CINCINNATI (WKRC) - After losing thousands of residents, Cincinnati's population is now back over 300,000. Mayor John Cranley says that growth coupled with increased tax revenues is a miracle.
“The torch of that comeback is growing brighter every day and spreading opportunity as it marches forward,” said Cranely. “Since 2013, we have added over 1,000 businesses and increased tax receipts by $51 million.”
The mayor touted this growth at his annual State of the City address at Memorial Hall Wednesday night. It's welcome news to the president of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
“The momentum builds on itself. At the chamber, we are taking hold of every opportunity we have -- small, medium and big -- and just elevating those to the highest degree we can,” said Jill Meyer.
While there's business growth, the mayor says there's still more work to do to lift Cincinnatians out of poverty. He's renaming the Childhood Poverty Collaborative "Cincinnati LIFT" while also claiming 6,000 people have been lifted out of poverty in the last year. Some of the mayor's critics question that number.
“It’s not that a greater number of families have actually come up out of poverty and have a greater family income,” said Michelle Dillingham, a community organizer. “It may be that they’ve been displaced and moved out and that wealthier families are moving into our city.”
The mayor also touched on climate change, gun violence and public transit issues -- problems he says need to be addressed to complete the so-called comeback.
“I believe that the march for our ideals in our time starts in local communities, and I can’t think of a better place that is showing more promise than Cincinnati," said Cranley.
Cranley also made several endorsements Wednesday night. He's supporting Issue 22, which is a two-part charter amendment that would raise money for the Metro bus system. Cranley also says he's working to pass a statewide referendum to mandate universal background checks.