champion, Maricopa Association of Governments, presented to Greg Stanton at the Desert Peaks Awards
- Center City Starr Award, Phoenix Community Alliance
- Elected Offical of the Year, Air Conditioning Contractors of America Arizona
- Outstanding Achievement Large City 2017 City Livability Award, awarded to Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix by the U.S. Conference of Mayors
- Public Elected Official of the Year, National Association of Social Workers Arizona Chapter
- Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, Arizona Forward, awarded to the City of Phoenix for its landmark water agreement with the Gila River Indian Community
- Highest Performing Government, Governing Magazine Equipt to Innovate Survey