Biden arrives to Cincy as Urban League Conference begins
The Vice Presidential motorcade leaving Lunken. (FOX19)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -
Vice President Joe Biden's Air Force Two arrived to Lunken Airport Wednesday night hours before he's set to be the keynote speaker at a major conference this week in Cincinnati.
Biden will make an appearance at the National Urban League Conference Thursday morning. The Queen City is proud to have the conference in town after it was passed as host city a decade ago when riots swept the streets of downtown.
"I think Cincinnati worked to confront those challenges, made a very compelling case and that case is why we're back," said Marc Morial, Urban League President.
Since then, downtown is booming with the revitalization of the Banks, OTR, and more transit options on the way.
But Marc Morial says the work isn't all done. An Urban League study found that between 2005 and 2009 nearly 14,000 people were below the poverty line in Cincinnati and almost 80 percent were African American.
"When you have large portions of young men with no outlet and no hope, with no chance to earn a legitimate dollar, it means that gangs and violence become attractive," said Morial.
Morial says while we aren't dealing with nearly as many racial crime issues, there's still economic disparity between races. Similar data shows the disparity between white and blacks when it comes to unemployment.
"What's important is connecting those who are locked out and left out to those opportunities," said Morial.
The study also shows that Cincinnati has one of the largest gaps in the nation between average income whites and blacks. Councilman Charlie Winburn says having this conference gives the city more opportunity to have dialogue about these issues of inequality.
"I think Cincinnati has become more socially aware, more socially aware of who they are, and who were are and I think now we're able to manage our relationships," said Councilman Winburn.
The theme of the conference is "One Nation Underemployed: Bridges to Jobs and Justice." Vice President Biden will speak at the opening plenary at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will speak at a town hall meeting on Friday.