CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19 called Cincinnati City Council Candidate Kevin Johnson to ask him our five questions for city council candidates. Johnson is one of 21 candidates vying for 9 spots on the Cincinnati City Council in the November 2013 election. His responses are below.
Tell us about yourself.
Johnson is a lifelong Cincinnatian who currently lives in the West End. He grew up in Avondale, attended Hughes High School and Morehouse College where he majored in Political Science.
He is a small business owner. Johnson has worked in the corporate level for Kroger, served as campaign manager for Jason Riveiro and legislative aid for Laketa Cole.
Do you think privatized parking is a good idea?
Johnson is against privatizing our parking system. He doesn't believe the City of Cincinnati should sell those assets. He says in talking with business owners in several neighborhoods, he "hasn't met one small business owner that supports privatized parking."
Do you support the streetcar project?
Johnson says connecting the central business district with Uptown made sense initially, as originally proposed. After Governor Kasich took away $52 million in state money awarded by the previous administration, he believes Cincinnati pushed the streetcar "at all costs." Johnson does not support the project when basic city services are being neglected.
What do you think about the condition of our public schools?
Johnson believes we need to look at non-traditional ways to educate. He points out not every young person will pursue higher education, so there is a need to develop vocational programming. He also says many students within the system live in poverty, coming to school hungry and not willing to learn as a result. Johnson believes the schools need conflict resolution.
What do you think would make Cincinnati a better place to live?
"We'll have to be more inclusive and diverse," he says. Johnson believes the 52 neighborhoods are all unique but is calling for "One Cincinnati," as his motto reads.
Johnson believes when you look at the African American community, resources have not been distributed in a fair way. He says the city needs a policy that encourages diversity, and in doing so, it will create economic growth.
Read more about Kevin Johnson on his campaign website.