Akron Mayor Shammas Malik Delivers First State of the City Address Highlighting First 100 Days and Next Steps

“The State of Our City is Changing for the Better”

Akron, Ohio, April 11, 2024  — Last night, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik delivered his first State of the City address at the Akron Civic Theatre in front of a crowd of 1,500 residents, business leaders, non-profit partners, elected officials, and more. The hour-long speech focused on the Mayor’s priorities in the first 100 days of the administration, detailing successes, acknowledging difficulties, and highlighting what’s next. Of the 73 goals on the Mayor’s 100-day tracker, the administration has completed 55 with 18 still in progress.

You can view the full event here or read a transcript of the written speech here. In addition to the in-person event, the speech was livestreamed and included ASL interpretation as well as simultaneous interpretation into Nepali and Spanish

In addition to highlighting many key accomplishments from the first 100 days, Mayor Malik outlined several important announcements during the speech:

Vehicle Pursuit

Mayor Malik announced an updated Chief’s order related to vehicle pursuit. Beginning today, Akron Police Department officers will no longer conduct vehicle chases for equipment violations alone such as a broken side mirror or taillight. Officers will retain the discretion to chase for traffic violations. This change will eliminate some unnecessary chases. The full policy update will be released before the end of the month. The Mayor also announced in the coming months, the city will be reviewing and revising other Akron Police policies surrounding chemical spray and crowd control.

Akron Innerbelt

Today, the City of Akron is issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for experienced urban design consultants to complete a Reconnecting Communities Master Plan for the Akron Innerbelt study area.


  • Develop an equitable and healing-centered vision for the site that reflects the values and goals of the Akron community.
  • Promote prosperity and wealth-building opportunities for residents in the neighborhoods adjacent to the Innerbelt site and throughout the city.
  • Promote equity, both in the physical interventions proposed and in the benefits to the community.

Project information and the RFQ are available here. Qualifications must be received by the City of Akron no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 10, 2024.

Street Team Pilot Program

This summer, the City of Akron will launch a Street Team pilot program to focus on community violence intervention. This program will hire and train Credible Messengers - people who are able to speak directly with those who are most likely to be most involved in violence, especially young people, because they have lived experience, a history of involvement in the criminal justice system. These Credible Messengers will be lifelines in Akron neighborhoods. They will help Akron’s youth see a brighter future and will help them understand the consequence of their actions, while providing them with support and options that allow them to develop goals and take steps to reach them. These kinds of programs have been proven to be effective around the country.

Employee Resource Groups

Mayor Malik announced that by this fall, the City of Akron will launch employee resource groups for city employees. There will be three groups to start focused on female employees, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color) employees and LGBTQ+ employees and all of their allies. These will be employee-led with support from the administration with a plan of expanding to other groups as time goes on. These groups have proven to help with engagement, retention, and workforce development. When employees feel they can bring their full, authentic selves to the workplace each day and be celebrated for who they are, they are more productive, more engaged, and more likely to stay.

Youth Success Summit Partnership

Akron is taking on a proactive role as the strategic partner in the overall operations of Youth Success Summit. Youth Success Summit is a backbone organization for out-of-school time providers in Akron, empowering providers to deliver high-quality programs that meet the evolving needs of our youth. Youth Success Summit’s mentoring collaborative is already operational, and their team is hard at work under the guidance of Executive Director Rachel Tecca and Founding Consultant Ellen McWilliams-Woods with the support of the city’s Youth Opportunity Strategist Denico Buckley-Knight and Education and Health Strategist Richelle Wardell and many other partners and stakeholders within the community. Youth Success Summit will serve as a hub for connecting families to quality afterschool and summer activities, including work-based learning opportunities.

Mayor Malik ended the speech with a call to action for everyone in attendance to consider signing up for Youth Success Summit’s Mentoring Collaborative. Sign up to be a mentor here.  

The event ended with a Q&A session with Mayor Malik, moderated by Bronlynn Thurman program officer at GAR Foundation. Questions were submitted throughout the speech from the audience.

The city would like to thank our many sponsors for their support of the State of the City Address. Special thanks to all of the presenters and performers including: Akron firefighter Andrew Fuller performing the National Anthem, Christan Nurse, 8th grader from Akron’s I Promise School leading the pledge of allegiance, Tameaka Taylor reciting two original poems, The Black Beanz dance crew for their performance, Barb Greene, former president and executive director of Summit Education Initiative and community volunteer for her heartfelt introduction, and members of Firestone’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble for their acapella rendition of "I Got Rhythm."

Stephanie Marsh, Director of Communications
press@akronohio.gov or 330-256-1191