The Mann Plan: Lifting Up Black Cincinnati

The Urban League’s landmark report – The State of Black Cincinnati, TWO CITIES— documented the significant and distressing racial disparities which are a part of everyday life for Black Cincinnatians.  The Report details the continuing huge disparities in poverty; minority-owned businesses; life expectancy; infant mortality; education; childhood poverty; home ownership; criminal justice issues; unemployment; and so on.

David Mann has a long track record of fighting for equity in our city.  He served as Mayor with the first African American City Manager, Sylvester Murray.  He was Mayor when the federal consent decree was entered into requiring Black and female representation in police recruit classes and in promotions to Sergeant.  The consent decree was later expanded to promotions to Lieutenant and Captain

COVID-19 Response

  • David understands that opportunities are severely limited without economic development, and the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the African American community. Nearly 30% of Black-owned small businesses in Cincinnati faced devastating losses during these unprecedented times.
  • As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, David advocated explicitly for organizations that support the African American community when determining where to allocate pandemic relief funding. David’s experience negotiating city budgets has prepared him to ensure that Black Cincinnati will receive economic support in order to lift up the community.

Economic Growth

  • In 2015, Black-owned enterprises made up 18.3% of all businesses in Cincinnati, a staggeringly low percentage compared to peer cities that we look to for diversity benchmarks. We must expand the opportunities for African Americans in our City to build their businesses, paving the way to the American Dream. Growing Black wealth also includes breaking down barriers to homeownership for African Americans, especially in areas that are still feeling the foreclosure effects of the 2008 recession.
  • While on City Council, David fought to raise the minimum wage of city employees and those working under contracts with the City of Cincinnati, ensuring these workers a livable wage. In addition, David worked closely with minority owned businesses and workers’ rights organizations in combating wage theft and continues to advocate for enhanced funding to enforce the city ordinance. As Mayor, David will continue these efforts and work to raise the minimum wage for all workers in Cincinnati.


  • Throughout his career, David has become a champion of education. As Co-Chair of the Preschool Promise Committee, he worked diligently to ensure all children, regardless of background, are offered full educational opportunities from a young age. This thriving program has transformed pathways for much of Cincinnati’s youth.
  • David is dedicated to addressing the racial disparities in Cincinnati Public School’s responses to student misconduct. According to a recent study, Black students at Cincinnati Public Schools are five times more likely to face disciplinary measures than their white counterparts. As Mayor, David will work with CPS to reform disciplinary measures and foster equity for all students.

Police Relations

  • David believes that in order to address and continue to improve the relationship between Black Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Police Department, the City must remain committed to the Collaborative Agreement. More broadly, the City must work hard to achieve continuing improvement in our policing. David supports the Citizens Complaint Authority (CCA), charged with independently investigating citizen complaints with respect to police conduct.
  • The heart of the Collaborative Agreement is a strong commitment to community based problem solving. This approach works because it draws on engagement of community leaders in addressing police problems.

Environmental Health

  • David is passionate about making sure every child and resident of the City of Cincinnati is given the resources to succeed particularly by addressing the issue of food insecurity and food deserts. In 2019, following two years of careful review, David successfully championed an initiative to ​revise the City’s zoning code to be more permissive of urban agriculture. This initiative provides business owners and residents greater access to fresh, healthy food within food deserts.
  • In older cities like Cincinnati, issues of lead pipes and paint pose serious health risks that often disproportionately impact the African American community. Making necessary infrastructure changes affordable and accessible is one of David’s primary concerns. As Mayor, David will work to see that all Cincinnati residents can live in safe, healthy homes.

Life Expectancy

  • Often resulting from environmental health concerns, the difference in life expectancy for residents of predominantly Black neighborhoods in Cincinnati compared to white neighborhoods is staggering, in some cases nearly 20 years. This difference in the length of life is unacceptable. While in office, David will partner with community and government organizations to ensure that all Cincinnatians are given resources needed to eliminate these health inequalities.

The Future

David recognizes that while our City has made significant progress over the last few years to lift up Black Cincinnati, we still have work to do. As Mayor, David will continue to make tangible, necessary changes across Cincinnati furthering his commitment to create a city that works for all.