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A ‘Bold Cincinnati Comeback’

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By Jeff Pastor

Cincinnati City Councilman

Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor. Photo provided

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

These inspired words from the German writer and statesman Johann Goethe have special meaning today as Cincinnati prepares for a life after the coronavirus pandemic.

For many of Cincinnatians on the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus, this has and continues to be an exhausting and epic trial. Our healthcare, supply chain, public safety and service workers are owed a debt of gratitude that society simply cannot repay. For the rest of us, we have realized that nothing slows down the world quite like a pandemic. So, before we wake up from the stay at home mandates, let’s take a minute to dream. Dreams are important for all of us: for people, for families, and for cities.

As we comeback, I dream of a bright, new dawn from the darkness of the coronavirus.

A Bold Cincinnati Comeback befitting of our forefathers and foremothers and worthy of Cincinnatians yet to come. My fellow citizens, we have genius, power, and magic right here in Cincinnati. All we have to do is dream and begin.

Cincinnatians have dreamt of new futures before. From the pioneers, immigrants and freedmen who settled and built Cincinnati into the first American boomtown to Harriet Tubman and Levi Coffin who led the enslaved to freedom on the Underground Railroad, struggle is not new to this town. From William Procter, James Gamble and Bernard Kroger who created businesses many decades ago that have strengthened our city and our world to Dr. Sabin who created a cure for polio and Neil Armstrong who took one giant leap for mankind on the surface of the Moon, the future lives here in Cincinnati. We are an inclusive, innovative, creative future city.

And that future city, that Bold Comeback Cincinnati, is what we have a chance to create in a post-coronavirus world. With fresh eyes and renewed vigor, I am excited to work to build the future of Cincinnati.

Before the pandemic, our city was tracking over $1 billion in new development every year. From huge projects Downtown and Uptown to smaller, but just as important projects in our neighborhoods, Cincinnati was already coming back from decades of disinvestment and bad policy. 

To keep that growth going and knock the pandemic slowdown back, we cannot be timid. We must be bold as we do the following:

  • Adopt a “Can-Do” attitude to competitiveness by improving our transit, creating jobs, prioritizing education, and creating more housing
  • Collaborate across city and state lines and with state leadership in Columbus 
  • Remove barriers to entry into the economy for the disadvantaged and break the cycle of poverty and exclusion
  • Create clean, safe and walkable neighborhoods for families and people of all ages
  • Partner with higher education to attract, retain, and develop talent
  • Streamline regulatory processes to make Cincinnati the most small business-friendly in America
  • Pitch Cincinnati’s strengths on the world stage and make our case as the smartest and safest place to invest in America
  • Tell our world class story to the world

     This is my dream for a Bold Cincinnati Comeback.

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