Julius believes that the key to Youngstown’s success is lifting its residents out of the systemic poverty that came as a result of decades-long disinvestment. This huge challenge can be met with smart engagement with regional, national, and international businesses, strong support for small businesses, and making the city (and its government) a good place for workers and owners to be.
* Make government more user-friendly for those who own or manage small businesses
* Pledges to reset/rebuild economy amid and post-Covid 19, including small business support, worker support, and workforce development for those who lost jobs/businesses
* COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Lease Act — Provides rent relief for small business owners and building owners impacted by the pandemic. Would give tax abatements to building owners who limit annual rent increases and enter into at least 5 year leases.
* Work to change business (c-corporation) taxation rates and provide incentives that bring Youngstown into regional standards for city business taxation.
Strong neighborhoods are a key to the stability of Youngstown, and the home for our strong families. Julius will help build a safer, more beautiful city for residents, workers, and visitors. A key to this is shifting the material conditions and regional messages about Youngstown from one of fear to one of hope.
• Will help facilitate a comprehensive plan to clean up and maintain sites associated with illegal public dumping.
• Will work with YPD to find a non-criminal response reporting mechanism to report trash, dumping, and unsafe structures.
• Will build habitable home incentives: instead of tearing down stable homes, this program will work with city agencies and banks to offer incentives and help facilitate access to credit for potential homeowners to stabilize and occupy these homes.
• Work to better integrate YSU campus / students within the downtown and Northside community through public works and community engagement.
• Create a “pothole” reporter app, which any resident can download to anonymously report potholes, broken street and traffic lights, and other roadside conditions. Each report will generate a “ticket” that can be tracked for resolution.
• Lead a city-wide sewer assessment and funding project to discern what needs to be maintained, repaired, or replaced to prevent flooding.
Julius grew up on the South Side and went to Youngstown City Schools, so he knows the challenges our city presents for youth. He wants all children in all wards of the city to have equal access to high quality education, career preparation, and social services to meet their needs.
• Will support the administration YCSD in their movement towards excellence by working with the CEO, school board, parents, teachers, staff, and students to ensure good-faith, comprehensive plans for student excellence are being made
• Will work with the administration and help determine how YCSD will meet the progress goals of the State of Ohio
• Will support district needs to ensure mental health care for students suffering from school shutdowns and pandemic anxieties and grief
• Will work with parents to address parents’ concerns about their students futures in the wake of the pandemic
Will work to help YCSD to build positive rapport with Youngstown families
* Conduct a city-wide survey of stakeholders to help district develop a plan for excellence
* Work to ensure teachers and students have access to basic in-class equipment needed for learning
* Maintain regular public conversation with stakeholders about district outcomes, challenges, and needs
* Support for high quality child-centered, non-profit Charter schools
Julius believes that elected officials are servants of the people. He is respected throughout the city as a person who shows up, listens, and acts in community with his constituents. As Mayor, he will serve the needs of all Youngstown residents through a number of initiatives to make government easier to use, more proactive, and accessible to all.
• Committed to restoring the “Five Minutes with the Mayor” program formerly run by Mayor McNally: offering any Youngstown resident to book phone, online, or in-person meeting to discuss any issue.
• Committed to ward-by-ward monthly “meet the mayor” meetings with local block watches and community groups
• Create a Community Advisory Committee to advise the mayor on current issues, and work closely with all members of the Youngstown City Council to ensure that the cares and concerns of residents are addressed.
• Pledge to a transparent, open bidding process that encourages new vendors for municipal projects
• Seeks to establish a massive re-training of public-facing city workers on current city policies and procedures, equity and inclusion, and contemporary customer service practices
•. Will strengthen community/ward neighborhood organizations through support & promotion
• Continue live-streaming of essential city meetings even post-Covid 19, with opportunity for public comment
Julius supports strong initiates to bring equitable, fair public safety resources to all in Youngstown, ensuring a bias-free, community focused police department and public services to support safety.
• Working with YPD to shift policing resources to Community Police Unit that encourage safer communities through helping residents reach crucial resources and care rather than targeting non-violence arrests.
• Support diversion courts for youth, non-violent offenders, low level drugs, traffic violations, and “driving with suspended license” offenses
• Break the “school to prison pipeline” by bolstering existing resources and making new programs for in-school and in-community positive role models, support, and building non-carceral diversion programs for at-risk youth
More than anything else, the pandemic crisis showed Youngstown how much we need a leader who will organize city services, communicate effectively, and aggressively seek state and national support for emergency services and funding. Julius has a plan to manage the remaining crisis and prepare for tomorrow.
• Will provide weekly public updates on city action to ensure any remaining Covid-19 issues around access to vaccines, healthcare, and economic resources are resolved
• Will work to build and maintain compressible disaster preparedness plan and supply caches between city agencies, schools, care facilities, city healthcare facilities, and disaster response community partners.
• Work to create a streamlined, timely, informative, and accessible information procedure for future disaster information. This system will be redundant across traditional media and online media to ensure equitable access for all
Ensuring civil rights protections and equitable access to city services is a primary goal for Julius. He worked with the City Council to pass the resolution that “racism is a public health issue,” and as Mayor, he will put comprehensive reforms and new plans into action to ensure equity for all.
• Create an action plan for ensuring equity and inclusion and fairly dealing with racial bias in all city agencies
* Work with other majority Black Ohio cities to build state level programs to support racial equity in urban settings
* Support building of an LGBTQAI shelter for unhoused people in Youngstown
* Support accessibility needs for municipal buildings and buildings that serve as election sites
* Make sure Latinx Youngstownians are included and safe through outreach and inclusion including bi-lingual interpretation and signs in municipal spaces and Spanish-language interpretation access.
Strong neighborhoods start with strong people, and so ending our city's scarcity of easy to access, high quality, low cost fresh food is a prime goal.
• Engage existing community partners and develop new partners to work to end Youngstown “food deserts” through a number of strengthened programs and new programs
• Encouraging fresh food in existing grocers
• Seek development of in-city markets or mobile markets that offer high quality food
• Comprehensive marketing of SNAP program that incentives fresh food
• Working with local and regional farmers to support a local supply chain
• Support urban garden development with yards, vacant lots, and community garden spaces
Julius wants to make sure that Youngstown has a strong, equitable, easy to access public health system that is ready for the issues of today and tomorrow.
• Will seek state and national funding for bolstering Youngstown’s safety net hospitals
• Will fight the opioid epidemic and other substance use problems in our community by supporting evidence-based prevention programs and linguistically- and culturally-competent education campaigns
Is there an issue or concern you have that is not addressed here? Please reach out to Julius at votejuliusoliver at gmail dot com and you'll get an answer.