Dwight Tillery. Photo provided

By The Honorable Dwight Tillery

Former Cincinnati Mayor

Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld shared with me his letter to the editor of the Enquirer regarding Judge Nadel’s letter being critical of the Health Gap. I asked if I could share it with my readership:

“I write to suggest respectfully a very different response to the proposed level of support for senior services than that offered by Hamilton County Recorder Norbert Nadel in his Sept. 10th Letter to the Editor.

First, over 95 percent of the funds from the levy are going to the Council on Aging to administer the Elderly Services Program, helping vulnerable seniors receive support such as home delivered meals, homecare assistance, and transportation.

Second, Mr. Nadel’s opposition is even more indefensible if one reads the Urban League’s 2015 report “The State of Black Cincinnati.’’ This alarming report highlights the fact, among others, that African American men in Cincinnati live a full decade less than their White male counterparts.

Mr. Nadel’s attack on an organization such as the Center for Closing the Health Gap, which exists precisely to help address such unacceptable disparities, is worrisome at best. Supporters of The Center include leaders like UC Health CEO Rick Lofgren, Christ Hospital CEO Mike Keating, and every single elected official at City Hall. Mr. Nadel, I’d be glad to have you join me to deliver Meals on Wheels or to share with you a copy of the Urban League’s report, and to continue the conversation.”

Firstly, I want to thank Councilmember Sittenfeld for his thoughtful letter. Secondly, I was quite surprise that Judge Nadel saw fit to attack The Center of which he, like others, know very little to nothing about. As an attorney and judge for many years, I thought he would at least get the facts (other than the newspaper) before issuing his decision. The senior levy is designed to help all seniors living in the county of which many are Black and make up a large part of the population we serve specifically. Furthermore, without the voting by many Black seniors – who support the Health Gap’s work – this levy would not pass.

I’m saddened by Judge Nadel’s decision to join the bandwagon in issuing disparaging attacks on the Health Gap, but I guess it’s the “Trump” effect.

Judge Nadel, I invite you to come to the Center to see our work and meet the people we serve.


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