Lincoln Wrapped 2022
Reflecting on Lincoln’s greatest hits
I hope you are spending this holiday season with the people you love most and getting to rest, recharge, and reflect on the year as it wraps.
My “Spotify Wrapped” recently did some reflection for me and revealed that my top artist this year was...drumroll please...Taylor Swift! Which is fitting for this retrospective, because I don’t know about you, but here at City Hall, we are feeling 22 – as in 2022! Thanks to our dedicated City of Lincoln team and remarkable residents, our year-in-review playlist is filled with the harmonies of our community working together to make great hits for Lincoln. Others noticed our groove and ranked Lincoln as the 6th best run city out of 150 nationwide.
So here are some of our greatest hits from 2022 – ones that are helping us grow a safe and successful Lincoln.
Protecting the safety of all Lincoln families
Public safety is my administration’s and our residents’ top priority. Working collaboratively across City departments and with community partners, we delivered on this priority. In fact, Lincoln’s violent crime rate reached its lowest point in over 30 years.
Alongside their families, we celebrated the 16 latest outstanding recruits who graduated from the Lincoln Police Department’s (LPD) academy. As part of our robust recruitment efforts, in August, we made LPD officers the highest paid law enforcement in the state. Our most recent city budget added five sworn officers, two 911 dispatchers, and three civilian employees, bringing the total number of LPD professionals added during my administration to 31.
In November, we unveiled two new fire engines and a new ambulance that are enhancing firefighter safety and emergency response times. This year, we also added six new firefighter paramedics, bringing the total number of Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) personnel added to the department during my administration to 28. These newest additions are part of the more than $184 million invested in LFR since my administration took office.
These investments save lives. In 2022, we confirmed our first responders saved the lives of residents experiencing non-traumatic cardiac arrest at a rate more than double the national average.
Growing Economic Prosperity
We continued to hit the high notes while growing economic prosperity. The strong public-private partnership approach in Lincoln is resulting in record-setting business and development activity and strong economic growth. Our city has led the nation in unemployment recovery, and for the second year in a row, we surpassed $1 billion dollars in the valuation of construction activity.
The City supported dozens of major development projects with financial incentives and infrastructure, including a large expansion at Duncan Aviation, the opening of the Scarlet Hotel on Nebraska Innovation Campus, and the continued build-out of the Telegraph District.
We hit all the right “base” notes in 2022 as, together with our private sector and non-profit partners, we launched game-changing catalyst projects like the Lincoln Youth Complex that will play host to tournaments and visitors that infuse dollars into our economy for years to come.
We further bolstered Lincoln’s tourism and economy by strategically deploying nearly half of our American Rescue Plan funds to support small businesses, new partnerships that grow our workforce, and local non-profits that draw visitors and audiences to our city.
Building infrastructure that supports a strong and resilient Lincoln
As Lincoln grew in 2022, we reinvested resources from that growth in infrastructure that further fuels our economy and makes us a stronger, more resilient community.
This summer, we took a huge step toward a more sustainable, resilient Lincoln when we launched “Water 2.0: Securing Lincoln’s Second Source.” To advance this important project, we convened a Mayor’s Water Source Advisory Council, a 27-member ensemble of community leaders helping us evaluate our options, and we secured a $20 million grant to get started.
We increased the tempo of progress on our streets, too. Earlier this month, we opened the Lincoln South Beltway – the largest transportation project in the history of our city. Through our Lincoln on the Move initiative, we invested an additional $17 million into new and improved streets in 2022, bringing the total investment to $42 million since launching three years ago.
Together with community partners, we launched our Climate-Smart Collaborative this spring to support the adoption of electric vehicles within our fleets and catalyze our shared climate goals. Another huge win for our transportation network in 2022 had us singing a happy tune: we won a $23.6 million-dollar federal grant to design and build a new multimodal transportation center. The center will enable us to connect people more efficiently to their jobs and classrooms, enhance the rider experience, improve working conditions for our bus drivers, and advance the goals of our Climate Action Plan.
Due to a thriving economy powered by record-setting growth and development, we made these historic infrastructure investments and cut the property tax rate for our residents for the third consecutive year. Now, that’s music to our community members’ ears!
Creating a more equitable and inclusive community
Our hits are that much greater when everyone can add their voice to the mix. Throughout 2022, we worked to advance the vision of our One Lincoln initiative where all residents enjoy true belonging and experience equal opportunity to reach their full human potential.
The priority we place on increasing affordable housing is a major key to realizing this vision. I'm pleased to share that we are well ahead of schedule to meet my administration’s ambitious goal to create 5,000 new or affordable housing units by 2030. In the fall of 2022, we cut the ribbon on new affordable units for first-time homeowners in the Hartley neighborhood and launched a rental rehabilitation program in the South of Downtown neighborhood.
A chorus of cheers accompanied our “beam-signing” of the new Air Park Rec Center and Williams Branch Library. Other Library greatest hits included eliminating library fines and supporting the new youth-led Books for Babies initiative that will provide all babies born in Lincoln hospitals with a free board book.
The City of Lincoln and Lancaster County teamed up to enhance the experience and inclusion of immigrant and refugee residents in our community. Together, we produced our Welcoming & Belonging Strategic Plan, and followed that up this fall with a week-long celebration that brought together immigrants, refugees, and our broader community through storytelling and cultural exchange.
As 2022 wraps, I want to thank you again for all you do to keep our city moving forward to a fantastic beat. May your new year be filled with health, happiness, friends, loved ones – the true soundtrack of the good life we live in Lincoln.