Dayton City Hall | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
With the presidential inauguration close behind us and a new federal administration to focus on, local politics have been put in the shadows. Despite this, the city of Dayton continues to work hard for its citizens.
What is happening in Dayton?
This year will be the last year in office for the Mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley. With her last year, Whaley wants to focus on building Dayton up and getting it out of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This upcoming year we are really looking forward to getting out of COVID and making sure that people get access to the vaccine and fight for access for the vaccines,” said Whaley.
According to Whaley, one-fourth of the coronavirus vaccines given to Dayton will be placed in West Dayton and Trotwood so that African American citizens have easy access.
“This last year for mayor for me will be, I think, a bittersweet year. But we are really excited about making sure that we put equity as a focus in everything that we do,” said Whaley.
Besides the coronavirus, the city is currently focusing on police reform as well as working to reduce homelessness.
What do students want to see?
Members of Wright State University’s College Democrats and College Republicans commended Whaley and the city of Dayton for the efforts put in to slowing the coronavirus and making sure that citizens are informed about where to get vaccinated.
Although the mayor received high praise from these groups, there are issues they think the city can improve upon still.
“I would really like to see self-sufficiency from our communities. I think that a late-stage capitalistic society has not been working for the average individual. I want to see communities get stronger because I think that is where all of our power comes from,” said College Democrats President Hannah Weisgerber.
Weisgerber wants to see the community come together and work together for the common good. One way Weisgerber suggests doing this is by implementing community gardens where neighbors can grow and share food.
Along with self-sufficiency efforts, Weisgerber would like to see gun control reforms following the mass shooting as well as a focus on environmental sustainability.
College Republicans President Jarod Kiser thinks that Dayton has the potential to grow business and attract more people to live here. However, Kiser suggests that the city make some changes in order to do so.
“I actually think there are some issues they’re missing out on. For instance, I think probably the biggest thing Dayton needs to address, and this is something that cities in general need to address, is removing the property tax and replacing it with a land value tax,” said Kiser.
According to Kiser, a land value tax would give Dayton the cutting-edge advantage needed to make it distinct from other local cities.