Cleveland, Ohio – Mayor Frank Jackson said his new evening format for Wednesday’s state-of-the-city address worked so well, that he intends to use it again in 2019.
In a meeting with the cleveland.com Thursday, Jackson said the evening time allowed residents who could not attend a daytime speech because of work the chance to listen to and meet the mayor.
Jackson delivered his 13th address at 7 p.m. at Public Auditorium in a move to make it accessible to city residents. His previous 12 speeches were lunch-hour functions put on by The City Club of Cleveland and were well attended by the downtown corporate and philanthropic establishment.
About 550 people attended the Wednesday evening speech, cleveland.com has estimated. More than 950 attended the 2017 City Club presentation.
For an hour before the event and another hour after the speech, Jackson said he was able to mingle with citizens. He said many expressed their appreciation that they could talk with him directly, rather than hear about the speech through media reports or the grapevine.
“What I found with this format was … in particularly talking to the average person who came … was that even though I was talking about many of the things that I’ve talked about in the past, many of them had never heard … about it,” Jackson said.
That was because they had relied on the interpretation of others, including the media, he said.
“Many of them said they were pleased that they came. They better understood what the mayor … had to deal with,” Jackson said. “Many of the issues that they have, they saw that we were addressing them.”