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Portland Mayor Kate Snyder gives 2020 Virtual State of City Address

Mayor Snyder talked about the pandemic, the election, homelessness and protests.

PORTLAND, Maine — In her first State of the City Address, Portland Mayor Kate Snyder outlined the difficulties the city has faced during the last seven months.

"I never could have predicted what my first year serving as mayor could look like," said Mayor Snyder.

Mayor Snyder discussed the pandemic, protests, the election and homelessness. While those topics weigh heavily, she said her goal is to move forward and work together.

To increase rental and home-ownership, she said the city is creating 890 units of housing.

"The way I see it, we have an opportunity and obligation to create a municipal environment that increases density where appropriate, locates feasible sites for housing development, creates new financing mechanisms, produces mixed-income housing, addresses workforce homeownership, encourages transportation-oriented development, incentivizes more developers to participate in housing development," said Mayor Snyder.

Dozens of people experiencing homelessness and advocates camped outside city hall this summer to highlight the need for housing and services.

Mayor Snyder said the city has been expanding efforts like placing people in hotels who are unable to access shelter and putting more restrooms around the city.

She said building a new homeless services center facility remains a top priority.

After the death of George Floyd, the city council passed a resolution establishing a Racial Equity Steering Committee to develop recommendations in response to system inequities.

"The resolution asks the 13 people who have been named to the steering committee to examine the ever-expanding role we as a city have asked the police to play in our community. The way in which the city acts with area agencies, organizations, and non-profits in the name of public safety," said Mayor Snyder.

Mayor Snyder acknowledged while the year ahead will be challenging, she said she is confident that the City of Portland will continue to rise to the challenge.