Photo by Dave Paul

Last night Mayor Andrew Ginther spoke his annual State of the City address — which covered a wide range of topics.

“Columbus has the fastest growing economy in the Midwest, the lowest unemployment in 25 years and a Triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies.”

“J.D. Power just ranked Columbus highest in visitor satisfaction in the Midwest. This award serves as confirmation that we are an open, welcoming community, and it is the reason we continue to land major conferences like the 2019 American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting, projected to bring over $500 million in visitor spending to the city.”

He then spoke about how 2/3 of the city is doing well, but 1/3 is struggling.

“Too many babies die before their first birthdays; too many children are struggling to succeed in school; too many of our residents are hungry, homeless and unable to find affordable housing. Too many of our neighbors are working too hard, for too little pay, unable to support a family, let alone plan for the future. And, too many live in fear – some because of the crime in their neighborhood, and some because of threats – old and new – of bias, discrimination and persecution.”

In spite of this, Ginther said that Columbus is “embracing unity.”

“Columnist David Brooks noted recently that if you want to observe history, go to Washington. But if you want to participate in the process and help define the future, the most important place to be right now might well be cities like Columbus.”

Ginther’s address covered everything from infant mortality, women’s issues in central Ohio, unemployment in certain areas, and the cycle of poverty. He also doubled down on smart transportation.

He spoke on the disease of heroin addiction, “While many people and many organizations have taken steps to address the heroin crisis, we need a unified regional approach to fight this epidemic. In the next few weeks I will be bringing together the Council President, County Coroner, County Commissioners and our Columbus Health Commissioner to explore real tangible solutions. There is no time to waste, our families are suffering, and it will take all of us to conquer this disease.”

One of the last things he said was a jab at current President Donald J. Trump, “Friends, I do not stand before you tonight to tell you that “I alone” have the solutions to all our challenges. On the contrary, I am here to tell you that it will take all of us, working together to reach our goal to make Columbus America’s Opportunity City.”

 

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