New Cincinnati City Council Takes Office

Nine City Council members took the oath of office during a ceremony held January 2nd at Music Hall. Seven Councilmembers were sworn in to their second terms, they include Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Meeka Owens, Reggie Harris, Scotty Johnson, Mark Jeffreys, and Jeff Cramerding. Seth Walsh will serve his first full term as he was appointed in 2023 to replace Greg Landsman who was elected to Congress. Newcomer Anna Albi was sworn into her first term. You can watch the swearing in and inaugural remarks from each Councilmember on facebook.

Committee assignments for 2024/25 term were announced and are consistent with the last term:

Budget and Finance Committee, Chair: Reggie Harris;

Vice Chair: Jeff Cramerding. Members: All council members

Jurisdiction: Budget & Appropriations, Sale & Lease of Property, Development Agreements, Human resources & Pension, Federal & State Grants, Tax Policies, Bonds & Financial Reporting, Municipal Sewer District, Greater Cincinnati Water Works & Stormwater

Equitable Growth and Housing Committee, Chair: Jeff Cramerding

Vice Chair: Reggie Harris. Members: All council members

Jurisdiction: Residential & Commercial Incentives & Policies, Innovation Ecosystem & Public Private Partnerships, Zoning & Planning Commission, Labor & Workforce Development, Arts & Cultural Institutions, Aging & Accessibility Issues, Homelessness, Small Business Growth, Neighborhood Development, Economic Inclusion Policies, Equity in City Government, Marketing & Special Events, Tourism.

Public Safety and Governance Committee, Chair: Scotty Johnson

Vice Chair: Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney. Other members: Mark Jeffreys, Anna Albi

Jurisdiction: Police, Fire & Safety Policies, Ethics & Finance Reform, Citizens Complaint Authority, Audit & City Manager Review, Liquor Licenses, Council Rules, Procedures & Committee Membership, Good Governance Office, City Charter Review, Animal Treatment.

Healthy Neighborhoods Committee, Chair: Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney

Vice Chair: Victoria Parks. Other members: Anna Albi, Scotty Johnson

Jurisdiction: Community Engagement, Community Service, Community Councils, Invest in Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Enhancement Program, Neighborhood Business Districts & Community Development Corporations, Collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools, Preschool Promise, Universities & Higher Education Institutions, Regional Collaboration, Racial, Gender & LGBTQIA Inclusion & Issues, Racial Equity Taskforce, Litter & Dumping, Homeownership

Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Chair: Meeka Owens

Vice Chair: Mark Jeffreys. Other members: Jeff Cramerding, Seth Walsh

Jurisdiction: Environmental Sustainability, Bike & Pedestrian & Recreation Infrastructure, Vision Zero Implementation & Oversight, Transportation & Infrastructure, Road Maintenance & Repair, ODOT, OKI & County TID, Snow Removal & Sanitation, SORTA, Parks & Recreation, Parking, Public Services & Fleet, Utility Planning, Health & Human Services, Youth Issues & Employment, Children & Families Cabinet.

We look forward to working with the Council during this session.

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Anne C. Sesler

Director of Public Affairs and Strategy

Anne Sesler brings more than twenty years’ experience in public affairs consulting to Government Strategies Group. Anne works with local elected officials, state legislators, reporters and community leaders on behalf of corporate and non-profit clients developing community outreach and engagement strategies, conducts media relations, builds grassroots support for projects, and conducts communication with stakeholders and legislators.

Anne lends her public policy and political communication experience beyond GSG to her role as Vice Chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. Over the years, she’s offered political counsel to both state and local campaigns, including Preschool Promise, Ohio Jobs and Growth (the casino ballot initiative), United for Jobs and Ohio’s Future (Third Frontier), and many others. Anne lives in Mt. Lookout with her husband, Bryan.

Focus areas: 

  • Local government relations
  • Coalition building
  • Media relations and communications
  • Crisis communications

Driven by:

  • Making Cincinnati a better place for all

In the community:

  • Leadership Cincinnati Class 47
  • Cincinnati Planning Commission member
  • Lunken Airport Oversight and Advisory Board Chair
  • Cincinnati Democratic Committee Co-Chair
  • Hamilton County Democratic Party, Vice Chair
  • Mt. Lookout Community Council member

Charles “Chip” Gerhardt

President & CEO

Chip Gerhardt has made government affairs, economic development, and issue advocacy his life’s work. He’s worked for decades in the public and private sectors, and advocated at the local, state, and federal levels of government. In 2007, he used that experience to found Government Strategies Group, a full-service government relations firm. At GSG, he works directly with clients, helping them navigate the complicated intersection of politics, public policy, and business.

In his many years in public policy, Chip has been involved in significant policies including; creation of tax increment financing districts, the Clean Ohio program, Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation, and most importantly, the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. He has also been at the forefront of some of the biggest developments in Greater Cincinnati, including the Horseshoe (now Hard Rock) Casino, TQL Stadium for FC Cincinnati, parking garage structures at The Banks, and the redevelopment of the @580 building. Rarely is there a public policy endeavor in Cincinnati that does not involve GSG.

Chip received his B.B.A in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law. He lives in Anderson Township with his wife Jane. Son Charlie is a local chef and children Hank and Anne have completed their education and started lives of their own.

Focus areas:

  • State and local government relations
  • Economic development
  • Issue advocacy

Driven by:

  • A lifelong interest in the political system has driven Chip to a career in public policy and politics. As a parent of three, one with Down syndrome, has compelled him to promote public policies designed to help others. Whether it is enabling financial independence for people with disabilities, advancing funding for housing families facing homelessness, or assisting with economic development projects, Chip involves himself in things that make a positive difference. 

In the community:

  • Hamilton County Board of Elections member
  • Current Board Member for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, People Working Cooperatively, Corporation for Findlay Market, goVibrant, and the African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Chairman of the Board for the National Down Syndrome Society
  • Former board member of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Magazine’s 300 of the Region’s Most Powerful Business Leaders, 2021-2022
  • Cincy Magazine Power 100, 2011-2022