Greg interviews Keary McCarthy, the Executive Director of the Ohio Mayors Alliance. The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a coalition of mayors from Ohio’s 30 largest urban and suburban communities, which works to advance priority policies, strengthen economic vibrancy, and better advocate for local communities through collaboration and communication.

Greg asks Keary about how the Mayors Alliance started and what they’ve learned through their research on the opioid epidemic.  Keary explains that the Mayors Alliance came into existence to help better contribute to policy making that would benefit Ohio communities. He furthers that researching the opioid epidemic and how local communities were addressing it was a first priority before pushing through other policies. “We really felt that this issue is not only affecting our communities on the ground and our local law enforcement… but it is obviously a problem that affects the entire state. And it has residual implications beyond just the law enforcement and health and human services side of the equation. It affects everything from workforce development to job creation – it has a very significant impact all across the spectrum. So many of the mayors and many of our state leaders want to focus on job creation and economic development… but if we don’t get ahead of this issue and confront this crisis and stop it in its tracks, we’re never going to be able to really have success in these other areas that are so critical to our future.” To better understand how to approach the epidemic, Keary states, the Mayors Alliance researched and issued a report called On the Front Lines. “Really it was done to not necessarily be a comprehensive look at everything that was occurring in our communities, but really sort of a landscape scan to understand what are the emerging trends and what strategies should be shared within our group of mayors to cross pollinate good ideas. So that really started the ball rolling for the Mayors Alliance to get involved in this issue and to help come to the table with constructive solutions and we found a lot of interesting information. ”

Listen to the podcast to discover what the Mayors Alliance learned from this report and how they are utilizing that information to improve policy and combat the growing epidemic sweeping through Ohio communities.