BIPARTISAN MAYORS GROUP OUTLINES PRIORITIES TO SUPPORT RECOVERY EFFORTS

February 8, 2021

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Mayors Alliance Board of Directors announced their coalition’s policy priorities for 2021, which focus on local recovery efforts, resiliency, and equity. The mayors also discussed a letter sent to Ohio’s congressional delegation on Friday urging them to come together and pass a bipartisan COVID-relief bill that includes direct, flexible fiscal assistance to frontline communities.  

“There is much healing that must occur in 2021, from the pandemic, but also from the wounds of political divisiveness, increase in violent crime, and the tragedies of racial injustice,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Our priorities of recovery, resiliency, and equity reflect this need for healing, and the importance of a strong and inclusive recovery.”

“Our communities have been on the frontlines responding to this health and economic crisis and we’ve appreciated our strong working relationship with our state and federal partners,” said Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn.  “While there is reason to be hopeful in 2021, there is still much more critical work to do to respond and recover from this pandemic.” 

“For some communities, the need for direct, flexible fiscal relief could not be more urgent,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “To sustain our response efforts and recover effectively, we need a significant infusion of resources to support our frontline communities and bolster our local economies.” 

The mayors also highlighted several state budget priorities, such as preserving stability for local governments by maintaining previously passed COVID-related provisions. This includes avoiding tax policy changes or funding cuts that would create further financial instability in the middle of a pandemic. 

“We appreciate the community focus in Gov. DeWine’s proposed budget,” said Kettering Mayor Don Patterson. “Our coalition has worked closely with the administration and the legislature throughout this pandemic and we must continue to do so through this critically important year.”

Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter also noted the importance of a newly proposed public safety grant program. “Body-worn cameras have proven to be a critically important transparency and accountability tool for law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve. We appreciate the Governor’s proposal to provide grant funding to help our cities with this costly, but important technology,” he said. 

Additionally, the Ohio Mayors Alliance also formed two new standing committees to support its policy priorities. These include the Ohio Mayors & Police Chiefs Leadership Committee, which will build on the work begun last year to improve policing practices and enhance public trust. The group formed an Ohio Mayors Education Advocacy Committee as well.

“In addition to recovery, our policy priorities also include the need to address racial inequality, promoting justice, improving public safety,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “Our new Mayors and Police Chiefs Leadership Committee will bring together elected leaders and law enforcement professionals to share policy ideas and better understand these intersecting issues.” 

“As mayors, we know how important educational success and workforce development are to our communities,” said Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler. “This new education committee will allow us to better support the state’s education attainment goal and advance local strategies to champion innovative education-related efforts that support our communities.”

The Ohio Mayors Alliance policy priorities for 2021 focused on Recovery, Resiliency, and Equity include:

  • Supporting a safe, stable, and strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic
  • Addressing racial inequality, promoting justice, improving public safety 
  • Advocating for a balanced redistricting process that strengthens our democracy
  • Promoting the economic impacts of cities and the value of continued investments
  • Strengthening educational attainment and career pathways for the next generation
  • Advancing clean energy solutions and supporting improved sustainability
  • Promoting healthy communities and continuing to confront the addiction crisis 
  • Protecting and promoting the importance of home rule for local communities
  • Finding solutions for more accessible housing and cities’ comprehensive infrastructure needs

Formed in 2016, the Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of mayors in the largest 30 cities by population. For more information, please visit OhioMayorsAlliance.org, as well as the 2020 Annual Report: Leading Our Communities Through Crisis

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For a recording of the press call, please visit this link.