Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton delivered his first State of the City address today -- a day that marked his 100th day in office.
He spoke to a crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center this afternoon about the need for regional cooperation in attracting technology, bioscience and healthcare jobs, improving Arizona education, and protecting Pentagon programs that fuel high-paying jobs in Arizona via defense contracts with companies such as Honeywell, Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics.
During his gubernatorial address, er, his city address he said that Arizona ranks fifth in defense contracts in the country.
"But because of partisan politics in Washington, those great jobs are at risk," Stanton said, adding that he will be leading a national task force "charged with moving beyond partisan gridlock" and offering up a proposal that "prevents economic harm to our communities, protects jobs and ensures our military can protect our nation."
He's talking about a U.S Conference of Mayors' task force that will push for "sensible cuts" to defense spending to avoid causing havoc to local economies.
And, the Stanton, a Democrat, touted having the support of Senator John McCain, a Republican "fighting in Washington to protect our Armed Forces from sequester cuts and who clearly recognizes the need for city mayors to work with Washington to protect critical defense jobs."
He also said that Phoenix is moving ahead with a collaboration of the Mayo Clinic and ASU to bring the biosciences to north Phoenix to create a second major biomedical campus, and is committed to bringing ASU's Law School to downtown Phoenix.
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"Arizona has failed to make education the priority it must be, and so now Phoenix will lead," Stanton said during his address, an obvious jab at Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for massive education cuts.
"By taking a larger leadership role you best protect Phoenix jobs and industry," he tells New Times. "We exist in a regional economy, and if I limited my role to city boundaries, I wouldn't be doing right by the city."
There were other offerings in his 15-minute speech -- plans to double the amount of solar cells on city building by the end of 2012, converting vacant lots into useful neighborhood spaces for things like urban gardening and a new downtown organization to usher individuals with "fresh minds and new ideas" into positions of leadership.