Mayor launches foundation for youth, seniors at ball

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An estimated 650 filled a sold-out Stambaugh Auditorium’s Tyler Grand Ballroom for Mayor Jamael Tito Brown’s Inaugural Ball Saturday at $75 a pop to help the city’s new mayor start a foundation to focus on helping seniors and youth.

Brown envisions the foundation, as yet unnamed, as a tool to attract private investment into the city.

“We want to leverage our dollars. If we have $5 and some other organization has $5, maybe the foundation can be the catalyst for other groups,” he said during an interview before the program.

Brown said his first project under the foundation will be creation of a youth council that will expose young people to wider experiences.

“I want to work with the Youngstown Board of Education. That’s near and dear to my radar,” said Brown, who walked out onto the stage with his wife, Lynette, whom he introduced as “the first lady of Youngstown, and the rest of his family.

There are some needs not being met in the city, he said.

During his presentation to the audience, Brown talked about the Youngstown in which he grew up when whole neighborhoods helped take care of and discipline children.

The focus of the foundation is also on seniors.

“I want to give back,” Brown said.

Youngstown 4th Ward Councilman Michael Ray said he looks forward to working with the new administration.

Ray said he and Mayor Brown served on council together and that they “have a good working relationship.”

Ray said the city is in a good spot to continue progress in rebuilding the city’s downtown and continuing development and economic growth in the area.

“It’s important that we fix immigration; and everyone wants better jobs and safe neighborhoods,” said the mayor.

Brown concluded his remarks by giving a “great shout-out” to the volunteers for their sacrifice and dedication during his campaigns.

“I can’t say it enough. Thank you. I’m humbled. I will work hard for you,” he vowed.

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