Flint Mayor Karen Weaver Gives Her First State of the City Address

August 4, 2016 (Flint, Mich) — Flint Mayor Karen Weaver delivered her first State of the City address today at Flint City Hall. She spoke before city employees, residents and dozens of community leaders and stakeholders. Mayor Weaver said the goal of her speech is to present an honest account of where the City of Flint is, significant steps that have been taken since she was elected in November 2015, and let residents know what her vision is for the future of Flint as her administration works to get the resilient City of Flint moving forward. “Rebuild Flint the Right Way” is one plan Mayor Weaver revealed. She also presented the “Weaver Renaissance Plan” for economic development, growth and prosperity. Weaver also provided and update on her FAST Start initiative to remove lead-tainted pipes in the City of Flint. She acknowledged, the work to replace pipes hasn’t happened as fast as many would like, but she said it is good that the work has started and crews are expected to resume work in the city later this month.

The following is an excerpt from the transcript of Mayor Weaver’s 2016 State of the City Address:

“My third main goal is to restore Flint’s economy and create jobs. Today, I’m happy to announce that C3 Venture will invest $9.7 million to bring nearly 400 good-paying manufacturing jobs to Flint to make interior plastic components for the auto industry.  Company executive Bob Schaffer is in the audience, and we want to thank him for believing in Flint.

Bob and other C3 Venture leaders don’t want to be just another Flint employer. They want to be a full-fledged partner and drive innovation in a city they can see is dealing with the water crisis with grit, determination and resilience.  They appreciate our city and our residents’ incredible potential, and they want to be a part of helping Flint again become a thriving, vibrant city.  That’s why they are determined to fill as many of these new jobs as possible with Flint residents, and to offer incentives to new hires who come from outside the city to move into Flint.   We so appreciate those efforts.

Flint also has gotten the great news, announced less than a week ago, that our city has secured a

$20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to revitalize key segments of Saginaw Street, Dupont Street, and Atherton Road.  Flint will use the highly competitive TIGER grant to rebuild these streets as we overhaul our drinking water system.   When we put them back in place, we will make sure that they are beautiful, walkable, and ready to provide the best way to connect the many parts of our city.

This is the kind of positive progress that I want for Flint, and I’m prepared to work with anyone to make sure our city recovers. Whether it’s local, state or federal economic development officials, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, local business owners, foundations and social service agencies such as United Way of Genesee County or the American Red Cross, labor and health care leaders, or our excellent partners at Mott Community College, U of M-Flint, Kettering University, Baker College and Davenport University, I am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Flint has more good jobs and more pathways to success for our residents.

Because how wonderful would it be if all the graduates of our local colleges, universities and trade union apprenticeships could find great jobs right here in Flint? How great would it be if every Flint high school graduate had access to job training or higher education, and if every Flint resident who wants to work can find a job that supports them and their families? That’s the Flint I want to see. That’s the Flint I know we can get to if we all work together to help every Flint resident succeed.

We’re taking steps to get there with the help of programs such as Flint WaterWorks, which is providing opportunities this summer for 100 young people ages 16-24 in Flint who are out of school and not working, to earn a paycheck and learn new skills while helping the city recover. Tonight I am so glad that some of the key leaders of Flint WaterWorks, such as President Kathi Horton of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and our native son, Bishop David Maxwell, have stepped up to help our youth and young adults.

We’re getting there through initiatives such as the summit recently held by the Flint and Genesee Chamber to bring Chamber leaders from Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing to suggest ways we can spark more economic development in Flint. Thanks to Chamber CEO Tim Herman, who’s here tonight, for making that happen.

And while we’ll be doing our best to bring in new businesses and jobs, we’ll also be reaching out to business owners who have stood by Flint throughout the water crisis, such as Mark Kattola of Landmark Foods. Mark’s two Flint grocery stores are helping lower-income families afford more fresh fruits and vegetables to help combat the effects of ingesting.  Furthermore, he has kept his stores in the city even though he had an opportunity to move them elsewhere.  Thank you, Mark.”

Transcript of 2016 State of the City Address As Written (Click to view the entire version of the Mayor’s State of the City Address)