Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson of Toledo, Ohio //
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the future and work at making each tomorrow better than today.
What do you see as the greatest strengths and challenges of Toledo, Ohio?
The citizens of Toledo are our greatest strength. They are hardworking, resilient, and compassionate. One of our greatest challenges is filling the funding gap left by multi-million dollar reductions in revenue sharing from the state and federal government. The loss of these dollars has put pressure on our ability to provide higher levels of public service for our citizens.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 issues facing your city today?
- Protecting Our Water
- Maintaining Clean, Safe, Livable Neighborhoods
- Supporting Economic Development for Job Growth
What are one or two projects on which you are currently working that you are most excited?
We have really turned the corner with being able to capture, manage, assign work, and communicate back to citizens regarding their requests for city services through the Engage Toledo program. We generated more than 47,000 work orders through Engage Toledo in 2016 in response to our citizens.
The Toledo Youth Commission has developed an interactive map of resources which uses technology to help connect and engage our youth and their parents with resources throughout the city. Communicating so many positive choices for youth in the arts, sports, health, recreation and transportation will have long-term favorable impact in our community.
What’s your advice for the next generation of city changemakers?
I’m a fan of Dr. Suess, who wrote, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Celebrate your differences. It is our differences that lead to innovative thinking and collaborative success.
What should we know about the work that you haven’t yet mentioned because I didn’t ask the right question?
I think about the long-term impact that every decision I make, partnership I form, and agreement I enter into will have on the citizens I was elected to serve. I care about Toledo’s legacy and the effect my work will have on our children and grandchildren and so work hard to uphold a high standard of conduct befitting the City and the Office of the Mayor.
Finally, could you tell us something about yourself than most of your colleagues don’t know about you?
By now many have heard that I play the piano; however, they do not know that I am also a singer and when I retire I want to become a baby holder at the local hospital.