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State of the City: Ranked No. 1 city to move to, crime is down, and $3M raised for tornado victims

Posted at 10:06 PM, May 20, 2024
  • Monday Mayor Stothert gave her 11th State of the City speech
  • We broke down her speech into three key parts: Forbes Ranking, tornado recovery, crime rates
  • Watch to learn more about how your neighborhood is impacted

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Neighborhood reporter Hannah McIlree attended Mayor Jean Stother's State of the City Speech, we have broken the speech down into three key parts and how they will impact your neighborhood.

Part 1:

Neighbors keep telling me Omaha is a great place to live, but they're not the only ones that think that. Monday Mayor Jean Stothert announced in her State of the City speech Forbes ranked Omaha the number one city to move to in 2024.

"Downtown you know, golly when I first became mayor in 2013 there wasn't much going on now you see cranes everywhere," said Stothert.

Forbes ranked Omaha 100/100 and Stothert say while they were, they took many things into account like:

-safety

-livability

-unemployment

-affordability.

"I have looked into moving out of state and I'm still here for that reason, because yeah it's a lot cheaper to be here," said one resident who calls Omaha home because of the affordable cost of living.

Stothert says Omaha being recognized on "best of" lists reflects the work the urban core committee has done to reverse brain drain and bring young professionals to Omaha.

"They like urban living, they like affordable housing, they walk ability, they like public transportation, they like entertainment, they like open spaces everyone of those things is what we did with the urban core committee and decided this is or direction and our focus," said Stothert.

The Forbes article also shows between 2016-2020 five thousand people left Omaha, another reason the Urban Core Committee is working to bring young people to Omaha

Part 2:

14 thousand volunteered to help tornado victims and a handful of non-profits raised over $3 million for victims.

Since the tornado Mayor Stohert says United Way of the Midlands, Salvation Army, Red Cross, and the Omaha Community foundation raised $3.5 million for impacted individuals.

"The Omaha Community foundation said they had already received a quarter of a million dollars it hadn't even been 24 hours since the storm, it's a lot of generous people and a lot of people wanting to help," said Stothert.

Mayor Stothert says the city is doing their part by waiving building permit fees for tornado victims.

Part 3:

In 2023 the homicide clearance rate in Omaha was 100%. Mayor Jean Stothert announced in her state of the city speech that in 2024 OPD is approaching the same clearance rate.

In her speech, Mayor Stothert shared her commitment to making Omaha a safe place for all, adding crime has decreased 14 percent, with the exception of auto theft. Fatal shootings are down 29 percent since 2022.

But, she says the police department is stretched too thin to keep this up.

"Our crime rate is down so much and they are doing this 100 down and to me that is very amazing. We had 29 homicides last year in a city of this size, compared to Kansas City our neighbor they were over 170," said Stothert.

The Omaha Police Department plans to add a class of 60 recruits this year.

Mayor Stothert says it will take three more classes of recruits, including the upcoming class, are needed to get to a full force.