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A presidential visit to Youngstown?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published December 27, 2009

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, who is completing his first four-year term as mayor and is assured re-election, said Saturday that President Barack Obama will most likely visit Youngstown in the spring. Williams, who was a guest on the radio talk show "The Valley's Talkin' With Doc and Bert" on 1330 TALK-WGFT, has been in discussions with White House officials about the presidential trip. Saturday's show was hosted by this writer; Mark Sweetwood, managing editor of The Vindicator, filled in for Dr. Bill Binning.

Williams, the first black to serve as mayor of the city, has been named The Vindicator's top newsmaker of the decade. He has attracted the attention of government officials and political leaders on the state and national levels. 

A visit by Obama, the first black president of the United States, would serve to put Youngstown in the national spotlight. Williams would have the opportunity to discuss with the president the problems confronting old, industrial cities like Youngstown, such as high unemployment, especially among young blacks, a declining population and a failing public school system. But he also would have the chance to showcase the progress the city is making in rebuilding its economy through such global companies as Turning Technologies, which was nurtured at the Youngstown Business Incubator downtown.

And, the mayor would be able to urge the president to use the influence of his office to persuade the French owners of V&M Star Steel to proceed with their proposed $1 billion expansion project in Youngstown/Girard — if a decision has not been made by then.

A presidential visit to Youngstown would certainly be a feather in Williams' political cap.


1VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Presidential Visits are nice fodder to read about and observe, but I want to see something being done to make us proud of the visit.

Right now, I see nothing that makes me proud. I see nothing that says we are improving as a society, as a nation and as a people.

All I see is someone making visits and giving speeches.

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2Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, there would be no room here for Barack, unless that other monumental ego (Jimbo) leaves town during the visit. Try as we may, there is only so much BS that we can absorb at one time.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Everybody should get a chance to visit Youngstown , Obama included . If he is here at least he is not bowing to some foreign leader .

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4NoBS(2757 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Stan - maybe he'll bow to Mayor Williams, and Williams' head will get even bigger!

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

NoBS :

"Stan - maybe he'll bow to Mayor Williams, and Williams' head will get even bigger!"

Jay is in his last term so he may be aspiring for national politics . He is ready for a cabinet job at least .

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6dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Why would Obama waste his time coming to Ytown? This area will vote the big D anyway, no matter how poorly we are treated by the politicians. Just look at Clinton, coming into a fundraiser after he stood at the Southern Park Mall and lied to us. But people of this area don't care. Did you hear Betras predict that 80% of this area will vote to reelect Strickland? I could have predicted that. And what have the dems done for this area? Let's ask Strickland what he has done for this area. Maybe he can save Forum.

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