On April 15, it will be 100 days since Cincinnati mayor Aftab Pureval and most members of Cincinnati City Council took office.
During the April 13 council meeting, Pureval noted the milestone, saying that the city was on the path to growth. Pureval won a decisive victory during the Nov. 2 general election after his campaign focused on affordable housing, economic growth, public safety and climate change.
"Our overwhelming mandate was to chart a new future for our city now, and in our first 100 days, we have stepped up and taken immediate action to begin that important work," Pureval said during the meeting, echoing what he had said in November when he announced his incoming administration's transition team.
Pureval was sworn into office on Jan. 4 as Cincinnati's first new mayor in eight years as well as the city's first Asian-American mayor. In December, he resigned from his position as clerk of courts for Hamilton County, where he had been since 2017. Before that, he was an associate with the international law firm White & Case, a special assistant United States attorney and counsel for global beauty care at Procter & Gamble.
Pureval replaced former mayor John Cranley, who ended his second and final term in December. Cranley is now campaigning to become Ohio’s governor, joining current Governor Mike DeWine, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and others in the race.
Likewise, an almost entirely new Cincinnati City Council was sworn in alongside Pureval in January, marking a historic moment. Voters elected newcomers Reggie Harris, Meeka D. Owens, Victoria Parks, Scotty Johnson, Jeff M. Cramerding and Mark Jeffreys in November, with only Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Greg Landsman and Liz Keating returning to their previous council seats. The 2021 race for Cincinnati City Council was one of the largest in the city’s history, with 35 candidates running for nine seats at two-year terms.
Pureval subsequently selected Lemon Kearney as vice mayor. Kearney had been appointed to Cincinnati City Council in 2020 after Tamaya Dennard was arrested on corruption charges and later resigned, and the vice mayor retained her seat during November's election.
"In just 100 days, we have stepped up and delivered results for our residents," Pureval said during the council meeting. "We transitioned in a new mayor, a majority-new council, a new interim city manager, a new interim police chief and a new health commissioner — a new city government. And right out of the gate, we rolled up our sleeves and focused on getting things done."
"Taking action on our zoning, deconcentrating poverty and desegregating our city, addressing the changing economy and the coming deficit by finding innovative ways to help our city adapt and grow — these are big existential undertakings," he continued. "But with these public servants and a community that is ready to work with us, I am confident that the future we are building will be one we will all be proud of. The new future is now."
Pureval highlighted what he said are some of the city's accomplishments from the past 100 days, including:
- establishing the council's first fully focused housing committee and environmental committee
- procuring resources and equitably distributing COVID-19 tests, vaccines and other protective measures
- enabling a convention center development district
- redeveloping downtown's former Macy's department store building into housing
- enticing Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to remain in Cincinnati and add more jobs
- building $4 million worth of earned media for city tourism during the Cincinnati Bengals' Super Bowl LVI run
- allocating more than $1 million in new funding for fire and emergency resources
- creating community-based initiatives to address youth violence
- investing $1 million in federal funds for new pedestrian safety measures
- adding to an affordable housing trust fund and streamlined ways to get state funding
- planning for a comprehensive audit of the city's tax abatement structure
- relaunching the Green Cincinnati Plan
- continuing to develop a connected bicycle infrastructure network
Watch Pureval address the council during the April 13 meeting.