Mayors Are Using Federal Funds to Transform Ohio Cities

The challenges in Lima are different than Youngstown in Athens and in Columbus, and because this money is coming directly to mayors, to cities, and to counties, we’re able to invest in the needs of our people on the ground to help them stay in their homes, help to protect and provide for their children and build a stronger economy as we come out of this pandemic.

– Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther, Ohio mayors visit White House to deliver stories of ‘opportunity’ with federal relief funds

Mayor Ginther was one of 13 Ohio mayors who traveled to the White House on September 7, 2022 to talk with Cabinet officials and other local leaders for Communities in Action: Building a Better Ohio. Mayors talked about the impacts of federal funds like the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in their communities. One takeaway from the coverage of the mayors’ conversations and statements is, as Mayor Ginther describes, the different ways that communities have allocated funds for different local needs.

In many ways, the mayors made it clear that, with resources, cities can do innovative and amazing things that directly impact Ohioans’ lives in ways state and federal leaders cannot. As we detailed in our recent American Rescue Plan report, some Ohio cities are just getting started, while others have allocated most or all of their ARP funds. There are many common themes, but the impacts of ARP funds in cities and regions across the state vary widely. For some examples of issues mayors and other leaders discussed at the White House, check out these news reports:

As for Mayor Ginther, Brookings Metro recently highlighted Columbus as one of five large cities nationally that has invested more than 80% of its ARP money in programs that address economic disadvantage. Columbus has invested significant ARP funds to address homelessness, the child care crisis, and community nonprofits that serve low income families, immigrant populations, and at risk youth, for example.