Cincinnati is heading to the White House again.
Mayor Aftab Pureval will join other Ohio mayors and community leaders in Washington D.C. on Sept. 7 to discuss how recent federal actions and funds have affected Cincinnati projects. The gathering will be the first installment of the Biden-harris administration's Communities in Action: Building a Better America initiative, which aims to showcase how regions are improving due to legislation.
"I am honored that top White House officials requested Cincinnati’s representation at its 'Communities in Action: Building a Better America” effort,' Pureval says in a Sept. 6 release. "The crucial American Rescue Plan funds, and the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued support, have not only kept us afloat, but have allowed Cincinnatians to thrive, moving us closer to the equitable economy we desire for future generations."
In addition to Pureval, mayors and elected officials from Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Youngstown will be at the event. Similar events will be held for officials from other states.
Since 2020, U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has pumped trillions of dollars into national and regional relief and projects through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the American Rescue Plan Act and other initiatives. Metros have used their allotments of these funds for COVID-19 vaccination efforts, general public health initiatives, transportation projects, housing relief, business boosts, corporate recruitment and job creation, among other things.
The CHIPS and Science Act, which Biden signed early in August, "seeks to bolster the US semiconductor supply chain and promote research and development of advanced technologies in the United States," an Aug. 12 release from the White House says.
Pureval says that Cincinnati is using funds from that initiative to "build sites to capitalize on the Intel deal and attract high tech manufacturing to Cincinnati," referring to Intel choosing to build its new semi-conductor facilities near Columbus. He also says that the Brent Spence Bridge and Western Hills Viaduct projects also can benefit from a federal boost.
Pureval will speak during a panel at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 7, with the White House streaming the event.
The mayor has spoken to the White House administration a number of times, including in May when he was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with other officials. With Tibetan and Indian parents, Pureval is Cincinnati's first Asian-American mayor.
Biden and his administration have visited Greater Cincinnati a number of times over the last two years, including a stop at United Performance Metals in Hamilton in May to meet with manufacturing leaders. Biden also visited Cincinnati in 2021 for a televised town hall hosted by CNN. The event was held at Mount St. Joseph University, which raised the ire of some conservatives because of the university's Catholic foundation and Biden's Catholic upbringing but pro-choice abortion stance.
Also in 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris met with former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Cincinnati Metro officials about using public transit and other transportation initiatives as economic drivers. While in Cincinnati, Harris stopped by downtown's BlaCk Coffee Lounge to order a house "Wakanda" coffee (Wakanda is the fictional African country in Black Panther and other Marvel Comics/Marvel Entertainment properties).