TOLEDO, Ohio — Local and federal authorities are getting ready for President Donald Trump to visit Toledo on Thursday, and local Democrats met Monday at the Huntington Center to urge no violence and no hate in our community after the president's rally and pointed out what they term failed administration policies that have hurt our community.
Among the public officials speaking Monday were Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Lucas County commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Pete Gerken.
They believe our community is a caring and accepting community, and they are urging it to stay that way during and after the President's visit.
"We want to tell our message and talk to the president about what the worries and concerns are of the citizens of this region. So if you come we ask you to listen," said Lucas County Commissioner, Tina Wozniak.
"I also think it's important that they call for civility, which we agree. We want everybody to be safe at this event. It's always an exciting moment when we have the President and Vice President in our community" said Lucas County Republican Chairman, Mark Wagoner
Part of the meeting was to point out some of the policies by the Trump administration, they feel have not helped our community.
They provided an earful of what they deemed policies by the administration that have "failed" northwest Ohio.
Among the issues they raised were a lack of funding for the Great Lakes to curb harmful algal blooms, cuts to the SNAP/food stamp program, a failure to pass a bill that would lower the cost of prescription medications and attacks on skilled trades.
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"Place matters when messages get delivered. What message could Trump possibly have for us that counters the fact that his polices have failed us in Lucas County?" said Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.
Gerken also asked several "favors" of the president.
"You're going to come to our building. I'd like you to do us a favor. When you get on this stage, don't talk in a way that promotes racism. When you come to our community, don't preach a message of hate. That is not who we are. When you come to our building, respect our norms. We are a welcoming community," Gerken said. "Do us a favor, though. You are a guest in our house. We are going to respect you. Please do us a favor and respect the values of those up here."
The commissioner cited a study from the Washington Post that surveyed counties in which the president held a rally during his campaign. Of those counties, hate crimes rose 226% after the visit, the study showed.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur. urged civility with the upcoming visit and beyond, and called on the administration to reimburse the county for costs incurred related to the rally.
"We could use his help in paying to off, so I hope that he pays in full for his visit and I also request that the President reimburse us for the cost of security attendant to his visit. To our city of Toledo's first responders, to our police as well as to our county. It's very, very expensive for a president to come here" said Kaptur.
The Lucas County Republican Party issued a statement in response to the press conference.
“Once again, the Democrats are focused on political stunts rather than addressing the real issues facing working families in Lucas County. The do-nothing Democrats' time would have been better spent discussing how they were going to pay for the trillion dollar promises of Medicare for All and the new green deal and, locally, how the City of Toledo can pay its bills without asking for yet another tax increase from working families in Lucas County," the statement read. "President Trump comes to Lucas County with record employment numbers, record wage growth for working families, and a new sense of confidence in the American dream for all. Lucas County residents know they are better served by the tangible results delivered by President Trump, not the cheap political stunts of the do-nothing Democrats.”
"I think the time would have been better spent if they would have come out and really explained how they're going to pay for Medicare for All and the big Green deal and these trillion dollar programs that they have no way of paying. I think that would have been more productive than talking about whether the president's going to pay for the Huntington Center, of course he's going to pay" said Mark Wagoner.
Republican Chairman Mark Wagoner, also says the White House extended an invitation for the county commissioners to travel to Washington two years ago and they declined so he finds it ironic that they're pushing for this now.