Daniel Webster’s quote on the Monument near the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge.
In March of next year, Dayton will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great Flood of 1913. Anyone who knows the history of Dayton knows what a lasting impression that event had on this city and the entire region. The aftermath of the Great Flood stands as a testament to the character of the people of Dayton, their capacity to rise to the occasion, to confront adversity head-on, and to rebuild their city in the face of incredible odds.
One hundred years later, the character of this city is summoned once again to respond not to a natural disaster, but to a long period of economic decline. Dayton finds itself at a crossroads; we can continue to manage our decline or we can rise to the occasion. We can stand by and let events unfold or we can redefine ourselves and make our own future.
I have spent the past nine months talking and listening to people in Dayton about the future of this city. I have met with people from all walks of life; community and business leaders, small business owners and labor leaders, neighborhood activists and clergy.
As we discussed the future of Dayton, the conversation always came back to the importance of leadership and the role the mayor of Dayton should play.
One of the people I spoke with was former Dayton City Commissioner Mark Henry, who told me “the Mayor of Dayton should matter.” That statement seems pretty simple, but it is really quite meaningful.
The Mayor of Dayton SHOULD matter. The Mayor of Dayton DOES matter.
It matters to families who want safe, clean, stable neighborhoods with affordable housing where they can count on quality city services.
It matters to business owners and those in the workforce who want a growing, thriving community that supports and creates opportunities to succeed through hard work.
It matters to the residents of this entire region that benefit from a robust urban core and leadership that focuses on our strengths as a region.
It matters to my family, friends and colleagues who have always been so supportive of me and have urged me to play a greater role in this city’s future.
And, it matters to me, who came to this city to attend the University of Dayton and chose to stay here and make Dayton my home. I met my husband here, bought my first house here, and launched my career here. As a young, professional woman, it matters to me that Dayton be a healthy, vibrant community that provides opportunities for everyone in all parts of the city.
Because it matters and because I believe in what Dayton can be, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Mayor of the City of Dayton in 2013.
This town has taught me so much since I first stepped foot on the UD campus in the fall of 1994. I have learned a lot during my time in public service, and I have learned a lot while serving two terms on the Dayton City Commission. I know this city has a rich history. I am running for mayor because I believe Dayton deserves an even richer future.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends.” This campaign for mayor will be about the shaping of a new era for Dayton, the turning of a new page.
We can choose to embrace the challenges before us and to work tirelessly to build a better city.
We can choose to invest in our neighborhoods to create strong urban spaces to live, work, and raise a family.
We can choose to invest in our workforce and to take advantage of our schools and universities to create a culture of learning.
We can choose to leverage our natural assets and resources and invest in technology and innovation to take control of our destiny.
We can choose to do all these things – we MUST choose to do all these things to ensure a better future for Dayton.
To all those who believe in this great city as I do, who believe that Dayton’s best days lie ahead, I call on you to join me in this endeavor; I call on every corner of this city to become part of this effort.
In 1825, American statesman Daniel Webster delivered an address at the laying of the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts. A quote from Webster’s speech is engraved in marble directly behind the Speaker’s chair in the U.S. House of Representatives, and this same quote is carved in a monument by the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge in Dayton, standing on the banks of the Great Miami River overlooking downtown. One hundred years after the Great Flood, these words echo over Dayton as a call to action.
“Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”