Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, other big city Ohio mayors to meet with President Biden this week to discuss the American Rescue Plan....Cleveland got $310 million in ARPA funding from the federal government...."This meeting is a great opportunity to not only thank President Biden and the administration for their ongoing support but also take a comprehensive look at the bigger picture in Ohio," said Mayor Bibb, a progressive and innovative Black mayor, and Cleveland's second youngest mayor....Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader
CLEVELAND, Ohio— Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb will meet with President Joe Biden and members of his administration at the White House on Wed, Sept 7, the mayor told Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com in a press release on Tuesday.
Cleveland's fourth Black mayor and its second youngest, Bibb, 35, will be joined by mayors and leaders from across Ohio to discuss recent federal legislation such as American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS Act, and the impact on such legislation on Cleveland and other communities across the state.
The mayor said that the issues Cleveland is facing are in many instances similar to what other cities in Ohio are facing during a still existing pandemic and a vastly changing economic downfall. And he said that President Biden, a Democrat and former vice president under former president Barack Obama, the nation's first Black president, has helped cities like Cleveland since he took office in January of 2021 after ousting then president Donald Trump in a heated election.
"This meeting is a great opportunity to not only thank President Biden and the administration for their ongoing support but also take a comprehensive look at the bigger picture in Ohio," said Mayor Bibb, a progressive and innovative mayor, and a Democrat like Obama and Biden who won a crowded nonpartisan primary election for mayor last year, and then the general election with some 63 percent of the vote. "While Ohio's communities have different needs, there are ways to collaborate that may enable us to think bigger and to stretch these dollars even further."
Bibb last saw Biden in person when the president visited Max Hayes High School on Cleveland's west side for a speech on the economy on July 6. A lawyer and former banker and non-profit executive- turned -mayor who interned for Obama when Obama was a junior U.S. senator representing the state of Illinois and a newcomer who was born and raised in Cleveland but had never held public office before, he stunned establishment-types last year when he won the mayor's seat after beating the pants off of then City Council President Kevin Kelley, a White west side councilman at the time who endorsed by retiring longtime Black mayor Frank Jackson and several city council persons.
Bibb said Tuesday that he and the other big city mayors of Ohio, including the mayors of Columbus, Cincinnatti, and Dayton, are putting COVID-19 monies and monies allocated from other projects initiated by the Biden administration to good use.
A recent report from the Ohio Mayors Alliance offers insight on how member cities are putting recent investments from the Biden-Harris administration to work across the state.
Last week Mayor Bibb's administration announced plans to spend $102.5 million in $310 million in ARPA funding from the federal government across six of the mayor's 10 priority areas, which will directly impact an estimated 284,700 Cleveland residents. The mayor said that he looks forward to the discussion with the president on how his city is utilizing COVID-19 monies and other resources from the federal government during a time when support of largely Black urban cities across America is sorely needed.
"I look forward to sharing how we are leveraging these once-in-a-generation investments to solve some of Cleveland's greatest challenges," Mayor Bibb said."We received the eighth largest American Rescue Plan allocation in the country and intend to put every penny to the best possible use."
Both Cleveland, a largely Black major American city of some 372,000 people, and Cuyahoga County, with Cleveland its largest city, are Democratic strongholds, and Ohio remains a pivotal state for presidential elections. It is a swing state that Donald Trump won by eight points in 2016 when he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, and that Biden lost in 2020, though he went on to oust Trump to win the White House that year.