DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine spoke to the media after having lunch at Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, along with Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine.
The governor and mayor talked on a variety of issues, including how to support the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting, the proposed legislation that Gov. Mike DeWine outlined on Tuesday, and the new pediatric mental health summit in Dayton in September.
Whaley and Gov. DeWine had lunch near the same area where nine people were killed and 27 others injured Sunday morning in a mass shooting. Whaley said that with the shooting following the tornado, it’s been a “tough year” for Dayton.
“I think most Daytonians, that’s what they’re feeling, like ‘hey, this has been really, really tough,'” Whaley said. “The grit and resiliency of this city is something people really undercount and its why Dayton beats odds over and over again.”
Gov. DeWine, who grew up 18 miles from Dayton, agreed, saying that Dayton has been resilient in its response to the shooting.
“Dayton is a great city,” Gov. DeWine said. “It’s got a great history and it’s got a great future. But what you really are impressed by are the people.”
Gov. DeWine commended the first responders and everyone at the hospitals in “executing everything” like they should have on Sunday morning.
“It was phenomenal,” Gov. DeWine said.
Going forward, both Gov. DeWine and Mayor Whaley hope that Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass legislation to stop mass shootings from happening again in Dayton and across Ohio. Whaley, a Democrat, praised Gov. DeWine, a Republican, for reaching across the aisle to come up with solutions for both the mental health crisis and gun control.
“I think the governor has demonstrated this kind of leadership since coming into office,” Whaley said. “He has made a point of reaching out to people that are of the opposite party. He has been open to it. It’s not like we agree on everything, that is not the case. But there are places we can work together and that’s what I’m most excited about because I think we can really show that in this state and show some great movement for our communities and for the state as a whole.”
“Ohio is a unique state,” Gov. DeWine added to Whaley’s comments. “It is a state that when we work best, we are pulling together in a very bipartisan way.”
Gov. DeWine said that the 17 action points he laid out on Tuesday will save lives and he hopes that it will garner bipartisan support in the state legislature.
“Everything I proposed I’m dead serious about,” Gov. DeWine said. “And everything I proposed I think we can get passed.”
Whaley laid out three things for people to do to help Dayton move forward following the shooting: donate to the Dayton Foundation, contact your legislators, and spend money in the Oregon District. She said having lunch with governor is a good step towards that.
Calling Ohio a pragmatic state and himself a pragmatic governor, Gov. DeWine said that Ohio and will be different and lead by example, getting stuff done following the tragedy in Dayton.
“I’m a governor who wants results,” Gov. DeWine said. “I’m not worried so much about speeches, I’m trying to get things done.”
“We’re going to do some things that actually matter and we’ll save lives and I’m looking forward to that discussion as we work our way through the state legislature.”