JOBS & ECONOMIC PROGRESS
The city’s unemployment rate has now dropped by more than half since Jon took office.
In total, greater than 5,000 more New Bedford residents are working today than when Mayor Mitchell took office.
The city’s economy is on a sharp ascent, with new restaurants, start ups, and factories in place, a new hotel, and more on the way.
Our effort to make our schools more effective is producing results:
- Test scores are up, and the dropout rate is down to its lowest level in 15 years.
- Citing this progress, the state has ended its monitoring of the school system.
- Superintendent Anderson has created a more welcoming environment for students, teachers and families.
- Major school construction projects are underway or complete: two new elementary schools, major upgrades to athletic facilities and refurbishing of numerous elementary schools.
Citing strong financial management, Wall Street upgraded New Bedford to its highest bond rating in modern history. By holding the line on spending, the city has closed every fiscal year with a budget surplus.
INVESTMENTS IN QUALITY OF LIFE FOR RESIDENTS
- Created (or are creating) five new parks.
- Completed major upgrades to existing parks.
- Established the Blue Lane corridor that includes the HarborWalk and CoveWalk.
- Planted over 4000 street trees.
- Repairing our crumbling roads and sidewalks by increasing funding by a full fifty percent, with more roadwork being done now than at any point in the last twenty years.
PROGRESS ON NEIGHBORHOOD CHALLENGES
Crime has dropped more than by more than a quarter in the last four years.
The Neighborhood Task Force has strengthened neighborhoods by increasing enforcement of codes designed to protect the public and crack down on absentee landlords.
The Problem Properties Ordinance has made absentee landlords treat their properties as they would their own homes.
In order to combat the scourge of opiate addiction, we also created a task force and several new initiatives, which has led to a 35% drop in fatal overdoses in the last two years.
PROGRESS IN OUR PORT
We have been an effective advocate for the fishing industry and repeatedly challenged the decision-making of federal regulators that refuse to factor in the interests of fishing communities as they are required by the Magnuson Act.
We have paved the way for the offshore wind energy industry’s move into our port.
We recruited a Nantucket ferry service to Nantucket which has averaged over 30,000 since its inception.
Recreational boating is booming, and new restaurants, summer concerts and festivals have materialized in the central waterfront.
NATIONAL LEADERSHIP ON GREEN ENERGY ISSUES
According to the Wall Street Journal, New Bedford has more installed solar capacity per capita than any other city in the continental United States. Solar program is saving nearly $1 million in annual electricity costs and is forecast to save $22 million over next twenty years.
We also acquired the largest electric municipal electric car fleet in Massachusetts.
The City also played a lead role in the region-wide effort to negotiate a 14% discount in the electric bills of local consumers and small businesses through the nation’s 3rd largest Electricity Aggregation Program. This program is expected to collectively save local customers $15 million in the first six months alone.