Vancouver celebrates change and growth at 2024 State of the City address

March 19, 2024

The City of Vancouver’s annual State of the City event took place March 18 at the Firstenburg Community Center. Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle‘s speech reflected on the evolution and change of Vancouver from its earliest days, to now becoming an urban destination. She also took time to highlight some of the City’s key accomplishments in 2023 and offered a look ahead to what’s next for Vancouver.

“Make no mistake. Vancouver is growing rapidly, and we’ve evolved from a suburban community to an urban destination, and that means we have to adapt, we have to grow, we have to learn from our mistakes and we need to try new things,” said Mayor McEnerny-Ogle.

Mayor McEnerny-Ogle also shared the City’s 2023 Annual Report, including a full accounting of how taxpayer dollars were invested and more details on the City’s planning, work and accomplishments last year. A few highlighted accomplishments by the City in 2023 include:

  • Declaring a homelessness state of emergency allowing the city manager to immediately issue emergency orders that provide more tools and the speed needed to address the evolving issue of homelessness.
  • Extending the City’s Affordable Housing Fund at increased levels through the voters’ passage of Proposition 3, raising $10 million annually for the next 10 years.
  • Implementing the Vancouver Police Department’s body-worn and vehicle-equipped camera program.
  • Hiring 36 additional firefighters – increasing the department’s daily roster of firefighters on duty during every 24-hour shift from 43 to 53.
  • Working with its partners to celebrate the grand opening of Fourth Plain Community Commons, a first-of-its-kind, mixed-use project that includes a commissary kitchen for emerging food-based businesses, along with shared office space and 106 affordable housing units.
  • Adopting an Urban Forestry Management Plan.
  • Adopting its Strategic Plan that serves as a road map for the next six years and beyond, offering clear direction to help the City Council and staff understand where to invest in services and projects to serve the community.  

The Vancouver: Making progress in 2023 video highlights some of the accomplishments and stories from last year. It also features interviews with City staff and community members who contributed to the City’s accomplishments in 2023.   

The mayor’s address was followed by a Council Community Forum, where guests joined in conversation and discussion with the mayor and City councilmembers. 

The State of the City address is available for on-demand viewing on Clark/Vancouver Television (CVTV) channel 23 and HD 323, and on the City’s Facebook and YouTube pages.


Media contact: Laura Shepard, Communications Director, laura.shepard@cityofvancouver.us