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Event Details

Thursday, April 15

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Throughout the past year, our country has experienced a multitude of challenges. From the Coronavirus global health pandemic and the looming economic recession it caused, to nationwide calls for racial equity and justice that manifested in our streets, we have collectively been through a lot. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, there is still hope for the future. We have a vaccine, and many policy plans in the works to bring about substantial change. Mayor Cranley will reflect on how he and the City of Cincinnati Administration navigated through these tough times, and what opportunities are on the horizon that brings him to hope for better days.

Mayor John Cranley '96 believes that being part of something bigger than oneself is how to lead a meaningful life. Inspired by family and faith, Mayor Cranley believes that public service should prioritize the common good and help those who are in need. Those are the values that he and his wife Dena are passing to their son Joseph, and the values that guide him as mayor.

Mayor Cranley’s top priorities include jobs, safety, inclusion, reducing poverty, improving neighborhoods and protecting the environment. Since taking office in late 2013, he has helped bring more than 6,100 new jobs to Cincinnati; added officers to the street which has led to lower crime; added firefighters which effectively ended “brownouts” in the Fire Department; resolved the city’s pension crisis; approved a multi-year plan to repave and repair deteriorating roads; implemented a major anti-poverty program, the Hand Up Initiative; and is leading an effort to invest in solar energy to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Mayor Cranley created the City’s first Office of Economic Inclusion & Minority Contracting, aimed at increasing the number of minority firms awarded city contracts. In its first year of operation, the department increased spending with minority-owned businesses from $4 million dollars to $11 million dollars.

Under his leadership, Cincinnati continues to make huge strides towards equality for all. Cincinnati has been recognized as one of the nation’s most immigrant-friendly cities, ranking 18th, and for the fifth year in a row received a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign.

Determined to leave our planet safer for future generations, Mayor Cranley has been a leader fighting climate change. Citywide emissions are down 18%, and the city is close to breaking ground on a 25-megawatt solar array to reduce Cincinnati’s carbon footprint. Just recently, the city was awarded an American Cities Climate Challenge grant.

In 2002, Mayor Cranley co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project, an organization that has exonerated and freed 28 wrongfully convicted people through the use of DNA technology. He has also worked as a real estate developer and attorney.

Mayor John Cranley grew up in the Price Hill neighborhood and attended St. William Elementary School and St. Xavier High School. He has earned degrees from John Carroll University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School. He and his family reside in Hyde Park.

Don Suopis ’70 devoted his life to public service.  His political foundations were influenced by his time at JCU and he had a wide range of interests, views and political leanings.  He was an avid reader of history, political theory, philosophy, and fiction.  In his views, he made up his mind where he stood but was always extremely interested in the arguments and points of people who disagreed with him.  In our polarized country, this approach is important to our civic cohesion and to finding our way forward together.  His sister Cindy Suopis endowed this lecture series so the campus community can hear from different speakers, so our students can make up their minds, and so we may always learn from other perspectives.