The SEVEN POINT JOBS PLAN is my strategy for creating quality jobs for Phoenicians today and putting Phoenix on the path to economic recovery and long term growth.
Since 2007, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area has lost 250,000 jobs and was recently named as the “most miserable city in America” by the Wall Street Journal. My Seven Point Jobs Plan is designed to create the economic environment to return those 250,000 lost jobs to Phoenix by 2015, and surpass Phoenix’s ranking in 2007 as one of the top five “Best-Performing Cities” in America.
1. TAKE THE LEAD
As Mayor, I will take the lead in creating a regional vision for economic growth.
Phoenix is the largest city in Arizona, making up 23% of the total population and as such, I will ensure that it has a voice in State government.
The Phoenix Metropolitan Region accounts for 66% of Arizona’s population which means the region’s agenda should make up the majority of Arizona’s agenda.
As Mayor, I will take the lead in creating a legislative agenda at both the local level and the state level to establish a job friendly economic environment for Phoenix.
As Mayor, I will spearhead the collaboration, cooperation and partnership with key institutions, organizations, businesses and elected leaders throughout the Valley of the Sun — to maximize opportunities, leverage the region’s assets and promote the region at a national level.
2. PLAN WITH A PURPOSE
As Mayor, I will develop and implement a Ten Year Economic Development Plan for the City and our vibrant neighborhoods.
This Plan will be the result of a collaborative effort with community groups, industry groups, large and small businesses, concerned citizens and regional planners.
This Plan will be multi-tiered including:
- A regional approach for attracting new businesses to the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
- Specific neighborhood plans that recognize and leverage the vibrancy of our many neighborhoods, supports and encourages desirable and appropriately placed small and local businesses, and maximizes access to the City’s infrastructure.
- Long term planning to support and capitalize on Phoenix’s changing demographics.
- Actionable methods to make certain our economy grows across industries, ensuring a diversified market to protect Phoenix in the future.
- An overarching strategy for ensuring a sustainable and healthy City for future generations. and
- Planning for the next “Big Idea” to leverage our natural resources and robust infrastructure.
The City’s most recent strategic plan was written in 1991 and is just now being updated. This is too long. My plan will be critiqued, edited and updated early and often to take into account unforeseen challenges (the Great Recession) and new opportunities that arise from changing demographics and market changes. We must incorporate the updates to the Phoenix General Plan to make sure our land use planning, our City’s strategic plan and our economic development plan work together.
3. REPORT EARLY & OFTEN
As Mayor, I will set annual goals with measurable outcomes.
Phoenix will regularly report on progress towards achieving our goals to ensure transparency in government and encourage public review and discussion.
4. LEVERAGE THE CITY’S RESOURCES
As Mayor, I will leverage our City resources in order to help existing businesses expand and attract new businesses, thereby increasing the number of quality jobs in Phoenix.
As Mayor, I will create a portfolio of Phoenix’s assets, which includes land, buildings, public transportation, schools and universities, neighborhoods and government services. I will actively pursue opportunities for public/private partnerships to properly use vacant land and buildings, both permanent and temporary.
Phoenix has invested $1 billion in light rail; Phoenix must capitalize on this investment, creating business hubs and leveraging this asset as a means for attracting business and connecting Phoenix’s vibrant neighborhoods.
Investments at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport have already paid off and we must continue to leverage this asset; our airport regularly ranks as one of the top five airports in the nation. With economic globalization, ease of travel is a critical component for businesses making location decisions and expanding the tourism industry.
Phoenix has made significant investments Downtown in collaboration with the private sector (i.e., Discovery Triangle, ASU Downtown Campus, and the Phoenix Convention Center). As Mayor, I will continue to stay focused on these efforts and support the private sector to maximize this public investment and encourage further private sector investment.
Leveraging the City’s resources to positively impact the quality of K-12 education will attract businesses to Phoenix today and create a quality workforce for tomorrow. As Mayor, I will work with the City’s under-achieving school districts to reduce overhead, drive more funding to the classroom and set citywide goals for increasing third grade reading attainment and increasing high school graduation rates.
As Mayor, I will encourage Phoenix to be a leader in sustainable energy and focus efforts to expand our green industries so that we are taking advantage of our most plentiful resource – sunshine.
5. MODERNIZE GOVERNMENT
As Mayor, I will modernize our government in order to remove the barriers businesses face when opening, operating, expanding, or relocating a business to Phoenix.
Governments across the country are doing more with less by streamlining and consolidating operations and using technology to replace outdated processes – Phoenix must do the same. As Mayor, I will reduce the cost of government, thus reducing the cost of living and doing business in Phoenix.
The City workforce has been reduced, and yet a recent survey found that 95% of residents who had contact with the City in the last 12 months reported having had a positive experience. As Mayor, I will look for additional opportunities for streamlining government and reducing unnecessary burdens for business while continuing to provide excellent service to the public.
As Mayor, I will reduce the cost of doing business with the City by:
- Eliminating or updating outdated and unnecessary permitting and inspection requirements.
- Expanding the self-certification program and on-site plan reviews.
- Consolidating and streamlining the City’s departments that are involved in business development, economic development and planning to eliminate silos, improve customer service, and allow for direct and immediate support for business owners.
- Streamlining and expediting the plan review and permitting processes.
- Updating Zoning Ordinances.
- Establishing a sunset review process for all new ordinances and review current ordinances in an effort to repeal outdated and ineffective policies.
- Reducing fees, rates and taxes in an effort to keep taxpayer dollars in the economy where it can create jobs.
As Mayor, I will look for opportunities to modernize Phoenix’s IT infrastructure to make Phoenix more customer focused. Initial efforts will include:
- Expanding online services, paperless billing; and electronic payments.
- Modernizing Downtown’s parking meter program to improve usability.
- Evaluating the consolidation of government calls and web services centrally with the implementation of a 3-1-1 customer support center.
6. INVEST IN LOCAL BUSINESS
As Mayor, I will invest in small businesses by dedicating City resources and collaborating with local associations and financial institutions to support local businesses.
As Mayor, I will create a “Small Business Development Advocate” within the Mayor’s Office to provide assistance in navigating city government.
As Mayor, in the first 100 days in office, I will meet with the top 25 employers in Phoenix to understand what Phoenix needs to do to not only keep these businesses in Phoenix, but also for them to expand in Phoenix.
Revenues from taxes, fees, interest, grants and other sources for 2010-11 are estimated to be $3.1 billion. As Mayor, I will ensure Phoenix banks with financial institutions committed to making capital available for local businesses in Phoenix.
City retirement investments as of at June 30, 2010, totaled $1.75 billion. As Mayor, I will investigate ways to ensure that we maximize the City’s investments, and, where prudent, invest in Phoenix businesses.
Where currently legal and fiscally prudent, the City of Phoenix should invest in local businesses by purchasing products and services from local businesses, and should encourage local business to do the same by actively promoting local businesses and reporting benefits and savings.
7. PROMOTE PHOENIX
As Mayor, I will be a national voice in promoting Phoenix.
The “2010 City of Phoenix Community Attitude Survey” showed that 9 out of 10 city residents believe Phoenix is a good place to live. I believe Phoenix is a great place to live. As Mayor, I will celebrate our traditions and our history, highlighting our boundless potential at the national level.
Businesses relocate to places where there is a quality workforce, favorable business conditions, low cost of doing business, a high quality of life, political stability and economic certainty. We have a quality workforce and an excellent quality of life and the plan outlined above will improve business conditions and provide the economic certainty for which businesses look. Just a few years ago, Phoenix was considered one of the top performing cities in America. With the right focus, Phoenix will be recognized as a top performer once again.