Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell delivered his 11th annual State of the City address on January 11 at DeVos Place.

Read highlights and view a full transcript of the speech.

The hour-long speech touched on a variety of topics.




  • What is the most frequent compliment the mayor gets about Grand Rapids from visitors? "Your downtown is so clean."
  • Mayor Heartwell awarded the Champion of Diversity Award to Bing Goei.
  • A partnership between GVSU and the City of Grand Rapids was announced. Mayor Hearwell said, "Beginning in the fall semester Grand Valley will offer an accredited course in which ten GVSU students will research our City’s current efforts to engage college students and will study similar efforts in cities across the country. The end product of that research will be a strategic plan for the City of Grand Rapids to help us better connect with and enhance services to college students. The City’s goal is to keep graduates here, to benefit from the presence of an educated, creative group of citizens who are deeply committed to this place as their home."
  • The mayor said that by 2015, Grand Rapids will have financial sustainability in core City operations.

Environmental issues, national recognition, future plans, and more were also discussed.

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