Kristin McMillan's North Las Vegas State of the City Remarks

Written By:

Kristin McMillan

Metro Chamber president and CEO Kristin McMillan delivered remarks during today's North Las Vegas State of the City address from Major John J. Lee:

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a partner of today’s State of the City luncheon. And we are equally proud to represent the employers in the North Las Vegas community.

Two years ago, the Las Vegas Chamber joined with the North Las Vegas Chamber for form the Metro Chamber. We combined these two chambers to reflect the fact that we are one metropolitan area. While our community may be divided into separate cities or jurisdictions, we are interconnected as a business community – as a regional economy – because we now compete in a global economy, and the need to stand together in our region is even more pronounced than it ever was before.

“We are,” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Today as we look toward the future of this city, we cannot ignore that reality. We need to work collectively to address the challenges ahead. We appreciate Mayor Lee last week putting the facts on the table and telling us the truth about the financial situation of the city, even if it wasn’t an easy message for us to hear.

We cannot build the future unless we have a government that is willing to be truthful. Truth is the first step to accountability. And now that the window to reality has been opened so we can all see inside, it is time for us to step up as a metropolitan community, to do all we can to help our North Las Vegas community succeed. The past cannot be cured. Dwelling on past decisions will not move us ahead. It is time for all of us to look forward and find solutions together.

There is great economic promise in North Las Vegas that bodes well for our entire region. It is the home to Nellis and Creech Air Force bases; it has significant commercially zoned as well as undeveloped land available; and it is well positioned for future education and ecotourism opportunities especially once Tule Springs is designated as a National Monument.

All of us who live and do business in the Las Vegas metropolitan area have a stake in all of these things succeeding, and we need to explore ways we can work together to support the city so it can regain a solid financial footing. That’s why the Metro Chamber is standing with Mayor John Lee and the North Las Vegas City Council to find solutions to the current fiscal challenges.

Our partnership at the Metro Chamber with the Mayor and City Council is deep and strong. The Metro Chamber is all-in to do what we can to support the city in finding ways to strengthen its financial position, pursue economic development opportunities and support job creation.

In that regard, Metro Chamber representatives, including immediate past Metro Chamber Chair Jay Barrett and myself, will continue to work on the Shared Services Task Force to find ways for Las Vegas and North Las Vegas to work together to streamline operations and explore partnerships to create efficiencies and maximize the use of resources in both municipalities.

But what we really need to do is stand together to wage a war for jobs in North Las Vegas and the entire metro area. Creating good jobs in this community is the number one things we can, and absolutely must do, to get North Las Vegas back on its feet.

Our singular focus must be doing all we can to create good jobs, bring in new customers, and attract entrepreneurs and innovators if North Las Vegas and the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area are going to compete and thrive in the global economy.

In fact, winning the war on jobs is the focus of our community event Preview Las Vegas, next Friday, January 24, and I invite all of you to attend. The information from our speakers, including Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup who wrote the book “The Coming Jobs War” is essential for all in this room who are looking for a stronger and healthier future in our great community.

Mayor John Lee and the City Council cannot do this alone. I know they are committed to rolling up their sleeves and solving problems, but they need you. They need all of us to do our part. To think innovatively, to partner and work together to leverage our best assets – Tule Springs, the Veteran’s Hospital, Nellis and Creech, commercial buildings and land, UNLV and CSN – to find ways to innovate, attract customers and create good jobs.

We are all in this together, and together, we must find solutions to build a brighter future.