Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, a Democrat, is heading to Washington for the “State of the Union” address Tuesday night as the guest of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Portman says he invited Brown because they’ve become friends while working on things like the recent transportation grant for Youngstown.
Brown says he accepted because they’re friends – and because the senator is open to finding solutions regardless of politics. He says he’ll also go to D.C. whenever he can, to push a message about local governments.
“I want to talk about what can happen from the federal side to help local mayors get better at providing services for their communities,” Brown says. “Getting mayors engaged, as we do the day-to-day operations, so we need the federal government to let us be engaged in the planning as well.”
Brown says fellow Democrats Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan were also instrumental in securing the latest Transportation Department grant. It will pay for transportation links, including autonomous transit shuttles, to connect key Youngstown core city locations like Mercy Health Center, Youngstown State University, and the Youngstown Business Incubator.