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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley Describes City's Tough Year At City Club

Since the mass shooting in Dayton earlier this year, the city’s mayor, Nan Whaley, has been an outspoken campaigner for new gun control measures. During an appearance Friday at the City Club of Cleveland, Whaley said she’s throwing her support behind several proposed new laws.

Whaley backs a bill supported by Gov. Mike DeWine that includes voluntary background checks, but she’s also in favor of a more stringent voter initiative. Whaley said she will get behind any measure that she believes will save lives.

“We want it to pass,” Whaley said about the gun bill in Columbus. “And then we support the ballot initiative for universal background checks and we want to make that happen, since nine out of 10 Ohioans agree with us that we need universal background checks.”

Many of DeWine’s fellow Republicans in the legislature have expressed skepticism about his gun proposals. During her speech, Whaley described the campaign for gun control as a movement where the progress will be slow.

Whaley also left open the possibility of running for governor in 2022 after covering several national issues her city faced this year.

“Climate change doesn’t seem like some future debate when you walk past houses reduced to rubble,” Whaley said, referring to tornadoes that hit Dayton in May. “Gun violence stops being some cheap political debate when you comfort a family who has lost a son, lost a daughter to a senseless mass shooting.”

Besides tornadoes, in 2019 Dayton dealt with a Ku Klux Klan rally and a mass shooting.

Whaley said she’s focused on getting to the end of the year. She ran for governor in the last election but dropped out early in 2018.

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