Tonight, Salt Lake City Mayor, Mayor Jackie Biskupski, addressed the challenges, successes, and opportunities facing the Capital City. Addressing her constituents in “the commons” at East High School, Mayor Biskupski spoke openly and honestly about the direction in which she and her team are steering this City.
Mayor Biskupski opened her speech by acknowledging what got her into politics in the first place – the disenfranchisement of students trying to start a Gay-Straight Alliance Club at their high school. She said, “While those students set out to create a safe space for themselves and their friends, what they accomplished was nothing less than a cultural shift in the State of Utah.”
Mayor Biskupski went on to discuss one of her top priorities: affordable housing, “Since 2016, we have added nearly 2,500 affordable units into Salt Lake City’s housing pipeline, including 400 units of transitional housing to help move people out of homelessness.” She explained the impact that the expansion of affordable housing has on her constituents through Growing SLC programs like House 20.
Since Mayor Biskupski took office in 2016, the crime rate in Salt Lake City has decreased, she said, “you are safer in this City today than you were three years ago. The numbers are dramatic. A three-year, 25% decrease in crime citywide. This drop in crime is seen in every district of the city. This means, when compared to 2015, there were 6,000 fewer crimes.”
Regarding the 100% clean energy plan Salt Lake City committed to in 2016, Mayor Biskupski was confident in Salt Lake City’s ability to meet its 2020 goal. “Last year, the Salt Lake City Fire Department made history by opening the first two net-zero fire stations in the country,” she said. “Chief Lieb is also committed to examining the overall fuel efficiency of the Fire Department fleet. He is providing his support staff with clean vehicles, while investing in new technology to reduce the carbon output of the department’s larger equipment.”
Biskupski identifies improved transit as the key to cleaning the air and announces citywide plans to expand residents’ access, “Commuters on three key lines along 2nd South, 1st South, and right here at 9th South will see extended hours, more frequent service, and at long last, Sunday service.” She also highlighted that, “from expanding bus service to working cooperatively with companies like UTA, Lyft, Uber, GreenBike, Bird and Lime, Salt Lake City is committed to exploring every idea to help people move around in a greener way.”
Mayor Biskupski is optimistic about Salt Lake City’s future, and for good reason. From being chosen by the United Nations to host the world at their 68th Civil Society Conference, to having been selected by the Unites States Olympic Committee to hold a future Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Salt Lake City is making a name for itself, internationally.
Read Mayor Biskupski’s full 2019 State of the City here: