A fresh start with Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.
December 30 - January 5, 2020
By Cait Smith
It’s that time of year again … the time in which we make resolutions, set goals and drop old habits to embrace new ones. For everyone, a new decade means change and opportunity. However, while taking strides to make advancements within ourselves, let us not forget about the city in which we live. The city of Little Rock is a heart that only beats with the help of its citizens, and without its citizens businesses, health care systems, economic developments and educational facilities could perish. While Little Rock stays afloat for now, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. is making wise decisions to ensure exponential growth. He recognizes the stagnation in the lack of change in our city and is proactively seeking solutions. “Our city needs unification, change and growth. I’m offering myself and my team to make these transformations,” Mayor Scott said.
Every city deserves a quality education system. In doing so, one of the first and upcoming changes Little Rock will implement in the new year is a Community Schools Model to provide wrap-around services for the most challenged schools. “The Little Rock Board of Directors recently passed the 2020 budget, which is balanced, funds our priorities, and is fiscally responsible. For the first time ever the city is engaged in the educational affairs of Little Rock School District,” Mayor Scott stated. Historically, the city has never been involved in the educational affairs of the Little Rock School District. This model not only ensures challenged schools with the necessary tools they need to succeed, but also provides a way for the community to be involved as well.
From the job market standpoint, Little Rock announced 1100 new jobs available to citizens and they’re hoping to double that number in the new year. “We’ll be driving a great deal of business development and figuring out what we can do to retain talent that’s currently in the city and also recruit new talent,” said Mayor Scott. A main issue of concern for Little Rock is the lack of diversity in the workforce. There aren’t many minorities and/or women in leadership – a vital component needed to replenish the city. Mayor Scott is paying close attention to this ongoing problem, “We want to ensure that our board rooms and our workplaces are reflective of the city, so that we can have an equity-based economic development strategy that focuses on diversity in the marketplace.”
Little Rock’s health care systems are steadily growing to provide citizens with the care they need. And as of recently it was announced that Express RX, a pharmaceutical retailer with stores across the southeastern U.S. has chosen to locate their headquarters in Little Rock. To keep pace with its national expansion, the company expects to create 24 new high-paying jobs. Mayor Scott explained the importance of healthcare in Little Rock. “In Arkansas, 20% of the gross domestic product is healthcare and the majority of that 20% is located in Little Rock. With institutions like the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Baptist Health, CHI St. Vincent and Delta Dental of Arkansas we have the opportunity to leverage that and outward grow,” he said.
To get the word out about these forthcoming changes, the City of Little Rock is using social media to their advantage. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are Mayor Scott’s main modes of communication with the citizens of Little Rock. “We want to ensure that all residents are hearing from city hall, their mayor, and that they know what’s going on in their city,” he explained. A new digital aspect they have incorporated to their lists of mediums are YouTube video releases as opposed to written press releases. It seems audiences have taken a liking to this new concept. “There has been a heightened energy and engagement from the residents because we’ve been taking ownership of our story,” Mayor Scott said. With readily available tools, Little Rock can expect more innovations next year.
There is always work to be done, however, Mayor Scott is up for the challenge. “Machiavelli says that change is the most difficult task when trying to implement a new order. Change will always be challenging – trying to bring new ideas and new types of perspective and thought to the process – but we all have the opportunity to push through those circumstances and persevere,” he stated. As we move into a new decade, know that the city of Little Rock is in good hands.
For the latest updates, follow Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn @FrankScottJr and YouTube @City of Little Rock.
1. As we delve into the new decade, take notice of the forthcoming changes set to improve and vitalize Little Rock. Pictured above, the Little Rock Fire Department passed out 825 new coats for students at Chicot Elementary School. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., City of Little Rock board members and state legislators were all in attendance to show their support. (Photo courtesy of Twitter, @FrankScottJr)
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3. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. in attendance at the new Allsopp Park gateway which shows how public-private partnerships connect parks to people through creative solutions. This project is in memory of Michael Lasiter. Partners include Ark. Parks & Recreation Foundation, Heights Neighborhood Assoc., and Lasiter’s friends.
4. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and others volunteer working around the city during the first Impact the Rock Day of Unity and Service. (All photos courtesy of Twitter, @FrankScottJr)
5. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. was a keynote speaker of the Pi Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Achievement Week Scholarship Luncheon.