As Mayor, I’m often asked how I think things are going in Tallahassee now that I’ve been in office a few years. And every time I’m excited to tell them that Tallahassee is on the move!
I don’t think this has ever been truer than right now. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, my goal has been to ensure that our community is best positioned to emerge stronger – and that’s exactly what is happening.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that in the past six months, we’ve announced nearly a half billion dollars in private investment in our community that will bring nearly 2,000 jobs! From the Danfoss Turbocor expansion to Project Mango to the Valencia Hotel Group, more and more people are realizing that investing in Tallahassee is a smart move not just for a return on investment but also for the unmatched quality of life we offer. And that doesn’t include the billions of public sector infrastructure and economic development investments on tap over the next few years. Our 5-Year Strategic Plan at the City includes a goal of creating 10,000 new jobs in four years because we know that a job is an important and necessary first step in breaking the cycle of poverty and moving our community forward.
But we cannot sit idly by and take this forward motion for granted. The pandemic has highlighted existing challenges and exposed new ones. Tallahassee continues to rise to the occasion, and this isn’t by accident. Each and every one of us must stay engaged and get involved. I’ve been glad to see the Chamber do this in recent months, but as a proud LT grad (Class 24), I want to see every LT grad taking an active role in shaping our community. Reach out to your elected officials. Come to a City Commission meeting (the next one is September 8). Lean in and make your voice heard on the issues that are important to you.
As LT grads, we know the importance of community collaboration – especially between the public and private sectors – to achieve our goals. Neither elected officials nor the private sector can take sole credit for the investment and growth we’re seeing today. We’ve come this far together, and we must move forward together.
And so, as the next #BestClassEver embarks on their best year ever, I hope this central Leadership Tallahassee lesson sticks with you: it is when we work together – and only when we work together – that we can achieve a vibrant and prosperous future for everyone in our community.