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State of the City: Gordon focuses on police, education and jobs

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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:27 pm

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon delivered his final State of the City address Tuesday, focusing on police officers, education and quality jobs.

The event was at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix, one of the new downtown buildings built during Gordon's time in office. Gordon also pointed out continued relationships with Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona to bring higher education to downtown Phoenix.

"The U of A's Health and Sciences Education building will open next summer," Gordon said. "And ASU continues to grow."

He asked all in attendance to fill out a special card placed at the tables. The "Dare to Dream" cards would donate money to provide higher education to foreign students who live in Arizona. Gordon mentioned a student named Luis, who was brought to the country when he was 2.

"We can't wait for Congress to get around to passing the DREAM Act," Gordon said. "All of us know young people who are a credit to this community... I will be making the first pledge of $10,000 to help students like Luis."

The mayor also mentioned police officers in his speech. He publicly thanked the Home Invasion and Kidnapping Enforcement Squad and Public Safety Manager Jack Harris for his leadership. Gordon hopes the city will be able to hire more officers soon.

"We haven't hired since January of 2009," he said. "We're not scheduled to hire until 2014. We need to reverse that trend by working with our city management team. We need to do it now, not later."

Gordon's big announcement was of more jobs coming to Phoenix.

"Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong's non-profit Institute for Advanced Health is coming to Phoenix," Gordon said. "This institute will reshape the way that patients receive treatment for cancer, diabetes and hundreds of other diseases... This game-changer will redefine how the nation and world will see Phoenix. Its timeline will begin shortly, in just months."

Gordon also said that he would not be seeking an office in Washington when he was no longer mayor but that he would stay in Phoenix.

"No matter my title, no matter the address of my office, I will always be your partner," he said. "I will always love this city and I will always strive to make it the best place to live in the world."

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