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Akron, Ohio

Mayor Horrigan Gives Final State of the City Address


Unveils new City logo and provides recommendations to incoming leaders

City of Akron Press Release
Published: 03-22-2023

Akron, Ohio, March 22, 2023 — This morning, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan gave his final State of the City address at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron to business leaders, non-profit organizations, and community members. For the sixth year in a row, the proceeds from the speech will go to the Russell M. Pry Memorial Scholarship at The University of Akron School of Law. The event was livestreamed and is available for viewing on the Mayor’s Office Facebook page. The event was markedly unique from previous State of the City speeches, foregoing lists of programs and data for a broader overview of the Mayor’s experience leading the City of Akron and the core pillars he plans to leave behind for a new generation of Akron leadership.

Mayor Horrigan began by stating, “This is a speech I’ve wanted to give for a long time, but it never felt quite right. But as I approach the end of my time serving as your Mayor, I think now is the best time.” He then provided background on what he knew coming into office and his core values of leadership, the areas he focused on during his tenure and the insights he gained, and what he plans to leave behind for whoever comes next.

What Mayor Horrigan refers to as “the core pillars of a strong foundation” were outlined as good governance, financial stability, and equity. He also took time to speak about public safety and the role we all serve in creating a safer Akron saying, “It has to be every single one of us wrapping our arms of support around the youth and creating a better future for them than they’ve been assured of before.”

The Mayor’s 2022 State of the City speech was postponed in the aftermath of the officer involved shooting of Jayland Walker. At the time, Mayor Horrigan stated, “I will still have a message for the community in the days to come, but it will not be from on a stage, but rather speaking directly with the people of Akron. We will rebuild the state of our city together.” Nine months later, he spoke about those conversations during today’s speech saying,

“I can tell you the conversations have remained ongoing between my office and leaders in our community since Jayland’s death and I thank those who have both lead those conversations and those who have listened. Because we have to do both in times like these. I think we can all agree on 2 key points. Number one: We want peace here in Akron. Number two: We want to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to deal with both trauma and healing. I encourage everyone here today to take that same message to your own communities and repeat it in your own conversations in the days to come.”

In addition to public safety, Mayor Horrigan spoke about the importance of housing at a variety of price points, good financial standing, and equity. He then spoke directly to the incoming leaders of Akron and offered advice from his current viewpoint as Mayor.

That advice focused on the role of Mayor and leadership stating, "There is a difference between management and leadership." He went on to say, "Leaders have to lead, and that will mean you won’t be able to please everyone in the process. But this role is not about pleasing the loudest voices in the room, it is about doing the right thing for all of Akron." The recommendations also focused on the importance of servant leadership, transparency, and good governance. "Good governance is not just picking up the trash on time; it’s also answering the phone with 'How can I help you?'"

To end, Mayor Horrigan spoke about what he believes to be the most important thing about Akron: its people. He said, “It is the people of Akron who matter most, and it is the people who make Akron what it is.” The speech ended with a video produced by Akron’s Pritt Entertainment Group which unveiled a new, modern city logo created by the city’s Communications and Media Supervisor Jake Bell.

A full copy of Mayor Horrigan’s Final State of the City Speech is available here.

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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