The Rapidian

Mayor Bliss to outline opportunities at first State of the City Address next Tuesday

Mayor Bliss will be presenting her first State of the City Address at the Harris Building, and streaming it live online. The address will focus on neighborhoods, economic growth, environment and public safety.
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was sworn in as the new mayor of Grand Rapids at the end of lsat year.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was sworn in as the new mayor of Grand Rapids at the end of lsat year. /Courtesy of Mayor Rosalynn Bliss

On Tuesday, February 2, our new mayor Rosalynn Bliss will present her first State of the City address at the Harris Building (111 South Division Ave). The address, for the first time in Grand Rapids history, will be streamed live at www.mayorbliss.org, at 6:15, to coincide with the beginning of Bliss' speech. The Rapidian will also be including this live stream right here on The Rapidian.

Bliss plans to "provide a vision for how the City can build on its successes, learn from the past and continue to move forward in a positive direction," according to Amy Snow-Buckner, Assistant to the Mayor.

"I will focus on creating opportunity, specifically in the areas of neighborhoods, economic growth, our environment and public safety," says Bliss. The mayor believes it's important for local citizens to be involved in their local politics.

"Solutions are more effective if individuals play a part in creating them. We have a great many challenges in Grand Rapids for which we need participation," she says. "not only for coming up with the best ideas, but for the greatest number of citizens feeling a sense of ownership."

This need for participation is part of why the event will for the first time be streamed live for those unable to attend in person. Another reason, says Bliss, is the limited seating available at the chosen venue.

"Streaming live increases the opportunity for citizens to watch the event live without physically having to be present. The choice of venue was intentional: The Harris Building represents wonderful aspects of our city's past that are being revitalized," she says. "But the space has a limited capacity for a large event. We wanted to make sure everyone could still be a part of it."

Following the State of the City address, the public is encouraged to attend one of three February open houses scheduled throughout the community to discuss goals and objectives outlined in the State of the City Address, called "Mayor Neighborhood Meetup" events. The three events, one in each City Ward, are designed to listen to residents and answer questions.

The Meetup schedule is:
• Monday, Feb. 8 at Shawmut Hills Elementary, 2550 Burritt St. NW
• Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Gerald R. Ford Academy, 857 Madison Ave. SE
• Thursday, Feb. 11 at Palmer Elementary, 309 Palmer St. NE

Those who cannot attend a Meetup session and who want to ask MayorBliss a question can also send an e-mail to the mayor.

Bliss says there are many opportunities for local citizens getting involved, many of which she'll speak to in her State of the City Address.

"[Opportunities include] participating in the annual neighborhoods conference," says Bliss. "A great deal of positive change starts in neighborhoods."

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