Racial justice

Over the years we have seen the harsh realities of systemic racism and the glaring flaws in our criminal justice system. While no verdict, new law, or change in policy will ever bring back George Floyd, Samuel DuBose, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Timothy Thomas, Emmett Till, or anyone else whose lives have been lost from systemic racism, the lessons we collectively learned and the changes we did make are hopeful steps towards progress and justice. When I was a Hamilton County Commissioner, I took the step of authoring the resolution declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis.

As I ran for Cincinnati City Council two years ago, I released my Racial Justice Plan. In it, I focused on seven policy goals I aimed to work toward during my term. In my time on Council, the city has made serious progress on all seven. Listed below are all seven goals and the progress we have made:

  1. Active Bystander Training: In early 2022, the Cincinnati Police started to use Active Bystander Training for their officers. Active Bystander Training teaches officers to step in when they see misconduct, even if it is by one of their superiors. My goal for my next term is to have Cincinnati Police start to use the ABLE/EPIC program, which is an Active Bystander Training program with a track record of success all across the country
  2. Expanding Economic Equity: Over the last two years, the city has made tremendous progress in supporting minority and women contractors, giving economic opportunity to those who were traditionally denied it. We have also worked to increase equity in the city’s hiring, removing artificial barriers and reaching out to underserved communities with job opportunities.
  3. Creating an Anti-Racist Culture: After some Cincinnati officers were caught using racial slurs while on the job, Council created a zero-tolerance program for city employees who use racist language. While there is still much work to be done creating an anti-racist culture, this was an important step in fighting injustice.
  4. Crisis Intervention Training: In May 2022, the city created the Alternative Response to Crisis (ARC) program, which dispatches a Behavioral Health Clinician and paramedic to low-risk mental health police calls. This has been a great success, helping the citizens in crisis and saving the police time and resources to dedicate to responding to crime. In my next term, I hope to expand the ARC program to help even more people in need.
  5. Adequately Fund Public Safety Reforms: Council made sure to fully fund the Citizen Complaint Authority and the Collaborative Agreement in both 2022 and 2023. On Council, I will continue to support those programs anyway I can.
  6. Community-based Violence Intervention: We supported programs that reach out directly to teens at high risk of violence and give them opportunities and resources to keep them away from violence. This was through a variety of programs, most prominently the Urban League’s Community Partnering Program.
  7. Get Serious About Affordable Housing: Increasing access to Affordable Housing has been my highest priority on Council. While there is still work to be done, I am proud to have increased funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and supported numerous affordable housing developments all across the city. Over the next two years, I will work even more to remove the barriers to creating housing and work to give even more people access to comfortable homes.