Three newly elected Cincinnati council members discuss their priorities

CINCINNATI - Reducing poverty, fighting crime and improving the region's bus system are tops on the to-do list of Cincinnati's newest council members.

Three were elected Tuesday to join six incumbents in determining the city's path the next four years.

Who are they?

Tamaya Dennard has been an aide to council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

Greg Landsman has been with the Strive Partnership.

Jeff Pastor has been a teacher and counselor.

All pledge to work together to tackle the city's biggest challenges.

Dennard finished sixth and Landsman seventh in Tuesday's election. Both have strong ideas about their new jobs.

“The first thing I want to do is make government more accessible to people,” said Dennard. “So, I want to move council times from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. so more people can engage with the government.”

“You've got to be inclusive and make sure that those who are most affected are involved,” said Landsman.

Pastor finished ninth in the race.

 “I always belief that there can be no political freedom until we first have economic freedom,” Pastor said.  

They will be sworn in on Jan. 2 to replace Yvette Simpson, who lost her bid for mayor; Charles Winburn, who was term limited, and Kevin Flynn, who didn't run for a second term.

Dennard's top priority is bus transportation.

“We need to look at how we can make our transportation system more equitable early on without costing more money,” Dennard said.

Landsman's eye is on the less fortunate.

“It's always going to be about children and families and for me — getting wages up, working with our employers to incentivize higher wages so we can lift families and children out of poverty.” 

Pastor's agenda will be much the same.

“We've always stated that we want to reduce poverty.  We always want to reduce crime.  We always want to reduce taxpayer cost.  It starts with a sound fiscal budget,” Pastor said. 

Those are many of the items on Mayor John Cranley's to-do list as well.

“I hope they will collaborate the way I always have, which is reach out to everybody, work with everybody,” Cranley said.

 Pastor was just 317 votes ahead of the 10th-place finisher, Michelle Dillingham, so the 1,147 provisional ballots in the city have to be counted. That will happen in about two weeks.

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