Bibb paints rosy picture in second State of the City
Mayor Justin Bibb delivered his second annual State of the City address to a packed auditorium at East Technical High School Wednesday night, outlining recent policy wins and plans to spend remaining federal pandemic funding.
The big picture: Bibb reaffirmed his 2021 campaign slogan — "Cleveland can't wait" — by declaring Cleveland was open for business. He said he would continue to act boldly, even in the face of opposition.
- "My administration is not comfortable with complacency," he said.
Between the lines: Bibb was criticized last year for failing to mention education.
- This year, CMSD CEO Eric Gordon sat front and center, and Bibb honored him in opening remarks.
Other major talking points included:
🚔 Public safety
Bibb spent the largest portion of his speech on crime and policing.
- Recent accomplishment: A new union contract with the division of police; the establishment of the Cleveland Community Police Commission; a 37% reduction in police use of force cases between 2018 and 2022.
What's next: A $10 million "neighborhood safety endowment fund," aggressive police recruitment, a care response policing pilot.
💭 My thought bubble: Bibb regularly affirms his support for the police in a way that sometimes feels like he's overcompensating for his support for Issue 24, the controversial ballot initiative that created the community police commission, which the police opposed.
💸 Economic development
Bibb encouraged optimism, despite Cleveland's persistent population and job loss over the past two decades.
What's next: An American Rescue Plan Act-funded $50 million site readiness fund meant to attract businesses and residents while creating 25,000 jobs.
- Plus: Bibb plans to create a waterfront development authority to steer projects on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.
Bibb touted the city's vigorous commitment to housing code and lead hazard enforcement.
- What they're saying: "Slumlords should be ashamed of themselves for robbing our residents of the dignity and the decency of a safe place to call home. Make no mistake about it. We will hold you accountable."
More Cleveland stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Cleveland.