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Hamilton County Commissioner (term commencing 1/2/2021)

Salary: $96,000Term: 4 yearsResponsibilities: Exercises financial control of County expenditures; authorizes public works; purchases land and buildings; lets contracts; plans and administers welfare. The Board of County Commissioners also appoints other officials to operate various departments within the county.

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    Andy Black
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Herman J. Najoli

  • Candidate picture

    Alicia Reece
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

How would you develop a constructive partnership between Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati? (500 character limit)

What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area? (500 character limit)

What would you do to improve storm water management and lead abatement? (500 character limit)

What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community? (500 character limit)

Twitter @Black4Commish
Occupation Senior Vice President
Education Miami University (Oxford, OH), B.A. Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY), M.B.A.
Experience Nearly 20 years of private sector experience has prepared me to take on the critical tasks of balancing our county's budget, as well as generating economic growth and job creation.
Political Philosophy There is no better place to live in this country than Hamilton County. This community has provided so much for me, and I can't imagine growing my business and raising my kids anywhere else. Having given me so much, I feel the responsibility to give back. We are presented with so many opportunities and a bright future for our community - we just need the right leadership to propel us into an era of growth and success. Visit www.BlackForHamiltonCounty.com to learn more.
Endorsements Congressman Brad Wenstrup
Affliations Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club; Hamilton County Republican Party Leadership Council; Portman for Senate Campaign & Chabot for Congress Campaign.
It has become clear that the relationship between the city and the county has deteriorated significantly, which only serves to stifle our ability to grow. We’ve seen this when it comes to MSD and now most recently as it relates to the Banks project. It is my belief that new leadership and a fresh perspective is required to get this relationship back on track and I would propose setting up a joint strategic planning committee comprised of key elected officials and staff.
Economic growth of Hamilton County is at the center of my campaign. At this moment, Hamilton County is in the midst of a financial crisis that has been exacerbated due to COVID-19. In order for us to get our budget back on track and inspire growth, we need to fundamentally change how we look at our county finances. A big part of this is getting underutilized assets, such as Paul Brown Stadium, off the county books so we have resources to invest in infrastructure and other core services.
We have a Storm Water District and oversight committee, but this group lacks funding of any significance to take on projects beyond inspection and maintenance of the program. I would push for a level of funding to initiate the creation of plans for addressing water quality especially for new and redevelopment projects. We cannot be caught flat-footed if and when federal regulations are enacted to require quality improvements. Once we have a plan, we will the establish priorities moving forward.
It is clear that our community and our nation is engaged in a dialogue about what our society should look like moving forward. I believe that as a commissioner, the most effective thing I can do is create an environment where people of all backgrounds feel safe and have opportunities to succeed. By unlocking funds currently committed to the maintenance and operations of underutilized facilities owned by the county (e.g. Paul Brown Stadium), we will have the ability to invest in our community.
Twitter @DrNajoli
Occupation As an educator, I teach International Business and Global Issues at Indiana Wesleyan University. As a public servant, I serve the developmentally disabled and homeless. In 2015 I won the CBC Forty Under 40 award. I am a father, friend, and futurist.
Education I have a Bachelor of Arts degree - Economics and Commerce (Nairobi U., 2000); two Masters degrees - Organizational Leadership (Regent U., 2004) and Advanced Leadership Studies (IWU, 2009); and Doctoral degree – Organizational Leadership (IWU, 2012).
Experience Serving students for over 20 years shaped my humility and empathy. Serving the developmentally disabled and homeless for over 15 years refined my resilience and maturity. Serving as a coach for the past 5 years shaped my authenticity and niceness.
Political Philosophy Basic to all solutions is the need for a new way of thinking that is wisdom-based. Hamilton County needs a new voice that will bring the voices of common residents into County government. My doctoral study researched 193 carefully selected leaders and discovered that wisdom and citizenship behavior are related. As Commissioner, I will call for us to move forward in creating jobs, be first in safety, and lead into the future. I am Independent and not beholden to any political party interests.
Endorsements I am fiercely Independent - the first Nonpartisan to ever make it to the ballot for Commissioner in Hamilton County's 230-year history. I will serve all of Hamilton County and not cherry-pick groups or unions like a career politician. I am a leader of all people. I submitted 6,847 signatures for this current run for office. No one else has ever done that. Party candidates submit only 50 signatures. I value the voices of the common people on the streets who signed my petitions. I will serve all.
Affliations Serving on the Hamilton County Tax Incentive Review Commission (TIRC) since January 2019. Served on the WCPO Community Advisory Board for two years. Soccer coach and volunteer (Athletic Association, Education Commission, PTO, Fish fry, Festivals) at St. William School Parish. Soccer coach at St. Lawrence School. Basketball coach at St. William. Track and Field Coach at St. Catherine. West End Pride Youth Soccer Coach for FC Cincinnati. Parent Ambassadors for the Cincinnati Squash Academy (CSA). Winner of the Forty Under 40 Award (September 2015) hosted by the Cincinnati Business Courier (CBC). Devoted father and shepherd to two awesome kids (Son, 14 and daughter, 11). Leader of relief missions to Kenya with my wife of 16 years through Maisha Bora (Better Life), a family initiative supported by numerous friends.
As I crisscrossed the county petitioning for signatures, I heard repeatedly from many that we deserve a better government. Our residents recognize that government is supposed to be for the people, of the people, and by the people. I have outlined a very comprehensive, downloadable plan at drnajoli.com/platform. In a nutshell, it is an audacious effort branded BETGOV – a combination of the words ‘better’ and ‘government’ for Brilliance, Efficiency, Transparency, Growth, Ownership, and Vision.
I will propose a Hamilton Entrepreneurial & Economic Drive (HEED). It will have two vibrant components: 1. I will champion entrepreneurship through the creation of an Office of Resident Advancement through Networked Growth, Entrepreneurial Creativity, and Investment in Neighborhoods for Commercial Innovation (ORANGECINCI). 2. I will advance a groundbreaking initiative to be named Hamilton Economic Reinvestment Action for Local Disbursement (HERALD). See my platform agenda: drnajoli.com/planks
I have stated clearly that the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) must be transformed into a Major Success Demonstration (MSD). See my 5-point SEWER strategy by searching YouTube for 'Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) VERGE’. Lead, particularly in home environments, is an emergency scenario. I will ensure that we are prepared for every kind of unique scenario by unleashing my Standards, Education, Responsiveness, Volunteers, Execution (SERVE) plan. Search YouTube for ‘Emergency Management VERGE’.
I will fight for people living dangerously on society’s margins through a County Office for Regional Research on Eliminating Causative Tendencies in Individuals with Vulnerability Experiences (CORRECTIVE). I will bring comfort, relief, and hope in a gentler and compassionate manner. I will use arts and culture to transform community development through the nation’s first ever Commissioner’s Union for Robust Artistic & Cultural Yearning (CURACY). I will establish a SEVEN HILLS LAB (drnajoli.com).
Twitter @aliciareece
Occupation Marketing Consultant Community Developer Radio Producer/Host
Education Graduate- Withrow High School International Studies Academy BS in Mass Communications from Grambling State University
Experience Cincinnati City Council & Vice Mayor OH State Representative Deputy Director OH Tourism Dept Pres OH Legislative Black Caucus Founder, OH Voters Bill of Rights Amendment Radio Host & Producer Marketing and Branding Consultant
Political Philosophy To work to achieve Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream - a world where everyone has an equal and fair opportunity at the American Dream I want our county to be vibrant, affordable, safe, fair, and inclusive
Endorsements Laborers 265 Afscme Council 8 Equality Cincinnati Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Senator Cecil Thomas, Women Political Caucus Pres. Barbara Myers, Former Mayors Mark Mallory, Charlie Luken, Former Congressman David Mann, Lincoln Heights Mayor Ruby Kinsey Mumphrey, Woodlawn Mayor Brian Poole, Forest Park Mayor Charles Johnson, School Board Members Harriet Russel, Ryan Messer, & Mike Morowski, OH Reps. Sedrick Denson & Cathy Ingram, Councilman Greg Landsman
Affliations Democrat Party
As someone who served three terms on City Council, I am familiar with how city government operates and personally know many of the people currently serving on council. This gives me a unique perspective to see situations from both sides in disputes. Also, while I was a state representative, I had a reputation for reaching across the aisle to work with my GOP colleagues. I understand the need to respect diverse voices and the importance of looking for common ground so all sides have an impact.
The coronavirus has had a severe impact on all of us. Our priorities must be to help people with food and shelter, while assisting businesses to regain stability and expand jobs. We need a comprehensive pro-growth agenda that provides relief to struggling citizens while rewarding work, small businesses and economic development. Over the years, I helped expand the convention center and build the MLK interchange. I will bring together support for similar transformative projects in the future.
Residents are tired of politicians bickering while their homes are flooded. City and county officials must remember their first priority is to help residents, not protect their turf. As commissioner, I would convene a task force representing all sides in the stormwater dispute and give it a deadline to issue recommendations. For lead abatement, the Ohio EPA has innovative programs to remove lead from childcare centers. I would work with the governor to expand these efforts.
I have always been a champion for justice and racial equity. As the president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, I was able to work with a bipartisan group of elected officials, community leaders, and chiefs of police to get an executive order from the governor for establishing use of force standards statewide. We must now enact these policies into law to show we are serious about reform. Accountability is essential to rebuilding trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the community