The Ohio Mayors Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of mayors in Ohio’s largest cities, seeks to provide local leadership that has a statewide impact through advocacy, partnership, and collaboration. The following our our policy priorities for 2020:
Ohio’s cities are driving the state’s economy, with over 90 percent of the state’s GDP generated in the 11 largest metropolitan regions. To maximize the economic development opportunities in Ohio’s cities, the state must reinvest in communities to ensure that local governments have the tools they need to drive economic growth in Ohio.
Self-governance is an important tenant in our democracy, which is why the Ohio Constitution gives dually elected local governments the right to Home Rule. Preserving this right is critically important for all of Ohio’s local communities. Ohio is a large state with a variety of regions and diverse communities. Preserving Home Rule gives local elected officials the ability to be responsive to the unique needs or their constituents and their communities, without precluding statewide action when necessary.
Ohio has recently made a much-needed investment into state and local roads and bridges, but there is more to do to ensure that Ohio’s infrastructure needs are ready for the future. This includes water infrastructure and sewer systems, as well as the infrastructure to keep our communities connected and competitive in the new digital economy.
Ohio’s cities continue to be on the frontlines of Ohio’s opioid addiction crisis. While opioid-related deaths have slightly dropped, the addiction crisis continues to claim the lives of far too many Ohioans. To continue to address this crisis, local, state, and federal leaders must continue to work together and invest in the strategies and resources to prevent the proliferation of this epidemic.
The safety and security of Ohio’s cities is critical to the health and economic well-being of our state. Ensure that communities have the resources necessary to support local law enforcement agencies is essential. Ohio communities must also work to reduce the prevalence of gun violence by advocating for common-sense state legislative reforms and collaborating on local strategies that reduce gun violence.
To compete in the knowledge-based economy of the future, we must make sure our students are ready to compete and our workforce has the skills to succeed. Mayors understand this and, while schools have their own governance structure, local leaders can be important advocates for educational success in their communities.
The Ohio Mayors Alliance has worked to help reform the congressional redistricting process to ensure better representational fairness. We have also actively supported efforts to prepare for a complete and accurate 2020 Census. OMA will continue these efforts because the 2020 Census will have important impacts on our cities for the next decade, including community development dollars, funding for infrastructure, and political representation.
Local communities have the power to reduce carbon pollution, reduce energy costs for cities and businesses, attract clean energy jobs and support the growing renewable energy industry in Ohio, and demonstrate the continued importance of sustainable energy solutions in Ohio.
Housing is an issue that impacts all our communities but in very different ways. The OMA will actively engage on issues related to housing ranging from housing affordability, lead-paint abatement, demolition, weatherization, youth homelessness, and others.