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2017 State of the City Address by Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda

On Tuesday, February 21st, we went to Wesleyan Village on West Avenue in Elyria to hear the 2017 State of the City Address by Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda.

We got there early in order to network and talked to Mr. Sergio Morales who is going through the process of opening a Hispanic deli and bakery in Lorain named "Coquito's". Hopefully, all of the details will be worked out soon and "Coquito's" will be opened around May 1st. We visited with Mr. Robert Graham, a local realtor with "Logos Realty Company" who told us that he had certainly heard of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and that her name is probably known throughout the United States. Another person who knew Ms. Wong was Ms. Noelia Nodal, Assistant Vice President of "KeyBank" in Elyria. In fact, she attended a meeting with her just last year.

Mayor Brinda recognized us and gladly posed for a photo with our good friend Ms. Linda Hamann, Marketing and Business Development Manager at University Hospital Elyria Medical Center, and Ms. Jeanine P. Donaldson who once served on the Civil Rights Commission of the State of Ohio with Ms. Wong.

During Lunch, we shared a table with Mr. Philip Simulcik and Ms. Becky Bardsley from the "Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio" which has locations in Huron, Crawford, Elyria, and Lorain. It is involved in 100 different programs ranging from homeless shelters to after school activities for children. It was interesting hearing about the operation.

During her speech, Mayor Brinda discussed what is going on in Elyria in such areas as economic development, budgeting, housing, infrastructure improvements, and downtown investments. She also noted that in 2017 Elyria will be celebrating its 200th anniversary (it was founded in 1817) and there are quite a few activities planned.

Afterwards, we talked to her about making Elyria a "Welcoming City" for immigrants. Mayor Brinda said that she was open to the idea so we emailed her some information when we were able to access our computer.

As for what is taking place at this time, Mayor Brinda said that she had attended meeting regarding a couple of projects which involved immigrants and was aware of their potential to really contribute to a community. She also said told us Elyria has the designation of being a "Compassionate City" so some more activities might take place that might assist newly arrived immigrants as well as the other local residents.

As soon as we could, we went on line and looked up charterforcompassion.org to learn more about this and found an article about Elyria at https://www.charterforcompassion.org/elyria-oh-usa. It said that the City of Compassion Initiative had been "adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, the initiative is about encouraging residents to embrace compassion in actions and words."

We read about how the Elyria City Council recently passed by a resolution (by a unanimous vote) in support of Elyria adopting the Compassionate City Charter so now it is officially a "Compassionate City."

In the article, Mayor Brinda was quoted as saying, "it's all the things I wanted from the Mayor's Office of Volunteer Engagement under one umbrella. It comes at no cost to the city to undertake this initiative, but could have a very positive effect in the city by changing attitudes. It's not about us creating something else, but maximizing the things organizations are already doing to make a larger impact on social issues in our community."

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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