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ICYMI: Ohio Mayors Alliance Outlines 2021 Priorities, Calls on Congress for Bipartisan COVID Relief Bill

February 08, 2021

On Friday, the Ohio Mayors Alliance – a bipartisan coalition of more than two dozen mayors from the largest cities in Ohio – sent a letter to the Ohio Congressional Delegation voicing their support for President Biden's COVID relief proposal that provides direct, flexible fiscal assistance to frontline communities.

The mayors wrote to the Congressional Delegation in advocacy of the Biden Administration's proposal of $350 billion in economic aid for state and local governments. The letter highlighted the pandemic's fiscal burden on Ohio's cities – furloughed workers, shrunken police and fire departments, and the postponement of infrastructure projects, all under the added strain of continuing to deliver essential services in response to COVID.

They also noted that prior economic relief packages will not help address the present challenges or the struggles yet to come, nor will it support the mass vaccination efforts needed to curb the pandemic.

Ultimately, the group called for unity and bipartisanship in passing a relief bill.

"We must also ensure that our communities are positioned for a strong and swift economic recovery," the Ohio Mayors Alliance wrote. "To achieve these goals, we know we must continue working together. It is in this spirit that we urge our congressional leaders to provide additional bipartisan support for direct, flexible fiscal relief for our frontline communities."

Read the full letter below:

OHIO MAYORS ALLIANCE
February 5, 2021

DEAR MEMBERS OF THE OHIO CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION:

As a bipartisan coalition of mayors in over two dozen of Ohio's largest cities, we are urging swift action and bipartisan support for a recovery package that provides direct, flexible fiscal assistance to frontline communities. We understand there are numerous proposals being suggested and difficult funding decisions to be made, but we were heartened to see that the January Biden Administration outline included $350 billion for state and local governments.

As you know, our communities have been supporting critical aspects of our national response to this pandemic for many months, while also dealing with uncertain fiscal conditions and significant revenue reductions. Many of our cities have furloughed workers, shrunk their workforce through attrition, cancelled police and fire recruitment efforts, and frozen capital budgets that build community infrastructure—all while absorbing additional expenses to respond to COVID, delivering essential services, and reaching out to our communities that have been disproportionately affected.

It is also important to note that the CARES Act relief provided last year for COVID-related expenses was helpful, but it will not address the challenges ahead for our communities. Furthermore, these funds could not be used to address revenue impacts and, until the last days of 2020, they were required to be utilized before the end of the last calendar year.

We have two significant challenges ahead if we are to turn the corner from response to recovery. This includes ensuring that our local communities can support and facilitate a safe, equitable, and accessible mass-vaccination process. We must also ensure that our communities are positioned for a strong and swift economic recovery. To achieve these goals, we know we must continue working together. It is in this spirit that we urge our congressional leaders to provide additional bipartisan support for direct, flexible fiscal relief for our frontline communities.

Thank you for all the work that you have done in 2020 to respond to this crisis. These actions were important and have helped stave off an even worse public health and economic crisis. However, there is more critical work to do and we urge you to take one more important step and support this request for direct, flexible emergency aid to local communities.

Respectfully,

OHIO MAYORS ALLIANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Mayor John Cranley City of Cincinnati

Mayor Tim J. DeGeeter City of Parma

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther City of Columbus

Mayor Christina Muryn City of Findlay

Mayor Don Patterson City of Kettering

Mayor David Scheffler City of Lancaster

Mayor Nan Whaley City of Dayton

OHIO MAYORS ALLIANCE MEMBERS

Mayor Daniel Horrigan, City of Akron Mayor Steve Patterson, City of Athens Mayor Bob Stone, City of Beavercreek Mayor Tom Bernabei, City of Canton Mayor John Cranley, City of Cincinnati Mayor Jason Stein, City of Cleveland Heights Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City of Columbus Mayor Don Walters, City of Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Nan Whaley, City of Dayton Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes, City of Dublin Mayor Frank Whitfield, City of Elyria Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, City of Euclid Mayor Steve Miller, City of Fairfield Mayor Christina Muryn, City of Findlay Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage, City of Grove City Mayor Don Patterson, City of Kettering Mayor Meghan George, City of Lakewood Mayor David Scheffler, City of Lancaster Mayor David J. Berger, City of Lima Mayor Jack Bradley, City of Lorain Mayor Nicole Condrey, City of Middletown Mayor Tim DeGeeter, City of Parma Mayor Warren R. Copeland, City of Springfield Mayor Thomas Perciak, City of Strongsville Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, City of Toledo Mayor William D. Franklin, City of Warren Mayor Tito Brown, City of Youngstown Keary McCarthy, Executive Director

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Ohio Mayors Alliance Outlines 2021 Priorities, Calls on Congress for Bipartisan COVID Relief Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/348084

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