Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the state of the city is strong, but that the local economy needs to be the focus moving forward.

Stanton delivered his state of the city address to a sold-out crowd on Thursday. In it he talked mostly of the economy and education.

“Around too many kitchen tables the deep recession of the last decade continues to be the crushing challenge. The old Phoenix economy, defined by cutting-edge construction and real estate spikes, creates enviable peaks followed by prolonged, hyper-magnified crashes... we must break this boom-bust cycle.”

Stanton vowed every action he takes will be directed toward building a new Phoenix economy and increasing the city’s role in supporting education.

“We must create the smarter, more technologically advanced workforce Phoenix needs for success. Failure on education is absolutely not an option for our city.”

The city of Phoenix has restored its education office and has formed an Arizona Mayors’ Education Roundtable. Stanton announced a Phoenix School Safety program that will double the number of police officers in schools city-wide.

To further city safety, Stanton announced a gun buyback program that will take place every Saturday in May in partnership with Arizonans For Gun Safety.

The mayor did mention the food tax, though he refrained from saying how he plans to vote on it.

“I will make this decision soon — with all the data on the table, in the full light of day, with every option explored,” Stanton said.

Partnerships were also a hot topic in the mayor’s speech. He mentioned partnerships with regional mayors and with leaders in Mexico to help increase trade. The city will also be partnering with the Maricopa Community College District to teach job seekers skills that local businesses need.

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