Tag Archives: New York City

Downtown Phoenix, Photo: Flickr, squeaks2569

Phoenix Makes Case to Host Democratic Convention in ’16

City and government officials in Phoenix are currently preparing for a visit Sept. 9-11 from the Democratic National Committee. Phoenix joins four other cities – New York City; Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Ala. – as finalists to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The committee of Democratic officials to visit Phoenix makes up the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group, and will assess Phoenix’s viability and readiness to host the convention.

With stiff competition from the other top cities, Phoenix stands out as the only finalist from the West, and offers a host of distinguishing qualities that are sure to pique the interest of visiting officials.

Although historically a red state, Arizona is on the cusp of becoming a swing state with its growing Hispanic electorate.

Phoenix is a majority-minority city, and Latinos make up more than 40 percent of its population. By far, it has the largest Latino community of any of the five finalist cities. As a state, Arizona boasts the third-largest Native American population in the country.

Phoenix is also one of the nation’s most LGBT-friendly communities, and earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Mayor Greg Stanton leads Phoenix’s effort alongside Host Committee co-chairs U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly, convention liaison Ann Wallack, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and business leaders Rick DeGraw and Martin Shultz.

Stanton said that in addition to its diversity, Phoenix’s logistical advantages, amenities and experience hosting large-scale events are important to the city’s pitch.

“We’re really the perfect host city,” Stanton said. “Downtown Phoenix, with the convention center, arena and thousands of hotel rooms, is compact and just minutes from the airport via light rail. Throughout the Valley, we have exactly the kind of venues that are important to making national party conventions a success.”

The nation’s sixth-largest city boasts more than 500 hotels, 60,000 hotel rooms, and 40 full-service resorts. With more than 900,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, the Phoenix Convention Center is one of the largest meeting facilities of its kind in the United States, and is recognized as one of the country’s top 10 convention centers. It is along the city’s light rail line and just seven miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Phoenix is a hot spot for large-scale events and in just six months will host both the Super Bowl XLIX and the NFL’s Pro Bowl. The Valley of the Sun has previously hosted two Super Bowls, the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, and plays host to MLB Cactus League Spring Training and the NCAA’s Fiesta Bowl annually.

More than 16 million people visit Greater Phoenix alone each year, making tourism one of Arizona’s largest revenue generators.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is expected to bring upwards of 50,000 visitors to the host city, and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. Phoenix’s bid has earned bipartisan support because city and state leaders – regardless of political affiliation – understand the positive economic impact of hosting an event of this magnitude.

“The economic benefits in Phoenix would be especially key because the convention would take place before Arizona’s tourism season really kicks off,” Wallack said. “Our community is prepared to make sure convention visitors have a special experience, and we’re thrilled to show the DNC all we have to offer.”

During the site visit, the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group will tour the convention center and US Airways Center, as well as top destinations in the region. The historic Orpheum Theatre will be among the unique venues showcased as potential sites for party caucus meetings during the convention.

The Technical Advisory Group is expected to make a decision on the host city at the end of 2014 and announce its decision in 2015.

For more information on Phoenix’s bid, visit www.phx2016.com.

veterans

B of A launches ‘Express Your Thanks’ Campaign

Bank of America has launched a program to support the needs of military service members and veterans.  Called “Express Your Thanks,” the goal is to donate up to $1 million nationally to Welcome Back Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Through the campaign, customers, bank employees and other individuals can make simple online expressions of gratitude, each generating a $1 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to the organizations.

The campaign runs through Veteran’s Day, November 11. People can participate by taking a photo, creating a video or writing a message of support and sharing it on www.bankofamerica.com/troopthanks or posting on Twitter with the hash tag #troopthanks.  Selected messages will be highlighted in Times Square beginning in July and expressions of thanks will be shared with military nonprofit organizations.

Funds donated by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will support economic empowerment programs provided by WWP and will help fund Welcome Back Veterans’ national network of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Centers of Excellence created by America’s leading university hospitals.

Ongoing Bank of America employee volunteer activities will continue during the campaign as an opportunity to extend the company’s support of military service members and their families. Last year, employee volunteers donated nearly 23,000 hours of volunteer time and expertise through activities ranging from packing care packages for military serving overseas to providing financial education to returning veterans.

Bank of America in Arizona supports veterans in and out of the company and recently collaborated with Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) on a Vets Coaching Vets program through which the bank’s veteran’s affinity group mentors previously homeless or incarcerated veterans working with AWEE to put their lives back together.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership.  Currently, Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York City, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Boston Red Sox’ Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

veterans

B of A launches 'Express Your Thanks' Campaign

Bank of America has launched a program to support the needs of military service members and veterans.  Called “Express Your Thanks,” the goal is to donate up to $1 million nationally to Welcome Back Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

Through the campaign, customers, bank employees and other individuals can make simple online expressions of gratitude, each generating a $1 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to the organizations.

The campaign runs through Veteran’s Day, November 11. People can participate by taking a photo, creating a video or writing a message of support and sharing it on www.bankofamerica.com/troopthanks or posting on Twitter with the hash tag #troopthanks.  Selected messages will be highlighted in Times Square beginning in July and expressions of thanks will be shared with military nonprofit organizations.

Funds donated by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will support economic empowerment programs provided by WWP and will help fund Welcome Back Veterans’ national network of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Centers of Excellence created by America’s leading university hospitals.

Ongoing Bank of America employee volunteer activities will continue during the campaign as an opportunity to extend the company’s support of military service members and their families. Last year, employee volunteers donated nearly 23,000 hours of volunteer time and expertise through activities ranging from packing care packages for military serving overseas to providing financial education to returning veterans.

Bank of America in Arizona supports veterans in and out of the company and recently collaborated with Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) on a Vets Coaching Vets program through which the bank’s veteran’s affinity group mentors previously homeless or incarcerated veterans working with AWEE to put their lives back together.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball Charities and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership.  Currently, Welcome Back Veterans is funding programs at Weill Cornell in New York City, The University of Michigan, Rush University Medical Center, Duke University, Emory University, UCLA and the Boston Red Sox’ Home Base Program at Mass General Hospital in Boston. These institutions are developing new programs and strategies to improve the quality, quantity and access to PTSD and TBI treatment for veterans, particularly those returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

housing.prices

Phoenix leads nation in home price increase

U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also showed that all 20 cities measured by the report posted year-over-year gains for the third straight month.

And prices rose in 15 cities in March from February. That’s up from only 11 in the previous month. The monthly figures aren’t seasonally adjusted and may reflect the beginning of the spring buying season.

Prices rose in Phoenix by 22.5 percent over the past 12 months, the biggest gain among cities. It was followed by San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent).

New York City had the smallest year-over-year increase at 2.6 percent, followed by Cleveland at 4.8 percent.

“Rising home prices may begin to alleviate a lack of housing inventory … by encouraging more homeowners to put their properties on the market,” said Maninder Sibia, an economist with Economic Advisory Service, in a note to clients. “The housing market is clearly improving.”

The index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available.

The U.S. housing market is steadily recovering, buoyed by solid job gains and near-record low mortgage rates. Sales of new homes rose in April to nearly a five-year high. And sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in April to the highest level in three and a half years.

Despite the gains, a limited number of homeowners are putting their houses on the market. That’s helped lift home prices. And it’s made builders more willing to ramp up construction. Applications for building permits rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years.