January 31, 2012 at 6:58am
TACOMA 2012 STATE OF THE CITY >>>
Last night at Go Local's second annual Shift Happens event Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland delivered her 2012 State of the City Address. This year's address was less of a pep rally than last year's State of the City Address, and instead was calm, positive and confident.
Last year Mayor Strickland spoke like an entrepreneur trying to sell investors on her product. This year Strickland sounded more like a CEO updating her shareholders on a year of growth while providing positive projections for the future.
Strickland's address began by recapping the highlights of 2011.
"Last year, our theme for the State of the City address was ‘finishing what we started'," the Mayor recalled. "From family recreation to commerce and transportation, we saw the completion of many great projects."
Leading with Cheney Stadium, the opening of IGA's Tacoma City Grocer, and the Wright Park Sprayground, Strickland highlighted eight finished projects that she identified as improving the quality of life throughout Tacoma.
After lauding successful projects Strickland shifted attention to small business culture, highlighting expansions, success stories and reasons for optimism moving forward.
"We saw 2,744 new businesses get licensed in 2011 - 500 more new businesses than in 2010," Strickland pointed out.
Looking forward to the scheduled opening of the LeMay Museum, a McMenamins location, and the completion of Sound Transit's D-to-M Street project, Strickland beamed while describing the looming completions of several major projects in 2012.
Mayor Strickland also highlighted bright spots within Tacoma's public education system and praised local organizations like Tacoma 360, the Foundation for Tacoma Schools and the Mayor's Education Task Force. Strickland also touted the award-winning work being done at Lincoln High School.
"All kinds of positive news continues to pour out of Lincoln High School, where they recently won a Golden Apple Award from KCTS-9 for the Lincoln Center," Strickland reminded the crowd.
Strickland ended her speech by citing author Thomas Friedman. Friedman recently challenged Americans to realize that the era of average must be replaced by an era of above and beyond. Friedman refers to this beyond as a person's, organization's or business' "extra."
"The business world is overflowing with products and services and designs and marketing campaigns that are adequate," explained Strickland. "The real challenge - and the huge opportunity - is to turn something adequate into something amazing."
"It's just not good enough to be pretty good at everything," Strickland continued. "The most successful companies, products and brands have figured out how to become the most of something.
"That is, to find and embrace their ‘extra'."
Strickland concluded her State of the City address with a challenge to everyone in the room.
"From the private sector, to the non-profit world, to the public sector," Strickland said, "we must ask ourselves what is our extra?"
Off duty rules.
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