Akron mayor talks immigration, heroin and growth during State of the City

(Photo: Dave Nethers/FOX 8 News)

AKRON, Ohio– A day after the Akron City Council rejected a resolution asking for the state of Ohio to consider it a sanctuary city, Mayor Dan Horrigan called the area welcoming.

Horrigan quoted a predecessor from 1917 in Tuesday’s state of the city speech, who welcomed immigrants and refugees. He said we should learn from our history.

“Our welcoming policy has been working for over 150 years,” Horrigan said. He said there is a difference between a refugee who is a legal immigrant and those who are breaking the law.

Horrigan said the welcoming policy it is not a political issue, adding, “We all benefit.”

Horrigan also touched on the heroin problem, announcing the creation of a quick-response team to further address the proliferation of opiate drugs in the city.

He announced the creation of an Akron Growth Committee to try to improve the city’s stagnant economy. He addressed plans with the University of Akron and Stark State College to help provide educational opportunities and better jobs.

Horrigan also discussed federal grants that will be used to “boost the urban core.” He is all about growth, but believes the growth will come from the core out.

“As downtown improves so will the communities,” Horrigan said.

“The overall state of the city is strong and getting stronger.”