Mayor Cranley: City Is Growing Stronger
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is challenging city residents to give an hour for the city in 2018.
Cranley announced "Give One for Cincy" Tuesday night during his annual State of the City address at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine.
"If each of us gives just one hour a month, think of the extraordinary changes we can bring to our city," Cranley said. "Cumulatively our thousands of hours of service can make a positive difference, to our young people, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, and in all of our community,"
He suggested those efforts could include feeding those who otherwise would go without food, helping people to learn to read or teaching people skills to find jobs.
Cranley began his speech focusing on job growth and economic development. He noted a recent report found the city's regional economy now is the largest in Ohio behind Columbus and Cleveland. Cranley also highlighted the new Downtown Kroger, which is under construction, and the $550 million expansion of Children's Hospital Medical Center in Avondale.
Cranley offered praise for the city's Office of Performance of Data Analytics. He named that department's director, Leigh Tami, as the employee of the year.
"Previously many departments worked in silos and didn't speak to one another about their problems," Cranley said. "But now our innovation lab, which is literally a room where people come together, we bring together department heads and members of different departments, talking to each other to collaborate and solve important issues. "
Cranley credited the department with saving the city $3.3 million in the last year.
With Cranley facing a re-election challenge next month, the mayor rattled off a number of accomplishments since taking office in December 2013. Those include: ending fire department brownouts, putting more police officers on the street, balancing the budget, stabilizing the city's pension system, and reaching an agreement with Hamilton County leaders to change the management structure of the Metropolitan Sewer District.
Cranley also spoke about ongoing efforts to reduce shootings and the city's response to the region's heroin epidemic.
He highlighted projects currently underway or about to start with the $40 million committed to neighborhood projects. He cited a mixed-use development in Avondale, Westwood town square, and the Wasson Way bike trail.
The mayor promised to increase city efforts to combat climate change including committing the city to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
He also re-iterated his support for efforts to reduce the city's childhood poverty rate. That goal is to lift 10,000 children out of poverty.
This was Cranley's fourth State of the City address.
Council member Yvette Simpson is challenging Cranley in next month's mayor's race. She did not attend the event.