Instead of a speech, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor delivered her state of the city address in video form.
She took a tour around Tampa, showing off a city she says was able to not only endure during the pandemic but grow.
"We had 52 major developments in progress, and we put medical protocols in place that kept all the workers in place. And we were able to keep thousands of individuals employed during the pandemic, not to mention having the development continue on," said Castor.
That development includes Water Street and Midtown, changing the city's landscape and creating places where people can live and work.
Along with those high-dollar projects, the mayor says affordable housing initiatives are planned to keep people from being priced out of where they live.
Her goal is to add 10,000 residential units spanning different income levels by 2027.
"It's our neighborhoods and our small businesses, all of that identifies Tampa as a great city."
There are plans to spend billions on infrastructure, including new water pipes.
And she says to expect the overturned All for Transportation Tax to be replaced with a new referendum on the next ballot to pay for roads and sidewalks.
"The transportation solutions aren't overnight. They lag behind the development that's coming — all the affordable housing, workforce development. With all of those, you can make progress rather quickly. Transportation is difficult to put those solutions in place quickly."
The mayor says she's met with different activist groups to improve relations between police and the Black community. And many of their recommendations are already in place.
In the video, the passengers for her tour are all the championship trophies, including the Stanley Cup.
The future of the Rays continues to be in question, but she says the goal is to keep the team in the region.
And, of course, she would prefer that be in the city of Tampa.
"If you have to put in numerical order a list of the best locations for the Tampa Bay Rays stadium, Ybor City would be number one."
Mayor Castor says Tampa's profile continues to grow, and hosting the Super Bowl only added to that.
She says the city deserves to host it again soon because Super Bowl 55 came during the pandemic.
Pop-up graphics show statistics and facts about Tampa as we ride along with the mayor. Here are some of the things she focused on in her address:
Transforming Tampa's Tomorrow
- Community-centric services
- Workforce development
- Housing affordability
- Infrastructure and mobility
- Sustainability and Resilience
Tampa International Airport
- Ranked best small airport of its size
Overhaul to the Permitting Process
- Permitted $4.5 billion despite COVID-19
- That number is up $1.4 million from last year
Bridges to Business
- Connects small, minority and women-owned businesses to City contract opportunities
Water Street Tampa
- 50-acre mixed-use development transforming the Channel district neighborhood
- Creates job training for thousands of skilled workers
- Apprentices will work on 12% of large City projects
Resilient Tampa Roadmap
- Groundbreaking resiliency plan to make Tampa stronger in the face of our current and future challenges
- Contains 13 goals and nearly 60 actions
McKay Bay Waste to Energy Facility
- Converts nearly 2 million pounds of waste per day into renewable energy
- Tampa one of two cities in the nation to own and operate its own waste to energy facility
Reducing Carbon Emission
- Tampa has 75 collection vehicles that operate on compressed natural gas
- Awarded by US Green Building Council for Tampa's commitment to sustainability and resilience
Crosswalks to Classrooms
- 9 crosswalk murals installed to help kids get to school safely and support the Vision Zero mission
Bike/Pedestrian Safety Improvements
- 54 rapid flashing crosswalks installed to reduce pedestrian crashes
Vision Zero Mission
- Eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all
Housing and Community Development
- City of Tampa invested $10.7 million into affordable housing over past 2 years
Fast Pass Program
- Streamlined construction services by offering same-day plan reviews for many residential projects
- Over 100 plans reviewed to date
- Goal of adding 10,000 residential units spanning all income levels by 2027
- $24 million grant from US Department of Transportation to expand Riverwalk on west side
- Mayor Castor added LGBTQ-owned businesses to city's WMBE Equal Business Opportunity Program
- City of Tampa worked with 60 women-owned businesses in FY 2020, totaling over $9.2 million
- Tampa is home to 2020 Stanley Cup Champions, Super Bowl LV champions, American League Champions