The nearly hour-long state of the city address Feb. 3 by Mesa Mayor John Giles included videos of local business leaders detailing their plans to expand and slides listing the number of jobs by region.
He also told of the big news from the day before, of Apple housing a command center in Mesa.
“I had a great story to tell. Mesa is an exciting community. Great things are happening right now; we’re on top of the world. So I really had an easy task today of just shining a spotlight on some of the really great things that are going on in Mesa,” Mayor Giles said in an interview after the presentation.
More than 500 people attended the morning event including a buffet breakfast at the Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St. They included Elizabeth Paulus, of the nonprofit College Bound Arizona, which works with first-generation kids to get them to go to college.
“I really was very pleasantly surprised about the activity around the city, because you don’t really hear about the number of jobs and how much revenue – you really don’t hear about it,” she said in an interview after the presentation.
The area surrounding Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has 10,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual economic activity, Mayor Giles said, as the numbers 10,000 and $1.3 billion were shown on a slide behind him. The slide for the Falcon Field Airport area showed 12,000 and $2.3 billion.
The one for west Mesa showed 74,000 jobs in Mesa.
“Sometimes I think we forget how … important west Mesa is. Really, most of the jobs, most of the activity in our community occur within just a couple miles of where we are right now and I think it is easy for us to forget that,” Mayor Giles said in his presentation.
His speech and an accompanying video was the first time Ms. Paulus said she had heard about his One Mesa Pledge – that Mesa is a diverse community that respects everyone.
“I was really surprised about the One Mesa Pledge because I have to agree with the person who was featured on the video that ‘it is a conversation that needs to be had,’ which I think was what she said. We are a very diverse group and there’s a lot to be enjoyed about that, so I thought that was really marvelous,” Ms. Paulus said.
Mesa residents and organizations can sign the pledge online. It states that everyone has the right to feel valued, understood and respected, according to a press release.
Alethea Session, president of the National Black MBA Association’s Phoenix chapter, said she enjoyed the mayor’s presentation. For information on her organization, go to the website.
“Loved it. I can really feel his vision and he seems to be very passionate because he’s been here and he’s seen the trials and tribulation that this city has gone through and what a way for him to give back and make a footprint for his net generation,” she said.
“I love all of the programs that he has going because it is about programs, it is about synergizing our diversity and our community and understanding that it is time to revitalize some of those areas – like the west side, to bring life back to the west side,” she said.
The One Mesa Pledge campaign is a priority, Mayor Giles said after the presentation.
“This is an ongoing project. It is not a campaign that is going to have a beginning and an end, so it’s going to grow. It’s only been active for less than a month and in that time we’ve had several hundred people log on to support it, nearly a hundred businesses and organizations. This is a priority for me. I am going to continue to share the message as long as I am mayor. This will be, hopefully, something that builds more and more momentum,” he said.
Mayor Giles’ presentation for the state of the city can be viewed at the city’s website.