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2021 Akron State of the City

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This afternoon we learned that three Ohioans have tested positive for COVID-19. This is no ordinary time. It's important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans. This is a time which requires extraordinary, heroic measures of shared sacrifice to ensure that we protect our most vulnerable citizens. A group that tries to attract jobs and talent to the region says local employment recovery could take five years and trail the rest of the country. As a community, the call to action around equity is one we can no longer afford to sideline. World Health Organization officials confirm there are more than half a million positive cases. A vaccine is still at least 12 to 18 months away. Working on the front lines at Northeast Ohio hospitals can, of course, take a mental toll on the health care workers. That video of George Floyd handcuffed face down on the ground is spark outrage nationwide. The number of Ohioans not working is it the highest known level ever. The state's unemployment rate was 16.8 percent in April, thats the highest since Ohio began keeping records 44 years ago.

You know it's no secret it has been a really tough year for a lot of us. You know many people are asking for help for the first time. Well down in Akron the Mayor says the help that they've already given to residents is going to continue. I certainly understand that people are struggling right now maybe to pay their water and sewer bills. Well we do have a program and it's called Akron Cares. To help local families, the food bank increase the frequency of its neighborhood distribution. Some financial hope tonight. Tens of millions of people will receive their coronavirus stimulus. The Paycheck Protection Program or PPP set aside nearly 350 billion dollars to cover company's payroll expenses. Just last week Council President Margo Summerville and I announced the City of Akron's racial equity and social justice task force. To help out, because I mean that that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to help each other. The community now offering up grants to make sure people can keep creating. At this time of great need, the most important thing is that we come together. In conjunction with the State of Ohio, we'll be opening up a mass vaccination site right here in Summit County at the Summit County fairgrounds and one week from today all Ohioans age 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine. We are trying to vaccinate as many individuals as quickly as possible. Vaccination rates are beginning to rise across the state. The name the game today is vaccines. This is where we went. After more than 600 days baseball has returned to Akron. This is a city on the move. There's no question about that. Ready to roll northeast Ohio because it is Derby week. Everybody's back out together. We're happy about it. We know that we still have a long way to go. Akron will always be a place where grit and determination are celebrated and where hard-working men and women can achieve the American dream.