Mayor’s Report: April 12th, 2021
GOLF MANOR (4/12/21) Submitted by Mayor Stefan Densmore
Happy Holidays to all those who observed religious or secular holidays since my last report. I’m aware of Passover, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and Spring Break — hope it went well and was refreshing.
COVID ANNIVERSARY: This past week was the one year anniversary of the first two confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. As it turned out, it was the beginning of what currently represents 18,741 deaths in Ohio due to the COVID virus, 1265 deaths in Hamilton County, and 7 deaths reported here in our community (residential zip code). As of April 11th, 2021, the national number of both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of the COVID-19 disease reported in the United States has reached almost 31 million with around 559 thousand deaths reported among these cases.
The struggle that our community has faced and continues to face is unprecedented. I and our residents are tired of the protocols, exhausted by the continued uncertainty about when this is all going to end and get back to normal. Many of us have lost family members and loved ones over the course of the past year. Many of us weren’t able to come together as families and friends typically do during the last days of a loved one’s life, and/or had to delay funerals and other family gatherings– including celebrations of all sorts, religious and secular, because of travel restrictions and other safety protocols.
Social isolation has been particularly devastating to those who live alone and away from family and friends. Of course countless businesses have also been destroyed. The financial savings of many has been heavily dipped into, if not exhausted. And while we as individuals and a nation have learned a lot during this time, academic institutions of human creation at least have breaks, times designated for rest! I know we are all looking forward to that. I want to encourage everyone to stay the course, maintain the safety protocols recommended by our State and Federal officials. As I’ve said before, we are at our best when we are helping each other. Keep the faith and be strong for each other. Thanks for all you do to keep our community beautiful, welcoming, and safe.
The formula that the Governor is using to determine when to lift the State of Emergency is based on having only 50 new cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks. We’re currently at 137, in my last report we were at 179.
- Beginning Monday, March 29, all Ohioans ages 16 and older have been eligible to receive vaccination for COVID.
- As of last week, a third of Hamilton County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. 2 in 3 residents over the age of 65 have been vaccinated.
- A new regional campaign “Get Out the Vax” launched on 04/06/21. The goal is to vaccinate 80% of eligible individuals in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by July 4. Get Out the Vax weekends will take place the second and fourth weekends of April and May. April 10-11 is the first weekend this campaign will occur. Bus rides are FREE courtesy of Metro and TANK during these weekends. For those not on a bus line, individuals may contact United Way of Greater Cincinnati 211 for ride assistance through Lyft free of cost. In addition, any seniors ages 60+ who need a ride to their appointment can request transport from Council on Aging Public. A list of providers and additional information can be found at https://healthcollab.org/vaccine-info/.
- While the CDC announced an extension of the eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals voted to suspend the moratorium. This means that in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, evictions are allowed to resume.
- Governor DeWine has asked Ohio’s local health departments and vaccine providers that are offering the Pfizer vaccine to coordinate with local high schools to offer vaccinations to high school students who are 16 or older. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for children as young as 16.
- The “Vax and Vote” initiative began on April 6th with early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections office in Norwood. People can get their vaccine and vote at the same place and time. However, appointments must still be made to receive a vaccine.
National Fair Housing Month. This past week was the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who at the time of his assassination was working on a campaign that among other things was trying to insure fair housing for all people.
At week after King’s assassination, President Johnson signed something called the Fair Housing Act, to further the country in a direction of putting an end to inequities in our housing system and eliminate racial segregation in American neighborhoods — to guarantee that all people in America have the right to obtain the housing of their choice, free from discrimination. The law prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and requires Federal, State, and local governments to proactively dismantle the discriminatory structures that hold back people of color and other underserved populations from equitable access to the neighborhoods of their choice.
In 1988 there were amendments added extending the law’s protections to Americans with disabilities and families with children– and just 2 months ago the White House issued a rule change to ensure that the law also guards against discrimination targeting LGBTQ+ Americans.
Access to quality housing is about more than having a roof over one’s head — it is the foundation for achieving better educational, employment, and health outcomes, as well as one of the most important ways that families build wealth that they can pass along across generations.
This past week the President wrote: “It is our shared duty to work together to ensure that every person has equitable access to all of the opportunities our communities provide — and that no one faces barriers to getting a good education, having quality health care, eating healthy food, or finding stable employment that allows their family to thrive solely because of where they live. This is a moral responsibility that cannot wait, particularly at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted and exacerbated the lack of safe, affordable places to live for far too many people in America.”
He calls upon us this month to take action to ensure everyone has fair housing choices. In that spirit I’m working on highlighting housing resources available to our residents: Federal, State, and County resources available year round, as well as resources available specifically related to the economic damage of the current pandemic. Some of these resources (specific to the pandemic) can be found at 513relief.org, which is a website put together by our County Commissioners. Another resource is the housing tab of the Cincinnati Chapter of United Resource Connection, a nonprofit of which I’m affiliated. All these links are to free resources, whether it be free assistance programs to help individuals and families, whether they are tenants or homeowners, to pay bills to thereby stay in their housing of choice, or free assistance programs to help get repair work done to your car or home, to help you stay in your housing of choice; or even free assistance programs to help you find housing choices if you have lost your housing.
George Floyd Homicide Trial. I want to acknowledge the trauma that many African Americans and people of conscience are feeling during this time, over the past several weeks, where videos are being rebroadcast over and over from last Spring of the death of George Floyd. As we all await the outcome of the trial, I want to reiterate Golf Manor’s commitment to fair treatment under the law of all our residents. If you would like to read my official response to the death of George Floyd, published last year, it can be found here: https://www.golfmanoroh.gov/response-to-national-discussion-on-the-death-of-george-floyd/
Final Word. We are at our best when we are helping others. Keep the faith and be strong for each other. Thanks for all you do to keep our community beautiful, welcoming, and safe.
This report is respectfully submitted to the Village residents of Golf Manor. Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor.
Stefan Densmore, Mayor, Village of Golf Manor