Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price gave her annual State of the City Address Friday, not only highlighting the accomplishments of 2019 but also the vision for 2020.
Mayor Price focused on several pillars of success in the city including equity, education and economic development.
"The state of Fort Worth is strong, and I’m excited about the road ahead for the next 20 years or more," Price said. "It’s our Fort Worth. Let’s build it together with a little less conversation and a lot more action."
The city has grown in both population and opportunity over the past eight years, according to Price.
"We’ve grown 20.78 percent. That’s incredible," she said. "We’ve moved from the 17th largest when I took office nine years ago to the 13th largest now. We’re the third fastest growing in the nation."
Among other successes named during her address Friday, Price pointed to economic growth and development in Fort Worth. This includes five new hotels downtown and the long-awaited opening of Dickie's Arena in October 2019, which she described as the "crown jewel of innovative public-private partnerships".
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Price said when it comes to the issue of homelessness, the city was headed in the right direction with a "small decline" in the past year.
"In 2019, we put 3,000 people into homes. That’s more than we’ve ever been able to house in the past," she said. "With the help of many in this community, we did it in several different ways. HUD was so impressed we got an additional million dollars increase from our prior allotments for HUD for housing."
While the city has plenty to be proud of, Price also recognized areas she would like to see improvement.
Difficult conversations have been necessary to not only address successes but also, what could possibly be holding Fort Worth back.
"Part of that is our poverty rate is above the state average and a little bit above the national average at 16.9%," Price said.
The mayor also took a moment during her address Friday to recognize Atatiana Jefferson, the Fort Worth woman who was shot and killed inside her home by a police officer in October 2019.
"I know and you do too, we have a responsibility that the tragedy of Ms. Jefferson’s death propels us forward to positive changes," she said. "Chief Kraus was right beside us in these difficult moments and he said it was one of the worst things he’d ever dealt with. I appreciate his leadership and his leadership of a department he served 28 years."
Building for the future takes several voices and ideas and according to Price, the work is far from over.
"I do think ‘Cowtown’ is on the move and has been for years. It’s not something I say to contrite. I say it because it’s true. We’re planting trees under whose shade we’ll never sit. I’m not done planting. We have a lot ahead of today," she said.
Price also announced Friday, Linear Labs is moving its manufacturing facility and corporate offices from Mexico to Fort Worth. The company makes small electronic motors.
The move is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs over the next decade.