John Cranley is serving his second term as mayor of the City of Cincinnati, and was a member of Cincinnati City Council from 2000 – 2009. His top priorities include jobs, safety, inclusion, reducing poverty, improving neighborhoods and protecting the environment.
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 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.
1. How do you think the Uptown Innovation Corridor’s inclusion in the Brookings Institution’s “Rise of the Innovation Districts” list will impact growth in the Corridor and in the region’s innovation economy?
Inclusion in the Brookings Institution’s list is a tremendous win for the Uptown Innovation Corridor as it will raise the national profile of our City and region. Investors, developers, and researchers all around our country have now been briefed on the opportunities that exist in Cincinnati, particularly in the Corridor, and are welcomed and encouraged to get engaged in our growth. I am excited about this listing.
2. Having been involved since the early days of planning, what do you think was the most important element in the Corridor’s creation?
The vision and construction of the I-71 MLK Interchange was a catalyst for the development happening around the innovation district. For decades this section of our city was overlooked because of the limited access it had to connect to other parts of the city. Starting the movement to build an interchange opened investment opportunities in the Uptown core and provided the jumpstart for the creation of the Corridor.
3. Where do you see the Corridor in five years?
The combination of students, small businesses, major hospitals, and a tier-one research university all co-located in the same neighborhood is a recipe for major success. The 1819 Innovation Hub already houses businesses like Kroger, P&G, CincyTech, Worldpay, and continues to grow. Bringing together corporations, nonprofits, and students is a driving force for our community. I believe we will keep attracting partnerships and collaborative opportunities as more people realize the potential that exists here. Five years from now we will have a national model to showcase what happens when public and private entities come together to work for the greatest good.
4. What do you believe is the City’s role in the continued growth of the Corridor?
To encourage and attract a robust talent pipeline while preserving inclusion and community development in the area. By fostering the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in the continued development of the corridor, we will ensure the community feels connected and engaged. All of this can be achieved by continuing to include the neighbors and businesses already living and working in the Uptown area in future development.
5. What is the single most important thing our region can do to attract and retain talent?
Jobs and a growing tax base are the contributors that lead to a growing population. We must continue to say yes to major projects like the Uptown Innovation Corridor that prioritizes innovation and growth so that individuals with the knowledge and skillset to fill those jobs will continue to come and start a life here.