2019 brought us both trying and triumphant times in Aurora.
During this year, we became ‘Aurora Strong’ - and not necessarily because we wanted to, but because we had to. The tragedy at Henry Pratt made us look at ourselves in a way I don’t believe we have had to do in the past. Although it was a terrible tragedy we hope to never experience again, we responded by becoming a better Aurora. As a community, we have transformed our sadness into strength and our pain into a new level of progress we have not seen in Aurora for many decades.
Wherever I go in our city, I feel the palpable new energy that flourished in 2019.
The energy is personified by our EXPERIENCED PUBLIC SAFETY TEAM led by the Aurora Police Department and the Aurora Fire Department. They have been lauded at home and throughout the nation for their work at Henry Pratt. It has been said law enforcement officials don’t rise to their levels of expectations, they fall to their levels of training. In that case, the training in Aurora has proven results in building a foundation of safety for future generations.
The energy is reflected in our EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY that has come together as one to focus on doing what is best for our children - from cradle to career. Through the Aurora Education Commission, our public school districts, private schools, parochial schools, colleges and universities now have a unified voice and vision. Schools in Aurora are ranked as some of the best in the state and, in the case of IMSA, the best in the country. Educational excellence is the cornerstone upon which we continue to develop future leaders.
That same energy is felt in the surge in ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and the redevelopment renaissance happening in Aurora. With 45 ribbon cuttings and grand openings in one year, the vibe has become contagious. From attracting new businesses to the community to giving new life to buildings shuttered for decades, 2019 was a banner year. The great thing is there is even more on the horizon.
This new ‘Aurora energy’ was experienced by hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors alike as they attended events, participated in engaging activities, and came to realize just why we say, ‘There is something happening here!’
As we enter a new year and a new decade a much stronger, safer, smarter and stellar community, I sincerely thank each person who made it possible. We simply couldn’t do it without you. Let’s make the City of Lights shine even brighter in the upcoming year.
2019 gave us new energy, and we will match that energy - and intensify it - in 2020.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, AURORA!
Mayor Richard C. Irvin