MONTGOMERY – Mayor Steven L. Reed on Tuesday delivered Montgomery’s 2023 State of the City address.
“I want what you want; and we want Montgomery to be the kind of place where we not only raise our children— but those children return because Montgomery offers opportunities – opportunities for fulfilling careers, excellent education and immersive cultural experiences,” Mayor Reed said in his opening remarks.
During his speech, Mayor Reed discussed Montgomery’s record-breaking year for economic development ($1.7 BILLION in capital investment and 2,000 new jobs), plans for a new arena and convention center, renovating community centers across the city, revitalizing residential and commercial corridors and MPD’s success in reducing crime.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are as safe – if not safer in Montgomery – than in any city our size in this state or in our region,” Mayor Reed said. “Crime is down approximately 15 percent across the board with homicides down more than 20 percent. I’m proud of our men and women in blue, and I’ll continue to support them because they protect our residents the right way.”
Last year, Mayor Reed approved a 15 percent pay raise for police in Montgomery. He committed to continue working with MPD to increase recruitment efforts while prioritizing training and other strategies to prevent misconduct and enhance community-police relations. One such strategy is a civilian review board.
“Violence intimidation and aggression have no place in policing,” Mayor Reed said, “After the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, we are reminded that police reform is a work in progress. We must continue to develop solutions and mechanisms to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in our city. Next month, I’ll bring back a proposal for the civilian review board ordinance, and I urge the City Council to pass it.”
Mayor Reed also provided an update on his administration’s economic and community development progress, citing the need for a more inclusive approach to growth. This strategy is already yielding results.
“When we think about development, we have to think about it in an inclusive and equitable way that will benefit all parts of Montgomery,” Mayor Reed said. “We have to implement strategies to drive growth throughout all of our zip codes, especially in neighborhoods and corridors that have not received proper attention over the last several decades.”
The update featured several projects, including:
- A feasibility study for a new Arena & Convention Center downtown;
- Reconnecting and revitalizing the Centennial Hill neighborhood, which will feature a new bridge lighting and pedestrian access project;
- Remediation of the dilapidated North Gate apartments and working with developers to repurpose Fair West, Normandale and old Governor’s House Hotel properties;
- A new state-of-the-art Fire Station on West Fairview Avenue;
- Renovations for the Fairview Farmers Market;
- Opening the Shady Street Park & Trailhead – the first greenspace built in north Montgomery in 50 years;
- Extensive renovations at the Montgomery Zoo and the addition of a new planetarium adjacent to the Zoo in an effort to spur new investment in north Montgomery;
- Revitalization along the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights Trail – from high-quality affordable housing to the restoration of Camp Site #4 at St. Jude;
2022 was the best year on record for economic development in Montgomery. Under the leadership of Mayor Reed, Montgomery saw more than $1.7 billion in new private sector investment and the creation of 2,000 jobs.
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