Exactly 8 years and 1 month ago, I announced that I was running to be the mayor of Dayton. In the speech I gave, I talked about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Great Dayton Flood and just how strong and resilient our city was. Little did I know how true that would be during my time as mayor.
From the opioid crisis, to massive tornadoes, to the Oregon District shooting, to systemic racism and COVID-19, we have faced our share of challenges. But each and every time, the people of this community came together. We are gritty and resilient. When things get tough, Dayton does what Dayton does best: we take care of each other.
I am proud of what we have accomplished. We took on the opioid crisis and dramatically reduced overdose deaths. We funded universal pre-k for all 4 year olds. We began offering paid parental leave to all municipal employees. We brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment all across our city. And we came together when it mattered most.
But there is much work still to be done over the last 12 months of my term. I’m incredibly proud of our ongoing police reform tables that have engaged the largest, most diverse group of community members I have ever worked with in a policy process. This group gives me so much hope for Dayton’s future. In the coming months, the long empty Arcade will finally reopen and a new community-owned grocery store will be open in Northwest Dayton. And we are now at the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 crisis.
Today, I’m announcing that I will not be running for re-election. I believe we have turned a corner in Dayton. This is the best job I have ever had, but I believe our city can only continue to grow if we give space and opportunity to new leaders and new ideas. I’ll have more news soon about what is next for me, but I am looking forward to finishing out my term strong.
Eight years ago when I announced my campaign I said that, “the mayor of Dayton should matter.” I hope I have lived up to that charge. I will always be your neighbor and biggest advocate, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for our city.