Jay Davies: Community Builder

We are pleased to congratulate Jay Davies, with the City of Peoria on his receipt of the Gabe Zimmerman “Community Builder” Award!

Jay currently serves as the Interim Public Works Director and fmr Chief of Staff for the City Manager’s Office. The “Community Builder” award seeks to recognize efforts made by individuals that advance community pride through job creation and training, healthy communities, environmental and historical preservation, volunteer and philanthropic efforts, and educational advancement.

Jay’s incredible commitment to public service and educational advancement have been on full display through his two years serving in the “Community Liaison” role for the City of Peoria – Project Cities partnership. As our Community Liaison, Jay would work across departments to identify challenges for students to address, then support several research projects simultaneously; his creativity in this role led to 28 student projects over 2 years to advance economic development, public health, community pride, and so much more. Jay’s positive attitude and his commitment to community well-being are infectious. Through this collaboration with ASU students alone, Jay has exemplified the Community Builder criteria—but, this accolade also celebrates over two decades of exemplary public service with the City of Peoria.

Jay Davies has served the City of Peoria in various capacities, starting with the Peoria Police Department, where he accelerated as Deputy Director, overseeing employee recruitment, officer training, neighborhood preservation, community outreach, and more. Jay’s continued dedication to his community had him promoted to Chief of Staff to the City Manager’s Office in 2018.

“Jay’s dedication, passion and caring attitude serve to not simply build a better community, but elevate Peoria’s quality of life”
- Jeff Tyne, City Manager, City of Peoria

In some of his recent work, Jay has served on multiple advisory teams, including the pandemic response team and the city’s “Livability Initiatives,” dedicated to advancing community pride and connectedness. Jay has also committed himself to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by serving as the coordinator for Peoria’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) liaison.

In collaboration with ASU’s Project Cities program, Jay has advised numerous student projects to advance Peoria’s commitment to community building. Dr. Gregory Broberg has worked with Jay on two student projects and acknowledges Jay’s commitment to advancing the students’ work, “...Jay worked with city leaders to develop communication plans to address urgent affordable housing and food needs. Jay has approached our projects as an opportunity to make the city more philanthropic, advancing equity and wellbeing for residents.”

“Jay’s versatile leadership and knack for coordinating stakeholders has driven Peoria to address a variety of challenging city issues relating to planning, economic development, and livability, whilst considering more sustainable solutions. This has enhanced Peoria’s overall commitment to sustainability and bolstered the city’s reputation as a statewide leader in this space.”
- Anne Reichman, Director, Sustainable Cities Network

On behalf of everyone here at ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network and the Global Futures Laboratory:


--Project Cities is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) and is administered by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Sustainable Cities Network. Stay up to date with Project Cities and the Sustainable Cities Network by following us on social media or subscribing to our newsletter.