On November 10th, Government Strategies Group hosted a luncheon featuring seven of the nine members of the 2022-2024 Cincinnati City Council. Following the 2021 General Election on November 2nd, this was the first post-election event with a majority of the next council. GSG was thrilled to host the councilmembers and councilmembers-elect for its first luncheon in nearly two years since the pandemic began.
Three returning councilmembers Greg Landsman (D), Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (D), and Liz Keating (R) were joined by Councilmembers-elect Jeff Cramerding, Scotty Johnson, Meeka Owens, and Victoria Parks. Reggie Harris, Mark Jeffreys were out of town and unable to attend.The members spoke about their priorities for working together during the upcoming term. Resounding themes include cohesive leadership, attention to affordable housing and children’s services, and creating a new culture of trust and teamwork.
Key takeaways from the luncheon include:
- Councilmember Landsman’s eviction-prevention “pay to stay” legislation, which passed Council later that day;
- Emphasis on data sharing by Councilmember Keating, who suggested coordinating data with Cincinnati Public Schools to better address the needs of families in the city;
- Minority small business support efforts are underway. Councilmember Kearney applauded the work of MORTAR, a minority business accelerator, and the African American Chamber of Commerce for their COVID-relief efforts;
- Councilmember-elect Parks emphasized the need for Cincinnati to address child poverty comprehensively by supporting struggling parents looking for jobs and financial assistance;
- Councilmember-elect Johnson joined Councilmembers Kearney and Landsman in responding to Hamilton County Commission President Summerow Dumas’ concerns about the Cincinnati Police Department firing range in Lincoln Heights, committing to move quickly in the next term so that the city and county can reach a resolution;
- Councilmember-elect Jeff Cramerding, former board member of the Center for Addiction Treatment, responded to audience questions about engaging local addiction services agencies as opioid settlement money becomes available from the State of Ohio;
- Councilmember-elect Meeka Owens restated the importance of community engagement and strengthening partnerships with City Hall to tackle major issues like public safety, poverty, and minority business relief.
The new council will be sworn in on January 4, 2022. Among their first responsibilities in the next term will be distributing the second round of funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in the spring before focusing on the FY23 operating and capital budgets.
GSG will host Mayor-elect Aftab Pureval an upcoming luncheon. Mayor-elect Pureval will be sworn in with the newest members of City Council in early January 2022. He is responsible for assigning city council committees, committee membership and appointing a vice mayor and president pro-temp. After the election, Mayor-elect Pureval underscored his commitment to national searches for the city’s next city manager and police chief. Paula Boggs Muething will stay in her role as City Manager while the search is underway.