~ St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura O. Jones delivered her 2024 State of the City Speech at the Sun Theater in the Grand Center Arts District this evening. In her address, Mayor Jones highlighted the progress made by her administration in making the city safer, stronger, and healthier.

"Today, the City of St. Louis is safer, stronger, and healthier than we were last year. And next year, we'll be safer, stronger, and healthier than we are today," said Mayor Jones.

One of the key areas of focus for Mayor Jones has been improving infrastructure to enhance transportation options for residents. She mentioned the expansion of the Metrolink Green Line as an example of this effort.

"We've taken the historic American Rescue Plan funds from the Biden-Harris administration and are putting them to work on paving, lighting, and traffic calming measures on our roadways," said Mayor Jones. "We aren't just making it safer to get around in your car. Everyone deserves to feel safe when getting around St. Louis."

The Green Line expansion will also connect to existing Red and Blue lines, providing more opportunities for residents to move around the city for work, education, and entertainment without relying on a car.

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Mayor Jones also highlighted the work of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) in addressing public safety concerns. She noted that in 2023 alone, OVP helped divert over 550 911 calls to behavioral health responders and assisted over 6,500 St. Louisans through their Crisis Response Unit.

In addition to these efforts, Mayor Jones praised significant improvements in 911 response times over the past year as part of a holistic approach to public safety.

"In 2023, we answered just over 50% of calls within the first 10 seconds. The national standard is 90%. Today, I'm proud to report that more than 80% of 9-1-1 calls are answered within 10 seconds," she said.

Mayor Jones also acknowledged the collaborative work of Chief Tracy, Wil Pinkney, and Public Safety Director Charles Coyle in implementing alternative emergency response programs such as Cops and Clinicians and 911 Diversion, which includes behavioral health clinicians in the 911 dispatch center.

The Mayor also discussed her administration's efforts to invest in economic development that supports families, small businesses, and local communities. She highlighted the Healthy Home Repair Program, which received $15 million in ARPA funding and has doubled the number of houses served this year from 155 to 317.

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"This is generational work. It took generations to get here, and building vibrant neighborhoods all over St. Louis will take time," said Mayor Jones.

She also mentioned the ongoing renovation of the old Killark Electric Plant into a workforce hub for North St. Louis City. Once redeveloped, the site will be known as The Monarch on MLK and will provide training for high-paying, in-demand careers.

In line with her administration's focus on building a healthier city workforce, Mayor Jones announced the launch of a new hiring website powered by Taleo software. This website will make it faster and easier for individuals to apply for jobs with the City of St. Louis.

"Our city hiring has been plagued by slow and inefficient technology for decades," said Mayor Jones. "Last week, under the leadership of Director of Personnel Sonya Jenkins Gray and our Bloomberg/Harvard fellow Krizia Lopez, the City launched a new hiring website."

The Mayor also announced that the hiring freeze on the City of St. Louis would be lifted on Monday, May 20th, 2024.

A full transcript of Mayor Jones' speech can be found on her official website. As she concluded her address, Mayor Jones expressed her optimism for the future of St. Louis under her administration's continued efforts to make it a safer, stronger, and healthier city for all.

Filed Under: Government, City

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