Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez delivered Moreno Valley’s
State of the City address
in front of hundreds of business owners, local dignitaries, and residents Wednesday. Attendees at the sold out event celebrated the City’s successes which include creating more than 17,000 jobs over the last five years, committing more than $11 million for road repairs over the next 12 months, and building state-of-the-art cultural and athletic facilities.
“Moreno Valley is not just a City where dreams soar. It is where dreams become reality,” Mayor Gutierrez told the capacity crowd. “Students join the ranks of the employed. Business concepts become businesses. Renters become home owners.”
The State of our City is not just strong – it is one of the most fiscally strong Cities in the nation, as recently ranked by the Fiscal Times, Gutierrez said. The City has a balanced budget for the sixth straight year, healthy reserves, and sales tax revenues for the first quarter were up more than 6.4% over last year.
Among the State of the City’s highlights:
More than 17,000 new jobs have been created in Moreno Valley in the last five years. The City’s award-winning Hire MoVal program, which encourages local businesses to hire Moreno Valley residents in exchange for incentives, is helping put the City’s residents to work and provide a qualified workforce for businesses.
Additional police officers and firefighters have been added to address additional medical response demands and to maintain rapid 911 response times.
The City is spending an impressive $11.2 million on road repairs over the next 12 months. Earlier this month the City began repairing more than 105 residential streets, and our most heavily travelled arterial streets. Cactus Avenue, Kitching Street, Alessandro Boulevard, and Eucalyptus Avenue will all see improvements by the end of summer.
A $2.6 million soccer complex renovation at Community Park was completed in June. A skate park is also being built at the park and is anticipated to open mid-2019.
Construction will soon begin on a community amphitheater adjacent to the Conference and Recreation Center. The City’s very first outdoor art & culture venue is scheduled to open in early 2020.
The City’s Homeless to Work Program, launched last fall, is putting homeless residents to work while connecting them with critical support services to help successfully reintegrate into society. The program, which is a partnership with the Salvation Army and Waste Management, is changing lives and strengthening our community.
The City’s partnerships with Cal Baptist University and Moreno Valley College are forging tomorrow’s workforce by tailoring coursework to meet the needs of our region’s growing logistics and healthcare industries.
The City’s "After School Education and Safety" and “A Child’s Place” free afterschool programs serves more than 2,500 students a year, making it possible for parents to work knowing their children are in a safe learning environment after the school bell rings.
Creative solutions are boosting pet adoptions to record levels at the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter, and combatting mailbox theft as City crews install replacement mailboxes on behalf of the United States Postal Service.
Mayor Gutierrez also shared the journey the City took to be named a 2018 Champion City by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition which challenges cities to tackle their toughest problems with bold solutions.
For the majority of Moreno Valley residents, formal education and career training stopped at high school, creating a barrier to advancement into positions with higher wages and greater opportunity.
To overcome this obstacle, we created a program called MoVaLEARNS to help pay students’ expenses while they go to school.
This helps students overcome the “earn vs. learn” dilemma and advance their skills while still providing for their families.
This idea – the result of collaboration with our educational partners at Moreno Valley College – has the power to transform the lives of our residents and the very fabric of our community.
As a Champion City, we received $100,000 to test and fine-tune our prototype, with the help of tailored support from innovation experts. Stipends of $1,000 allow working adults to pursue education and technical training. No strings attached.
Focusing on a core group of 40 Moreno Valley College students we learned about their struggles, their hopes, and their dreams.
Members of the inaugural MoVaLEARNS class joined Mayor Gutierrez on stage at Wednesday’s State of the City event. Thanking the students for helping the City learn about the barriers to education, Mayor Gutierrez surprised each of the students with an additional $500 each to support their education.
The City submitted its final Mayors Challenge application on August 20. One City will be awarded $5 million and four others will receive $1 million each to help turn their solutions into reality. Winners will be announced in October.