Peoria mayor's message: Together we can and we will stay strong

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The Peoria City Council held its first public meeting since Gov. Doug Ducey on March 19 issued an executive order proclaiming mitigation strategies to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Arizona.

Mayor Cathy Carlat sat alone at the dais and the rest of the council participated via telephone.

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have prompted declarations of a public health emergency at the city, county, state and federal levels, the March 24 meeting and all other meetings wil be conducted remotely through live streaming.

During the meeting members of staff provided an update for the city's plan to address the COVID-19 virus.

Mayor Carlat said there will be no disruptions to essential services during this public health crisis.

“When you dial 911, police and fire-medical will answer the call. Your water supply and delivery is secure. Your trash will be picked up and your parks and streets will continue to be well managed. We are in this together, and we are unified with the fortitude that comes with the American spirit. Together we can and we will stay strong,” she said.

Here is the full text of her speach:

You may have noticed that this is a very unique council meeting. Your six council representatives are joining the meeting via teleconference. City hall has been closed to members of the public. And as we strive to maintain our high standards of transparency, public comment on this agenda has been facilitated thanks to the use of a variety of methods and technology platforms.

So here we are, in a situation that unfolded very quickly and changed our normal lives, almost in the blink of an eye.

During these exceptional times, we are challenged to modify not only our day-to-day activities but also the way we behave in relation to our community.

As Americans, we value our independent spirit.

Now we are being asked to adhere to rules and policies that take us away from our place of business, our friends, our travel, and our entertainment. We are being asked to consider the greater good in all our actions and activities.

As powerful as this virus has shown itself to be, this is an opportunity to prove that it is no match for the power of our American spirit, multiplied as we unite together against a common enemy.

We have shown the strength of our unity time and time again throughout history.

And now, an invisible, biological enemy is attacking us. Not only Americans but people worldwide, magnifying how connected we are to each other and prompting an urgency that we cannot ignore.

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have triggered declarations of public health emergency at the city, county, state and federal levels.

In an effort to prevent patchwork laws throughout Arizona, yesterday (March 23, 2020) Gov. Ducey issued an executive order, which specifically designated the authority to impose a stay at home order solely with the Office of the Governor. This is in addition to his previous Order to close bars, dine-in areas of restaurants, gyms and theaters, while limiting contact with groups and practicing social distancing.

There are many challenges related to this pandemic, but one thing is clear – it will take each and every one of us working intentionally to reduce physical contact - to slow the spread of this virus.

Even so, while we may separate physically, we are very much in this together. We are all Americans and the spirit that has gotten us through hard times in the past will get us through this time, too.

As each of our families and businesses attempt to make sense of COVID-19 and its far-reaching implications, I am witnessing incredible stories of compassion and humanity.

I’m seeing families, friends, and neighbors lifting one another emotionally with an act of kindness, and reaching out to those at risk, to assist in a multitude of ways.

I’m seeing businesses taking action, offering to serve and support our first responders and medical personnel, the men and women on the front lines of this crisis.

And I’m seeing strangers making incredible impacts as they go out of their way to protect people they have never met.

It is times like these that we have a unique ability to show the depth of our heart and soul; and while there is no doubt that we are in a difficult point-in-time, I am very proud of what is happening every day in our great city.

During this time, I want to assure our Peoria community that there will be no disruptions to your essential services. When you dial 911, police and fire-medical will answer the call, your water supply and delivery is secure, your trash will be picked up, and your parks and streets will continue to be well managed.

We are in this together, and we are unified with the fortitude that comes with the American Spirit.

Together we can - and will - stay strong.

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