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New Cincinnati city leadership is diverse, history-making

cincinnati city council 2021.jpg
Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 03, 2021

CINCINNATI — On Tuesday, Cincinnatians chose nine city council members and a new mayor who they believe will help lead the city into brighter horizons.

The group elected is diverse, comprised of four women, three of whom are Black, two Black men, one of whom is gay, and three white men.

Aftab Pureval, Cincinnati's new mayor, is the first Asian-American elected to the office in the history of Cincinnati.

"People want leaders reflective of them," said Meeka Owens, newly elected council member. "They want people that come from the community. They want people that will be in the community and stay there and not just at election time."

The new council is also comprised of eight Democrats and one Republican: Liz Keating, who was appointed in 2020 after PG Sittenfeld took a temporary leave following his arrest on federal charges.

Only Greg Landsman had been elected to the position of city council before Tuesday.

"We can't put our heads in the sand and act like now that we have a diverse council everything is good," said Scotty Johnson, newly elected council member. "We've got to be willing to address disparities, be honest, be courageous, meet it head-on."

The new council already has common priorities in mind, ranging from affordable housing to calming gun violence, particularly among youths.

"I believe this is a group of leaders that will get those things done and do it in a way that people are like 'I like that group, they are working together, they are not fighting,'" said Greg Landsman.

The group already has a head start on plans; for eight months, the eight Democrats elected have met regularly on Saturdays to discuss policy and embrace differences of opinion.

"We don't all come from the same background," said Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney. "We don't have the same experiences...it's a good look because Cincinnati, we have that reputation of being segregated."