Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley delivered her State of the City Address Wednesday morning. Over the course of a half hour, Whaley made numerous references to the tribulations of 2019 — the KKK rally, Memorial Day Tornadoes, and the mass shooting that left nine dead. Yet, much of the mayor’s focus was on what Daytonians have accomplished together.
Last year in her State of the City address Mayor Whaley said Dayton had some tough issues to address — disparities in opportunity among neighborhoods, and the need for more investment in the city’s west side.
Fast-forward to today and, despite several tragic events faced by the city in 2019, Whaley says progress has been made.
And among her list of accomplishments was an expression of gratitude for how the community has pulled together in the face of adversity.
“Our community has responded to all of the events of last year with so much courage, grit and resiliency," she said. "It has been simply amazing to see so much beauty from our response. Dayton has done what Dayton does best — we took care of each other."
Mayor Whaley announced a new campaign in the weeks ahead that would build on the community’s resilience, including a website — DaytonStronger.org. It’ll feature resources and organizations that have grown out of the response to last year’s emergencies.
Whaley noted several other incidents in her call to confront gun violence, including the shooting of two local teens killed by a homeowner who found them trespassing in his garage. She also talked about the killing of Dayton Police Detective Jorge Del Rio.
“Yet, even in his death, Detective Del Rio managed to showcase the best of our community,” she said, noting a plaque on his desk that read “Courage: Being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
Also included in the mayor’s speech were calls to expand the City of Learners student support initiative, and further the development of new neighborhood and housing strategies to reduce vacant, abandoned, obsolete and poorly maintained properties in the city.