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Mayor Outlines Vision For Kinder, More Prosperous Anaheim;
Launches Year of Kindness; Calls for Stronger Business and Citizen Engagement
ANAHEIM, CA - (February 7, 2013) - Delivering his annual State of the City speech Tuesday before a sold-out crowd, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait unveiled his priorities for 2013, including the launch of a year-long program to increase volunteerism, a citizen review commission, and a districting system.

Hosted by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, the mayor’s third State of the City address drew more than 800 business and civic leaders, as well as residents at the City National Grove of Anaheim. During his address, the mayor highlighted the city’s numerous accomplishments in 2013, including praising the new expansion of Disney California Adventure, the Convention Center’s new outdoor venue, the Grand Plaza, and the groundbreaking of the new transportation hub, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.

Tait also addressed the civil unrest that occurred in Anaheim this past summer, saying: “Some people told me that they don’t believe that the city is divided at all; others believe it is harshly divided. The people who feel that the city is divided also feel that they don’t have a voice. From my perspective as mayor, as long as anyone feels that they aren’t included in their government, their community, their city, then we have an issue.”

The mayor outlined key findings from a study on the city’s youth prepared by The Olin Group and funded by The Disneyland Resort through the Anaheim Community Foundation. The study identified safety, program availability and access as top challenges in helping at-risk youth. The study also identified gangs to be a major issue. The mayor said, “Gangs are causing problems in the neighborhoods and schools and make it difficult for teachers and parents to keep kids on the right path.”

Tait announced that Angels Baseball, with the Ducks, Disney and other local businesses, committed to creating a plan of action that would engage the local business community in a comprehensive effort to help the city’s most challenged neighborhoods and youth.

The mayor also invited the community to work together to transform the city: “We must be one Anaheim. One community made up of diverse neighborhoods that share one common goal—and that is to create a city where all people feel included, where families feel safe, where schools are successful and jobs are plentiful.”

He announced his new initiative, Year of Kindness, which will encourage Anaheim residents to volunteer with a wide variety of local nonprofits. “…in this year, the campaign will help people and community organizations connect, so they hopefully begin a lifetime of volunteering and helping those in need,” said Tait.

In his speech, the mayor reiterated his support for the creation of a new Neighborhood Improvement Fund, which the city council recently directed the city manager to evaluate. Tait told the audience. “It is time that the neighborhoods share in the benefit of the tax investment we made in the Resort so many years ago.”

Other highlights from the mayor’s speech include:

Budget/Pension Reform:

  • “By working with the city manager, our budget team, department heads and the entire city council, we were able to balance the budget and stop dipping into our reserves for day-to-day operating expenses…As you can see, we’re back on track. However, I remain concerned about the long term financial picture with regard to our unfunded pension obligation.”
  • Regulatory Relief:

  • “Overregulation hurts small businesses the most. Did you know that in America approximately 70 percent of new jobs are created by small businesses? And that is why, since being elected mayor, I have been working on eliminating or reducing regulations that burden our local small businesses. “
  • “Here’s an exciting stat…in Anaheim 4,000 new business licenses were pulled last year. That means 4,000 new businesses opened their doors. Or in other words, 4,000 dreams became a reality.”
  • Education

  • “…for two consecutive years, the Anaheim Union High School District has had the largest graduating class in Orange County and three-fourths of those kids went on to two- or four-year colleges. Their graduation rate is now higher than the county and state averages. This is even more impressive since two-thirds of the kids come from a home where a language other than English is spoken.”
  • Danbrook Elementary: “…this elementary school—where 94 percent of the kids come from impoverished homes—improved its score on the state’s Academic Performance Index by a whopping 81 points. That made Danbrook the most improved public elementary school in the whole county.”
  • The entire transcript and video of the speech can be accessed at www.anaheim.net.


    Media Contact: Ruth Ruiz 714.765.5060more city news

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    ABOUT ANAHEIM – The City of Anaheim, founded in 1857, is one of the nation's premier municipalities and is one of California's most populous cities. Anaheim covers 50 square miles with more than 346,000 residents and more than 2,950 City employees. The municipal corporation's annual budget is $1.6 billion. Anaheim supports a thriving business community with companies such as Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc., L-3 Communications, Pacific Sunwear, and Disneyland Resort. Successful sports franchises call Anaheim home, including Angels Baseball, Anaheim Ducks, the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team, and the 2012 Olympic Games Silver Medal winning U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team. Anaheim also boasts world-class meeting and entertainment venues with the Anaheim Convention Center, LEED-certified and the largest on the west coast, Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim GardenWalk, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. In addition, Anaheim embraces its vibrant cultural arts community, including the world-renowned Anaheim Ballet. Annually, Anaheim welcomes millions of visitors to the city, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit www.anaheim.net.

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