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  • Writer's pictureElaine Weatherby

Nov. 2nd Candidates to Consider for City Council in Cincinnati

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

If you’re a Cincinnati resident and registered to vote, this November, you have a chance to make some real change in the Queen City. There’s a city council election coming up on November 2nd and early voting has already begun. City council members oversee the city budget, they set taxes, regulate zoning laws (housing and school locations), and most importantly, they represent the city as a whole. Throughout the year, the Cincy Underground crew has participated in local events where we’ve engaged with residents and met city council candidates along the way. Here are the candidates we’ve spoken to who are running with a message of equality, equity, and change.

Candidate John Maher is a Northside native and an advocate for economic development, affordable housing and homeownership, which is important in-terms generational wealth, especially in the black community. As stated on his website, "He offers and advocates employment opportunities to minority-owned businesses and youth from the neighborhood. John Maher believes that one can battle systemic racism by whom you choose to work with and for and by paying them a livable wage. John understands the struggle of the working class. He knows that many of us are working hard to maintain what we have and many of us are struggling to stay afloat. John is not against corporations profiting but stands for the dignity of the working class. He supports raising the minimum wage and good-paying union jobs. John Maher is also an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist." Read more about him and his city goals at

Nick Jabin, according to NPR, is a Local “humanitarian activist. He provides direct aid and treatment to under-served individuals to help get their lives back on track, via case managers, landlords, and jobs and services.” In a recent Facebook video, Jabin shared how he thinks his campaign is going. He said, “This campaign is about the people falling in love with one another and learning to coexist. Most importantly, this campaign is about being happy and learning to be happy. Happiness is what I’m going to bring to Cincinnati and that’s how we’re going to start fixing and reshaping this city.” More information is at

LaKeisha Cook, a Westwood resident, is one of the few black women running for city council. Her focus in the campaign, are on five main issues: “affordable housing, public safety, youth engagement in collective impact initiatives and revitalizing neighborhoods.” She has worked at United Way of Greater Cincinnati as an associate of change, administering FEMA funds, analyzing corporate programs, and developing program goals. More about LaKeisha Cook can be found at

Donte Johnson is running for district court judge. He was raised in West End and Avondale, he’s an HBCU graduate, and has dedicated his career to seeking criminal and civil justice. He wants to change the bail and probation systems that are currently working against black and brown people. He also wants to work towards eliminating “racial disparities in the justice system by pushing for free, automatic, and retroactive expungements of marijuana related misdemeanors and other minor misdemeanors that prevent people from securing employment and housing.” Find more information about Donte Johnson at

Cincinnati Public Radio, WVXU provides a voter guide and complete list of Cincinnati council candidates along with their stances on current issues. You can find the article here.

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