FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2015
CHARLOTTE, NC — Mayor Dan Clodfelter delivered his State of the City address today, calling the city’s future “strongly positive,” as he celebrated the many collective and individual visions across Charlotte along three common values of resilience, resourcefulness and reinvention.
In his speech, Clodfelter highlighted several accomplishments in 2014, discussing how Charlotteans worked across racial, ethnic, neighborhood, business, government and similar types of organizational and identity lines to address issues, problems and tasks. He said many new networks have open door participation and are redefining traditional approaches to collaboration.
“This is a natural and welcome feature of an increasingly dynamic community—economically diversified and demographically rich,” said Clodfelter. “We are unfailingly optimistic about the possibilities for small groups of individuals to make change for the better. We are astonishingly resourceful in the ways we mobilize talent and financial support, very often from the most unexpected places. We are not satisfied with simply repeating someone else’s tried and true formulas;we are creative and entrepreneurial.”
As Clodfelter outlined the city’s full agenda for 2015, he discussed several items to come before the Charlotte City Council including recommendations from the Immigrant Integration Task Force, considerations of the storm water services program, a streamlined process for the review and permitting of new development, as well as determining how to finance the 2030 Transit Plan.
Projects such as the amateur sports complex around Bojangles arena, a new concept for the former Eastland Mall property, and the Gateway Station on West Trade Street will also require council members to tap the city’s spirit of “enterprise and reinvention.”
Additionally, Clodfelter discussed major issues that will impact the community this year, such as the withdrawal and reduction of state government funding. He said Charlotte must look to neighbor cities and counties for ways to leverage individual local and regional resources and fill in gaps.
He also underscored the emerging community effort to address questions concerning economic and social mobility in Charlotte. The Task Force on Economic Opportunity, which joins public and private resources, will identify particular features that may be responsive to locally designed and driven initiatives.
“We must commit that it is not enough for Charlotte to be a land of opportunity for newcomers, unless our city can also equally be a land of opportunity for those who start their lives or careers here,” said Clodfelter.
Clodfelter said each challenge and opportunity Charlotte will encounter during 2015 “calls for the very best of the community’s values – resilience, resourcefulness and reinvention.”
“The soul of this city lies in the numerous visions of its people as seen in their relentless drive,” said Clodfelter. “We are not the place where things happen to us, we are the place where people make things happen. We are truly a city of and for the future.”