By Dan Yount
The Cincinnati Herald
Tracie Nichols, who served on the City of North College Hill Council as clerk, as an elected in 2014, elected council president in 2017, was elected as the first African American mayor of the city in the November 5 city election. She also is the third woman to hold the northwest Hamilton County city’s top office.
She succeeds Maureen Mason, whose term as mayor expires December 31.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be elected,’’ Nichols said. “I realize there is a lot of growth and potential in North College Hill.’’
The community of about 9,000 is diverse, being 50% Black, 45% Black and 5 percent other races and ethnicities.
“I had given running for mayor some thought,’’ Nichols said. “However, in talking to former residents who had left the city and thought of returning, and in receiving encouragements from local students who wanted to stay in the city, I realized I could only help them as mayor. I want to bring these students and former residents back to North College Hill. Many citizens of our city who grow up here love it, and our students are our future.’’
I’m just elated and happy that the people chose me,” Nichols said. “I’m ready to go out and do great things.”
She says community recreational facilities and opportunities are a priority. The city’s former recreation center has declined, she said, and she would like for the city to find other property on which to re-establish the center and hire a full-time director.
Nichols also wants to pursue attracting economic development to the city, and looks to discussions to come up with ideas that generate additional funding for the city. “We have some great businesses here, but money, have some great businesses here, but we need to bring additional people into the community and increase revenue,’’ she said.
Nichols, who also works as board secretary at North College Hill High School, said running for mayor wasn’t her first choice. But it was talking to the students she works with that spurred her to run for fir the city’s top office.
“Some of the things that were important to them affect our community,” she said.
As mayor, Nichols says she plans to make North College Hill a model for neighborhoods across Cincinnati.
“We’re a family-oriented community. We want things for our residents in our community and to be able to bring people in and have them say, ‘They are doing this over in North College Hill. I want to be a part of that,’” she said.
And she has a message for young girls for the young girls looking up to her. “Be encouraged. Be yourself. Follow your heart. Let nothing stop you,” she tells them. One young girl told Nichols after the election that she is inspired by her to get her education and become a doctor, she said.
Nichols, 47, is the oldest of three girls and one boy. She has been married to Fred Nichols 23 years, and they gave three daughters ages 21, 20 and 17.