A new plan for more affordable housing downtown was among the topics Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker highlighted Wednesday morning during his annual state of the city address.
Becker took an unusual approach to this year’s address. He delivered his speech to hundreds of students at Whittier Elementary School.
Becker asked students to write their wishes for the city down and he read those wishes aloud throughout his speech.
Becker also announced a new program to beef up affordable housing. He says this will encourage more people to live in the downtown core.
“I think a strong city has lots of neighborhoods with stores and restaurants and of course lots of different people who can afford to live there,” Becker said.
Becker said he plans to announce details of the program in the next couple of weeks.
The Mayor noted that the city has made a huge commitment to improving air quality but it still needs help from the state. In last year’s address, which focused on air quality, Becker called on state lawmakers to make gasoline cleaner, increase public transportation and raise the gasoline tax among other proposals.
“Unfortunately last year, none of those got passed by the legislature and I want to be encouraging them to take them up,” he said.
Becker gave students a reusable city water bottle and a map of the Jordan River to encourage them to get outside fill those bottles with water from a local aquifer.