TUCSON, Ariz — "I would like to thank our healthcare and front-line workers who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us."
The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to everyone, including the person elected to run the City of Tucson, Mayor Regina Romero.
At her State of the City address she pushed a positive agenda, starting with highlighting ongoing infrastructure projects in the city.
"To date, we have paved 670 miles of road in our main city corridors and more than 225 miles in our neighborhoods and local streets."
Later in her speech, she committed to her position to take action on climate change citing a measure approved by the Council earlier this year.
"Which sets a goal for city operations to reach carbon-neutrality by 2030."
2020 was a year that presented challenges to communities on the issue of public safety, Tucson was no exception.
Romero was handed a resignation by her police chief, Chris Magnus, which she refused to accept.
In her speech she reflected on the effort to reform law enforcement in Tucson, starting with mental health.
"To support this vision, mayor and council allocated funding for 6 additional social workers."
On the city's economy, she boasts about Tucson's placement by Moody's Analytics as a top 10 city to recover from the pandemic.
"TuSimple, the world's largest and most advanced self-driving truck company, is already expanding here in Tucson."
Mayor Romero took a moment to recognize the company's growth in the city.
"It is with great excitement that I announce today that TuSimple will be adding 40,000 square feet to its campus along with creating more than a hundred new jobs."
Before her speech, the mayor told KGUN9, in 2020, the city banked on taxes from online business, which if those sales hadn't been available could have put Tucson in what she called a 'catastrophic position.'
Revenue from those sales, allowing the city to do something it's never done before, according to Romero.
"We are in a position to set 10% of our general fund in our 'rainy-day' fund."
Before closing her speech, she added she'll make an effort to stress the importance of sending federal dollars to Tucson, to the incoming presidential administration.