PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When the city created the role of a popularly elected mayor, part of the job included an annual state of the city address.
Mayor Michael Brennan gave his first such address Monday. The major focus was the importance of Portland being an inclusive city. He highlighted some of the city's accomplishments over the past year, in areas of diversity and equality, and working toward making the city a better place to live and work. He says he has been working on programs to create jobs, increase access to local and sustainable food, and strengthen Portland's voice in Augusta.
Brennan also touched on the segments of the Portland community that need help. He says last Friday, Preble Street's soup kitchen set a record, feeding 500 people.
"We have a tremendous challenge facing our city serving those people who need food, those people who need housing and emergency shelter," Brennan said. "We will do our part but we can't do it alone. We need help from the state government, we need help from the federal government."
Mayor Brennan also says education is a top priority, and he wants to take steps toward ensuring that 99% of Portland students graduate from high school and go on to higher education. He and the superintendent will be announcing a partnership that lays out his vision for education within the next couple of weeks.