MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett presented his State of the City address on Monday, March 9th at Alverno College on the city's south side. From jobs to gun violence and a new Bucks arena -- Barrett's speech touched on some of the city's biggest issues.
Jobs topped Barrett's State of the City address. He told those gathered that city programs put people to work -- including the Police Ambassador Program. Just last week, 17 young adults were sworn in and will work with Milwaukee police for the next year.
"Our goal is to match workers with jobs and employers with a strong workforce," said Barrett.
Mayor Barrett also addressed the many city development programs underway -- including a plan for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We can come to an agreement that will not include raising property taxes to finance a new arena and spur economic development," said Barrett.
As for the newly approved streetcar project, Barrett says he'll push for expansion past downtown Milwaukee.
"The streetcar is a part of my vision for a comprehensive transportation strategy," said Barrett.
Barrett says there has been significant improvement in the housing sector in the wake of the foreclosure crisis -- and he believes neighborhood revitalization efforts will continue. The mayor also said city violence remains a real problem.
"In 2014, we had a 14 percent reduction in homicides but a 10 percent increase in non-fatal shootings," said Barrett.
Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn challenge the state Legislature to do more when it comes to gun control.
"Guns in the hands of criminals produce far too much devastation in our neighborhoods," said Barrett.
"Right now, someone who is a career criminal can lawfully get a gun permit -- and they do, and we've arrested them," said Flynn.
Mayor Barrett also announced a new initiative to reduce infant mortality in Milwaukee. The new program will be called the "Strong Baby Sanctuary Initiative." Its goal is to make churches safe places for new parents who need support.
Barrett wrapped up his speech with a call to citizens to get involved -- and help create a stronger, healthier Milwaukee.