FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOV. 18, 2016
Media Contact: Keary McCarthy, 614-425-9163
COLUMBUS – Mayors from Ohio’s largest cities and suburbs announced the formation of a new, bipartisan coalition called the Ohio Mayors Alliance. The group has come together to help strengthen Ohio’s cities through collaboration, improved advocacy, and stronger partnerships with state and federal policymakers.
“By coming together and speaking with one voice about the issues that impact our communities and our constituents, we will demonstrate the important role that Ohio cities play in creating jobs and stimulating economic growth,” said Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik.
The organization is comprised of mayors from among Ohio’s 30 largest cities by population. Nearly one third of the state’s total population, 3.4 million people, lives in Ohio’s 30 largest cities. A listing of the cities can be viewed below. Mayor Mihalik, along with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter have been elected to serve as board members for the Ohio Mayors Alliance.
“Ohio has a large number of urban centers and local leaders must come together to share innovative ideas with each other and build better relationships with our state and federal partners,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
Cities drive regional growth, but challenges remain. In Ohio’s largest 11 metropolitan regions, cities help create 84 percent of jobs and 90 percent of Ohio’s total Gross Domestic Product. In 2015, a total of $850 million in private investment was announced representing 8,734 jobs, all of which were located in Ohio’s 30 largest cities. However, too many large and many mid-sized Ohio cities are facing significant economic challenges.
“Cities are engines for economic growth,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “By coming together and working to build relationships with state leaders, we hope to forge a stronger partnership that will strengthen our communities and improve the state’s economy overall.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance is structured to ensure that there is bipartisanship and consensus building amongst the cities. The board must be bipartisan and include representation from the larger cities and the smaller ones under 80,000 in population. Adoption of any official policy position by the Ohio Mayors Alliance must be approved by a supermajority or two-thirds of the total membership.
“Previous state budget cuts have hurt our ability to strengthen our communities and foster economic development,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter. “We intend to communicate that, but we also intend to build a positive relationship with state partners around our shared goals of job creation and economic growth.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance has already conducted a round of meetings with state legislative leaders and has sent a letter to Congress urging them to fully appropriate funding, previously authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, to provide $103 million for the implementation of the Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program.
For more information on the Ohio Mayors Alliance, please visit: www.OhioMayorsAlliance.org.