Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will deliver yet another State of the City address on Oct. 8, and due to the pandemic, plans to do so virtually.
The event, in which the Mayor will likely discuss the city's Covid-19 response efforts, new frontiers in public safety, and updates in the economic development sphere, will be free and available to anyone who cares to tune in.
Jackson's annual addresses in 2018 and 2019 were free and open to the public as well, held at Public Auditorium downtown. In the past, the remarks were delivered to the lunchtime City Club crowd. To his credit, Jackson has made explicit efforts to broaden the audience and improve the accessibility of the event.
Jackson has not yet indicated whether he will seek an unprecedented fifth term in office, but he sure hasn't ruled it out. And if the 2017 election was any indication, the Mayor probably knows that he could waltz into office without really trying too hard, assuming his largest donors are sufficiently terrified of Dennis Kucinich to flee from other candidates they might have considered backing.
The Mayor has emerged from a truly staggering array of scandals — the hiring of Lance Mason, the promotion of police chief Michael McGrath in the wake of #137shots, the flagrant criminality of his grandson and great-grandson and allegations of their special treatment, the revelation that he wasn't showing up to work for significant chunks of a full year, the police violence and military lockdown on and after May 30, the city's enduring poverty and systemic racism metrics — more or less unscathed. A small group of protesters demonstrated outside his home early one morning last week to "wake him up" to the city's compounding crises. But Jackson responded as he has for years: with silence.
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