Highlights of Mayor Ralph Becker's first State of the City report:
• Early accomplishments: In his first week in office, Becker introduced a citywide domestic partnership registry, giving legal recognition to gay couples and other unmarried unions. Becker also signed a leadership policy "to endorse and promote the value and contributions" of city employees.
• New initiatives: Becker announced two new measures Tuesday Salt Lake Solutions, designed to engage all segments of the community and facilitate consensus-building efforts, and CityWorks, an information-driven budget and management program to make sure Salt Lake City government is responsible, accountable and effective.
• Education: A selection committee is in the process of hiring an education partnership coordinator, whose job will be building partnerships to benefit city schools.
• Environment: Becker vowed to accelerate the planning and funding for Salt Lake City bikeways, including a dedicated bikeway for City Creek to the Jordan River and west to the airport. He also promised to "ramp up action" on the Jordan River, including completion of the parkway and restoration of the river corridor.
• Equality: The mayor plans to expand the city's nondiscrimination ordinance and extend retirement benefits to all domestic partners of city employees.
• Downtown: The Downtown Rising and Downtown Transportation plans will be given top priority. Becker also highlighted several elements of downtown that need attention, including creation of a downtown cultural district, preservation of the Utah Theatre, development of a Broadway-style performing arts center, creation of a year-round public market and initiation of a downtown transit circulator system.