Momentum is defined as the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or a series of events. As 2017 comes to a close, I have begun to reflect on those series of events that have led us to where we are today. These photographs are only a glimpse of the momentum we experienced in 2017.
January 13th, 2017
Taking time to thank our first responders is very important. Everyday they put their lives on the line to protect us and keep our city safe. At the police graduation, I shared my best wishes as they began their career and gave each one the book “A Case for Character” for them to reflect on when they are out on patrol.
January 30th, 2017
In 2017, the world saw Mobile is open for business. Here, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of when Airbus opened its doors in Mobile. The excitement escalated in October when the news broke that Airbus would be building a second assembly line.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Cathedral Square, we unveiled “Equino.” This piece not only celebrates the square but the 25th anniversary of the Mobile Mounted Unit and the life of Lt. Tommy Menton.
It is the citizens of Mobile that make our city so special. Isaac White opened a free barber college in 1944 to help bring jobs to his area and to give people a second chance. White was honored by Allstate Insurance as a person you need to know and was awarded an Exceptional Citizenship Medal for his dedication to Mobile.
We couldn’t have been more excited to welcome Jean-Claude VanDamme along with the rest of actors and crew for his new film “Black Water”. The film industry in Mobile is a real success story and it is something we hope to build on in the future.
The MPD robot scopes out situations for our SWAT team. He not only maneuvers through dangerous situations, but can talk too! He once saved a child’s life by waking the young boy up and urging him to leave his house when an intruder was there.
To kick off Navy Week this year, I had the privilege of skydiving over Battleship Memorial Park with the Navy Leap Frogs. They are an extraordinary group of servicemen, and I am thankful for their service.
Public Safety Director Barber, Chief Battiste, Chief Sealy and I are committed to knocking on every door in Mobile to learn how we can create safer neighborhoods.
This year, hundreds of new jobs flooded to Mobile. On this day, Commissioner Ludgood and I shared a laugh following the announcement that Walmart would be building an import distribution center. Not long after, Amazon followed suit and announced they would build a sortation facility in Mobile.
In the past, the City did not devote enough resources or attention to litter, but that is no longer the case. On this day, we unveiled our new litter patrol vehicles that monitor the streets collecting thousands of gallons of trash. We’ve also installed litter cameras in well-known hotspots across the city to identify people illegally dumping their waste. While we are making headway, we cannot stop until there is not a single piece of trash left in Mobile.
Small business is the backbone of our economy and this is one of the more interesting ones we have visited. Mobile Cryotherapy offers a unique and effective recovery method for people of all activity levels by having them stand in a chamber of subzero temperatures.
Thumbs up for our capital improvement plan! On this day, we stopped by McGregor Road to check on progress. We are fixing streets, sidewalks, ditches, bridges, drainage, and parks that we use every day. Now, we are developing a five year plan to help execute large-scale infrastructure projects and identify other funding opportunities. We still have a long way to go, but we are finally fixing Mobile!
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant is a $14.5 million award to rebuild aging infrastructure, connect citizens to jobs and revitalize historic neighborhoods. On this day, we hosted a community engagement meeting to share the next steps of the project. Once completed, we will provide safe, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly access, beautify the streetscape and stimulate economic activity along the Broad-Beauregard corridor.
The tech industry in Mobile is on the rise attracting the attention of major technology companies along the West Coast. Dan Veltri, one of the founders of Weebly, along with other major tech companies such as Reddit, ventured South to see what Mobile and our tech corridor had to offer.
I cherish the time I get to spend with family. I was lucky enough to have my wife Jean and our granddaughter Virginia join me as we cheered on all of the competitors at the Dragon Boat Race held at Battleship Memorial Park.
Blight is one of the most challenging issues we face in Mobile, but the Cottages at the Gardens Open House was a victory during our fight on blight. Utilizing funding from the federally funded HOME Program, five blighted shotgun homes underwent a complete restoration on West Prichard Avenue to provide quality affordable housing. This public-private partnership with developer Lyn McDonald provides five single family units for low-to-moderate income families.
Cammie’s Old Dutch hits the spot on a hot and humid Mobile day. The only thing sweeter was spending time with these two young Mobilians!
Last October we stood before you as an administration heartbroken and frustrated with the amount of youth violence in our city. We promised you a plan and this summer it was put into action. After attending the job skills training for the Y.E.S. program, I saw our 14 and 15-year-olds learn about interviewing, goal setting, resume writing and more. Through this initiative, 250 young people develop ed valuable workforce skills that will help them obtain employment down the road and stay off the streets and out of trouble.
Along with thanking our first responders, it is also important to sit down with them and hear what they have to say about their department. June Firefighter of the Month, Captain Samuel Allen, laughs along with Chief Sealy and James Barber, Public Safety Director, as we discuss the ongoing operations in the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department.
AFC Mobile has been a welcome addition to our sports scene. This summer, they experienced record breaking attendance at their games and support for the team continues to grow. It was an honor to be able to toss the coin at one of their games this year.
To conclude Alabama Hip-Hop week this summer, an event was held in Cathedral Square to bring awareness to domestic violence. The host of the event, DJ Dirty Dan, was awarded a key to the city for his dedication to making Mobile a better place.
It is vital that we provide our youth access to safe, recreational opportunities. In order to connect communities throughout the City of Mobile, we must ensure that our parks meet the needs expectations of our citizens. The new playground at Medal of Honor Park is a shining example of what all of our parks can become.
Will Yandell, president of Heritage Land and Development, and business partner John Glassell were all smiles after the announcement of Merchants Plaza! This redevelopment will offer residential, office and commercial space. Heritage said they chose Mobile because “it had the right environment and leadership.”
The excitement was palpable after we returned from Miami with a contract from Carnival Cruise Line to extend the Fantasy’s stay in Mobile another year! This agreement is evidence of the positive working relationship between the City of Mobile and Carnival. We continue to build the momentum of the growing cruise industry in Mobile and are committed to expanding the cruising options and destinations both in and out of our port.
Celebrate the City was a sight to see during our August Art Walk. Artists across all genres collaborated together to put on a second line to Bienville Square where the stage was set. Prior to the parade, I joined my friend Victor Law as he led the parade down Dauphin Street.
In the past, the City has simply not devoted enough resources or attention to recycling, but that is no longer the case. We launched a free recycling app, Recycle Coach, started a new curbside recycling program for LODA businesses and opened two new single stream recycling locations.
The days of Raggedy Ann Street are coming to an end. After the hard work of our contractors, you can now ride, bike, blade or run down a smooth street!
Water Street is often people’s first impression of the City Mobile. Ironically, Water Street currently prevents you from accessing the water. Thankfully, we have finally begun construction to transform Water Street from the backyard of downtown into the gateway of Mobile.
It means the world to have one of the biggest names in the film industry come to Mobile, not once, but three times. We appreciate all of the work Nicolas Cage has done in Mobile and it was my honor to award him a key to the city.
I hope everyone has taken advantage of Brown Bag in Bienville, a weekly concert series in Bienville Square. The man behind it, Catt Sirten, has been a staple in the Mobile music scene for decades and was well deserving of the Exceptional Citizenship Medal.
One of Mobile’s brightest stars has gone above and beyond to give back to his hometown. NBA Star DeMarcus Cousins generously donated $253,000 to build a new basketball court at Figures Park and threw his second annual block party to bring the community together.
Corporate headquarters are viewed as the crown jewel of economic development and the ultimate prize for any community. SSAB’s decision to locate its headquarters in Mobile will create high paying jobs and add momentum to our downtown resurgence. I am thankful for SSAB Chuck Schmitt’s confidence in the future of Mobile.
Term two, day one. Thank you Mobile for giving me this opportunity to serve you for four more years.
The Mobile International Festival showcases our city as a cultural hub and allows people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate cultures from far and wide.
You can’t have a great city without great beer. Serda’s Brewery is a phenomenal addition to our downtown, and I’m excited to welcome more breweries to Mobile in 2018!
The new Precinct 2 for the Mobile Police Department is a world class facility that will cut response times in half for the community it serves. We must provide our first responders with the tools and resources they need to protect our citizens’ lives.
Think Santa’s elves brought the North Pole to Mobile! During Elfapalooza, we didn’t break the record for most elves but we broke the record for most snow in Mobile on December 8th. I’ll take it!