Mayor Jackson To Deliver State Of The City

[courtesy of mayor's office]
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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson gives the final State of the City speech of his third term today. And some hope the mayor will propose ways to spread the city’s recent success to more neighborhoods.

The Republican National Convention, passage of the schools levy, passage of an income tax increase, the opening of a renovated Public Square, a booming downtown - last year was a good year for Mayor Jackson.

But in his 2016 State of the City address, Jackson acknowledged that there was an already apparent challenge in moving the city onto the next stage.

“The model and the strategy of economic development and the tools and strategy we use do not work in every neighborhood in the City of Cleveland," said Jackson.

Now, in an election year, the mayor faces challengers who promise to focus on those neighborhoods where the strategies haven’t worked so far. Richey Piiparinen is director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University. He said the mayor has the authority now to point development into new parts of the city.

“We have housing investment, right? We have public funds to subsidize rehabs, to subsidize new construction in areas that we have this stuff. We just all need to get on the same page of where the money should be put," said Piiparinen.

Piiparinen points to places like Fairfax and Hough, neighborhoods right next to anchor institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, as ripe for investment.

Jackson's office hasn’t released details of the speech. But Chris Ronayne, executive director of University Circle Incorporated, said with the passage of an increased income tax and a renewal of the schools levy, Jackson has the opportunity to think bigger than in past years.

“It’s an opportunity to articulate a vision for not just this upcoming year and not just this upcoming cycle but perhaps a vision for the generation to come. He’s got firm ground to stand on," said Ronayne.

Ronayne says he also hopes to hear about plans for development in neighborhoods that have been left behind by the city’s rebound these past few years. Jackson recently announced he’s decided to run for a fourth term.

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