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Despite pandemic, Grand Rapids 'poised' for greatness, says Mayor Bliss in SOC address

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Mayor Rosalynn Bliss delivered her annual “State of the City” address on Tuesday, where she said that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Grand Rapids remains strong, and will continue to thrive. 

“The pandemic understandably overshadowed some of our important efforts, but it did not stop them,” Mayor Bliss said. “Our work together to better protect kids from lead, increase housing opportunities, and the revitalization of the Grand River corridor continue to take steps forward.”

The comments came during the first ever virtual State of the City address, where Bliss spoke from an empty Listening Room in downtown Grand Rapids. While highlighting some of the city's success navigating through the pandemic over the past year, Bliss fought back tears as she took a moment to remember those who had been lost to the coronavirus.

“It has been devastating and tragic,” Bliss said. “And our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one. Their light will be missed in our community, and we honor the lives that they lived.”

Despite the heartbreak and setbacks that the pandemic caused over the past year however, Bliss said the city remains strong and will not only recover but thrive.

“While we remain in difficult times, Grand Rapids is poised for greatness,” Bliss said. “That is the state of our city. Poised not to just emerge from the pandemic on solid ground, we are poised to thrive. And this isn’t just the mayor just trying to be positive during difficult times. I believe it to be true.”

Missing from the speech--the riot that took place after the death of George Floyd, which Bliss did not address. The Mayor however did share her vision for the city in the future that is “stronger, more equitable, innovative and resilient.”