Mayor Mallory’s State of the City Address

The Mayor delivered his state of the city address to a capacity crowd at the Playhouse in the Park.  Many more attempted to make reservations, but were placed on a waiting list.  Overall the Mayor used the speech to recap the year’s developments and progress rather than propose any new legislation or initiatives.  

Among the highlights:
“Build a Streetcar System that connects Downtown to Uptown.”
“Which brings me to what may be an uncomfortable conversation for some.  But as a city, we have to take on tough issues. And, ex-offender employment is one of those tough issues.  I told you earlier that employment is the number one request from the people that CIRV has engaged.  If we are going to truly grow our economy, we have to give opportunity to all citizens. Too many people are being excluded from employment because of mistakes in their past.  This may be unpopular, but I am telling you, this has to happen.  By opening the doors of economic opportunity to more citizens we will make our community safer and healthier.”

“Youth employment is a top priority of my administration.  Through our Jobs and Opportunities Fair and the City’s Youth Employment Program, we have provided thousands of young people the opportunity to find employment.  In fact, our program was presented as a best practice at the US Conference of Mayors and at the Mayors Innovation Project in Washington DC.  Our program has been so successful that I am proposing that we increase the funding for the Cincinnati Youth Employment Program to $2 million dollars a year in the next city budget. “

Two years ago, I told you that we were going to develop a program to focus city services on individual neighborhoods.  Last year, we launched the Neighborhood Enhancement Program.  It concentrates city services in targeted neighborhoods for 90 days.  Last year, the program targeted Price Hill, Avondale and Northside.  This year, we’re focusing on Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview, Westwood, and Evanston.  With this new approach, we’re focusing on concentrated building code enforcement, tearing down problem buildings, and addressing crime hot-spots.  And in partnership with the community, we are developing neighborhood assets.  The program is transforming neighborhoods throughout the city. “

“Which brings me to one of the most important opportunities that we have in Cincinnati: the 2010 Census.  We know that census numbers matter.  What you may not know is that 170 Federal Programs use Census Data to make funding decisions.  In order for Cincinnati to receive our fair share, we must have the most accurate Census count possible.  So, we must begin planning now for 2010.”

At the end of the speech inspirational music started playing over the Mayor’s closing remarks.  Those in attendance thought it odd, but it may have worked on television.