TOLEDO, Ohio — Starting July 22nd, six public meetings will be held by Toledo city council and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz to determine what to do with the one hundred and eighty million dollar stimulus coming to the Glass City from the Federal government. That's more than half of Toledo's entire yearly budget, and Toledoans already have plenty of ideas about how that money can be used to address various issues across the city.
"Personally I think we need to work on housing and homelessness," said Lisa Pengrov.
"Bring more education, more professional development," Ron Tijerina stated.
"I've seen kids die every day. Kids I used to see when I coach football and basketball- they aren't here," said Vincent Staples, reflecting on the need for better youth programs.
Each of them has witnessed struggles and they see this money as a welcome opportunity to change their communities for the better.
"We could make new things, right? We could create better programs for people that are struggling with housing and homelessness," Pengrov continued.
Staples shared away the money could be used to reduce gun violence.
"Like fun nights and stuff for kids where they can have fun and interact with each other instead of 'I live on this side of town, you live on that side of town', so it would stop a lot of violence," Staples said.
Even though these individuals have different perspectives on how the money should be used, they all agree it will be valuable to use the meeting
"We talk a lot about getting to these meetings and participating- because it's our community and if we don't do something with our community who's going to?" Said Pengrov.
Ron Tijerina believes if there's something you want to see happen with this money, he recommends taking advantage of the meetings.
"People don't know what you need if you don't come to the table. People don't know what you've been through and where you're at today if you don't come to the table. What's that saying, 'a closed mouth don't get fed,'" Tijerina said.
The final meeting with the public will be held on August thirty-first- and until then we won't have an exact picture of how the funding will be used. But the funds must be spent by the end of 2026- so Toledoans can expect to see results from this stimulus coming in the near future.