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WATCH: Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe makes 2021 ‘State of the City’ address

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 3:58 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The City of Gainesville made the annual ‘State of the City’ address on Wednesday evening.

Mayor Lauren Poe said he is proud of the collective response by the community to the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke to the city’s actions, including mask mandates and stay-at-home orders to help keep people safe.

He said for those that experienced financial hardships; the city worked to help those people by offering temporary financial relief through the GNV Cares Program and the Coronavirus Relief Fund. According to Mayor Poe, the cities relief efforts provided more than $1.5 million in assistance to help more than 100 local businesses and about 700 residents.

Commissioner David Arreola says the city responded better than most cities and responded just as well as Florida’s best cities.

“We took it seriously from the beginning. We took the guidelines seriously, and we asked people to trust us. We asked people to trust a course that was new. Everyone’s life had to change.”

Mayor Poe also discussed the issue of social injustice. He said after George Floyd’s death, the community here in Gainesville worked together to hold peaceful and powerful demonstrations.

He believes the community’s response to the challenges in 2020 speaks to the people who live in the city.

“Through it, all Gainesville and its residents showed the resilience and empathy that we have come to expect from this remarkable community.”

He believes 2021 will be the year the community remerges, rebuilds, and rises up together.

In the video above, City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe discusses several topics including: COVID vaccinations, homelessness, pedestrian safety and much more.

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