A year ago, WCPO launched an editorial board

The purpose: to advocate for the community

A year ago, WCPO launched a project to advocate for the community we report on.

Launching an editorial board was an unusual move for a TV and digital news enterprise. But we think we have a responsibility to do more than report the news. We also need to help our viewers and readers make sense of the news, make sense of their communities and sort out the volume of information that’s out there.

With a team of people composed of some of WCPO’s senior managers, as well as engaged members of the community, and using our reporting and independent research, we’ve taken committed stands on important issues over the past year. Our goal is not to stand on the left or right of any issue, but to figure out what is best for our region and to advocate for that. Looking back, these have been nine of our most well-read editorials.

Some of our most debated editorials have been about the region’s growing heroin epidemic.

We called for a new way of viewing heroin addiction, as a disease, rather than as a moral failing.

We advocated for communities to set up needle exchanges to prevent the spread of disease and to give heroin users a portal to treatment.

And we urged Ohio Gov. John Kasich to declare an emergency over the heroin and pain pill problem to free up money and manpower.

Two local issues on the ballot last fall were hotly debated. We urged a “no” vote on the plan to fully legalize marijuana in Ohio, a plan that would have profited a small group of investors. Most voters agreed, and sent the issue to defeat.

We liked the plan to raise taxes to support, improve and expand Cincinnati’s parks. But most of you didn’t, and the parks levy lost.

The problem of gun violence on our streets is an ongoing subject. When two children were caught in the crossfire, we demanded action.

When a UC police officer was charged with shooting and killing a man after a traffic stop, we pushed for answers and more information from those in power investigating the incident.

And when an assault weapon was used to kill 49 people at a nightclub in Florida, we pressed our members of Congress to take a stand on the divisive issue.

Our editorials aren’t always about life and death issues, but we hope they are always about things people here care about. Like Pete Rose. When it looked like the hometown boy might get back in the good graces of Major League Baseball, we prodded the baseball commissioner to free Pete.

And when he didn’t, we called attention to baseball’s apparent double standard when it comes to the Hit King.

We’ll keep advocating for our community and for each other. We know you won’t always agree, but we hope you’ll always be part of the conversation.

Here are the members of the editorial board:

David Holthaus, WCPO.com managing editor, opinion and engagement

Pat Bready, independent consultant

Jeff Brogan, WCPO general manager

Mike Canan, WCPO.com editor

Libby Cunningham, WCPO social media producer

Gino McGowens, African-American Chamber of Commerce

Mona Morrow, WCPO community affairs director

Dave Peterson, vice president, general manager WCPO.com

Kevin Wright, executive director, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation

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