Livermore Mayor John Marchand addressed the city’s efforts to attract jobs, add housing and deal with homelessness during this year’s State of the City speech, held Jan 29 at the Civic Center Library.

“By almost every indicator Livermore is doing very well,” he said. Job growth has kept pace with population growth over the past decade, with 1,000 new residents and 1,000 jobs being added each year; unemployment is about 2.4%, which is in line with other Bay Area cities, he said.

“In the 2018 National Citizen Survey, 93% of Livermore households rated the city as excellent or good for quality of life,” Marchand said.

Noting that the city celebrated its 150th anniversary in November, Marchand said the focus now is planning for the future. Thirty new businesses are expected to come to Livermore. And a comprehensive, citywide economic development plan for the next five years is about to begin. The goals include fostering an “innovation-driven” economy, elevating the city’s standing as a world-class destination, and to “ensure Livermore’s economy remains diverse, inclusive and resilient,” he said.

Pointing to the Chestnut Street housing project, which is partially completed, he said the city is working on creating more housing. The Chestnut Street project includes affordable housing units for families and seniors, as well as 10 units for the homeless. Support services are provided on-site.

“Homelessness is a problem in the entire country with a growing number in the Bay area. Livermore has joined with ‘Block by Block’ to provide connections to services for our unsheltered neighbors, and will have an attendant on site at the recently initiated Safe Parking Program for people who are living in their cars,” Marchand said.

A question from the audience concerned what the city was doing to make streets safer for bicyclists. “There is a program being developed called “safe streets”, which includes recommendations for not only biking, but also walking, and lighting streets and paths,” Marchand said.

Another question concerned the city’s lack of an updated climate plan; Marchand said the city is working on it.