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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson gives 2018 State of the City Address

Jackson outlined some of his achievements since beginning his fourth term in January.

CLEVELAND -- For the 13th time in his career, Mayor Frank Jackson delivered his annual 'State of the City Address', as he took the podium Wednesday evening inside Cleveland's Public Hall.

Jackson's message at the outset: "Cleveland is a successful city. But Cleveland is not a great city."

The key to greatness in the mayor's mind is narrowing the disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' in the city.

Jackson boasted that more police are set to hit city streets, telling the audience that 87 cadets in two academies are currently being trained, with 80 more recruits being processed.

What the mayor didn't say, is that about 70 officers are set to retire in the next year, according to The Investigator, Tom Meyer. So the net gain is reduced.

This all comes as the number of murders so far in 2018 is on pace to make this the deadliest year in the city of Cleveland in decades.

This was the first time that the event has been made open to the public.

“It is my goal to make the event more accessible to the public - by shifting to the evening and making it free of charge," Jackson said prior to the address. "This is important and gives residents, businesses, non-profit organizations and the philanthropic community a chance to attend together and hear firsthand from me about all that is happening in our city.”

But at the same time, Jackson allowed no questions from the media, as has been customary after the annual address. The move drew sharp rebuke from the 128-year old Press Club of Cleveland, which issued a statement, saying in part, "...we remain alarmed that public officials, elected by the public and paid by the public would show so little reqard for the public."

Meanwhile, outside the place called Cleveland Public Auditorium, a handful of protestors carrying signs were not allowed inside.

One woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she's repeatedly been a victim of crime, after several burglaries at her home.

"They did nothing for me. All they want to do is put on a show for downtown Cleveland." she said.

Lon' Cherie' Billingsley, a Cleveland mother, who is also running for Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge this November, brought her 10-year-old daughter to hear about education in the city.

"I was happy to hear the mayor talk about two schools that improved to a 100-percent graduation rate, but what about the other schools? What are we doing to make sure they improve?" she said.

The mayor cited a 74.6-percent overall graduation rate in the district, a 22-percent increase from 2011-2012.

That increase is incorrect -- it's actually better.

According to Ohio Department of Education data, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District saw a 25.8-percent increase in its graduation rate in the last five years. However, the rate is still 10-percentage points lower than the state average, and below the state standard of 90-percent.

The district's overall grade remained an F, in the latest ODE report card.

You can watch the State of the City address in the player below.

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