City of Radford Press Conference With Mayor Horton

Mayor Horton recently spoke in a press conference about police reform, COVID-19, and IT jobs concerning the Radford area.

A city block

Photo by Andrea Cau: In a recent press conference with an upper-level class of media studies majors, Horton shared some of his views and initiatives regarding the pandemic.

By Montasia Braxton | mbraxton4@radford.edu

Having life-long ties to both the City of Radford and Radford University, Mayor David Horton is informed and committed to this city and its residents.

In a recent press conference with an upper-level class of media studies majors, Horton shared some of his views and initiatives regarding the pandemic, as well as what he’s done to keep the businesses and citizens here “whole.”

“COVID-19 has basically been this giant mountain that folks are having a hard time seeing around,” said Mayor Horton.

He said that his main focus, since around this time last year, has been to keep everyone safe and informed. By providing as many resources, education, and support opportunities that he can to local businesses, he hopes to see the least closures possible.

“[Businesses] may not have had their best year on record, but if they have a survivable year, then that’s where we want them to be,” he said.

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]According to Mayor Horton, a lot of businesses have seen positive effects come from COVID-19.[/epq-quote]

According to Mayor Horton, a lot of businesses have seen positive effects come from COVID-19. After being forced online, many companies have diversified and expanded to serve a wider audience than before.

Topics unrelated to the pandemic, like Radford being one of the nation’s leaders in motion control robotics, and police reform, were also mentioned during the press conference.

“IT is going to be a huge part of our future, and right now, we need to expand who is participating in IT, cyber-security, and data science,” said Mayor Horton.

According to Mayor Horton, Radford is and will continue to be a gold mine of 21st-century jobs.

Mayor Horton says he is working with the school and the city to get more women and minorities in the IT field that will stay and work in Radford after graduation.

Regarding police reform, according to Horton, Radford’s Police Department recently applied for and received a $25,500 grant for policy review and reform. The grant will help to recruit and retain more diverse officers.

“It’s not just the negative that we’re trying to correct,” said Mayor Horton, “It’s the lost opportunity.”

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]Regarding police reform, according to Horton, Radford’s Police Department recently applied for and received a $25,500 grant for policy review and reform.[/epq-quote]

The mayor also revealed that Radford’s new state-of-the-art hotel should be opening in the fall of 2022. He said that it would include a rooftop restaurant and 4,000 ft of conference space for people to gather.

This hotel is expected to attract more people, businesses, and restaurants to Radford to expand Radford’s “local flavor.” 

According to Mayor Horton, the City of Radford has seen a near 50% increase in private investments since last summer.

Mayor Horton encouraged all of Radford University’s students to continue social distancing, wearing masks, contributing to the economy outside of the school, and keeping a positive attitude during the COVID-19 pandemic.