Thursday January 14, 2010
Abramson Delivers Final State of the City Speech
To see the full speech, click here
By 2015, Louisville will see new bridges and skyscrapers under construction, a revitalized economy with more “green” jobs and an expansive system of city parks that strengthen neighborhoods.
Mayor Jerry Abramson outlined these and other milestones of future success today in his State of the City speech, his 21st and final annual speech, to the Downtown Rotary Club at the Galt House. Abramson’s term ends Dec. 31 and he’s not running for re-election.
Abramson credited three ingredients for Louisville’s recent success and future gains – vision, teamwork and perseverance — as he examined life in the city five years from now.
“Over the years, I’ve seen that formula for success change the lives of our people and the face of our city…a new city with a new spirit that doesn’t stop at the county line or the river’s edge,” Abramson said.
In the seven years since the merger of city and county governments, Louisville Metro Government has built a strong foundation that withstood a major economic recession and will help the city to “flourish over the next five years as the economy improves,” he said.
Abramson envisions a downtown teeming with activity, from the new arena and Museum Plaza, and vibrant suburbs connected by a network of new parks linked by the Louisville Loop, a walking and cycling path that will eventually encircle the city. He predicts construction will be underway on the Ohio River Bridges Project and new buildings, such as the Museum Plaza skyscraper.
“We will bump into each other in our new arena as a top-rated U of L team chalks up another win — or as Bruce Springsteen plays his last encore at a concert there,’ Abramson said. “We will stroll Waterfront Park’s Big 4 pedestrian bridge, the coolest new perspective on the Ohio River, and ride our bikes on new stretches of the Louisville Loop.”
He also believes the city will leap forward in education attainment.
“We will be applauding a sharp increase in the number of high school graduates, thanks to innovative programs initiated in the last several years in our public schools,” he said. “And we will see a surge in students going on to college, as local and state programs help them connect with the resources.”
The city’s economy will be stronger, with new jobs and new companies, and Louisville’s quality of life, from parks to entertainment to quality housing, will make it a city that attracts new residents.
“I believe these things will come to pass because I have seen time and time again — over more than two decades — what happens in this community when we pull together as a team, develop a clear vision and dedicate ourselves to getting the job done,” Abramson said.
“When people ask me, “What’s the biggest change you’ve seen as Mayor?” I don’t hesitate with my answer: Our community’s spirit. A positive, we-can-do-it approach to life’s opportunities and challenges.”