Flint mayor issues first State of the City address with focus on unity

Mayor Neeley is calling on city officials and residents to band together to move forward
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 12:55 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/08/2020) - Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley is calling on city officials and residents to band together.

“A spirit of positivity. A spirit of unity must be given for us all to come together,” Neeley said.

It was his first State of the City address since he was elected mayor in November of last year. Because of COVID-19, it was delivered virtually, but that didn’t change the importance of his message: moving the city forward.

Neeley highlighted the city’s response to many issues like the rapidly spreading coronavirus, citing examples like declaring a state of emergency, instilling a curfew, and providing residents with better access to testing.

“One thing is for certain. We’ve saved lives,” Neeley said.

Neeley also focused on crime, adding more police officers and destroying the guns they confiscated, but that’s not all they collected. They also picked up two million pounds of garbage in the fight on blight.

“I really thought it was a home run to come up with the Crime Stopper part attached to the blight fight. You know it’s been going on on the north end of Flint for a long time,” Council Vice President, Maurice Davis said.

That was in August where Crime Stoppers offered $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone dumping illegally in Flint.

However, Davis says it’s long from over. He wants to see the city create better partnerships like with the Genesee County Land Bank.

Right now, though, Davis says Flint needs a message of hope.

“Some people tend to try and divide this community at the worst time possible because this COVID-19 is nothing to play with when we should be trying to bring the whole community together, and I’m sure Mayor Neeley knows how to bring this community together, him and the administration,” Davis said.

In 2021, Neeley says flint’s top priority is continuing to repair the city’s water infrastructure. Others include developing a plan to repair the city’s roads and speed control measures, and bringing more businesses to the city.

All while still uniting against COVID-19.

“Together, even six feet apart, anything can be accomplished if we unite our efforts, if we unite our strength, if we unite our thinking, we can win,” Neeley said.

If you’d like to watch the full video, click here.

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