Laketa Cole

On April 23, 2003, twenty-nine-year-old Laketa Cole became the first African-American woman appointed to serve on Cincinnati City Council.  In November of that same year,Cincinnati voters showed their strong approval of Ms. Cole's first six months in office, propelling her to a third place finish in a field of twenty-six candidates.   She had run once before as an independent candidate in 2001, narrowly missing the ninth council spot.

A native Cincinnatian and current Bond Hill resident, Ms. Cole is a graduate of the Cincinnati Public School system.  After receiving her diploma from Aiken High School in 1991, she attended Wittenberg University where she received a B.A. in Political Science.

Ms. Cole is a seasoned professional with a demonstrated track record.  A creative and dedicated civic leader, Ms. Cole brings her unbounded optimism, excellent management skills and an emphasis on neighborhood development to a young City Council.  Having worked as a Council Aide for several former councilmembers, she has developed extensive relationships with key neighborhood and civic leaders.   These relationships have allowed her to develop innovative solutions to community problems, and a special ability to relate to grassroots issues.  Extensive grassroots involvement has contributed to her leadership style that focuses on energizing others to empower themselves.  When speaking in the communities, Ms. Cole emphasizes the necessity of unity building and the need for government, businesses and residents to work together to achieve the common goal of a safe and livable city.
Before her appointment to Council in April of 2003, she held several positions at the Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation, working as the Public Relations Director and as Interim Director of Economic and Workforce Development.  Her professional experience also includes serving as the Chief of Staff for Councilmember Paul M. Booth, and as Legislative Assistant to former Mayor and Councilmember Dwight Tillery.  Prior to her stint as a Council Aide, Ms. Cole worked for Cincinnati Public Schools at Quebec Heights Elementary as a Teacher's Assistant for mentally and developmentally handicapped children.  She also spent time as a canvasser for Citizen Action, and as an intern for former Congressman Lucien Blackwell (D-PA) in Washington, D.C.   
Ms. Cole's civic involvement includes being an active member and volunteer for Bond Hill Community Council.  She is a member of the Grassroots Leadership Academy, the Martin Luther King, Co., and the Urban League Guild (an auxiliary of the Urban League).  She is a mentor for Cincinnati Youth Collaborative Services, a member of the League of Women Voters, the Women's Political Caucus, and is involved in a host of other organizations.  She is also an active member of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church where she frequently consults on community issues with Pastor Donald Jordan.
Ms. Cole has served in a variety of political capacities, and has assisted in numerous campaigns since 1994.  In 2000, she was Campaign Manager for John A. Smith, candidate for State Representative H. D. 36.  In 1999, she served as former Councilmember Paul Booth's Campaign Manager, and was Deputy Campaign Manager for former Mayor and Councilman Dwight Tillery in 1997.  She has served as a precinct executive, and spent two years as the Vice President of the Hamilton County Young Democrats.  Ms. Cole served on the nominating committee for 1999 School Board candidates, and on the nominating committee for 2000 Hamilton County Commissioners candidates. 
As Chair of City Council's influential Neighborhoods and Public Services Committee, Ms. Cole will work to ensure that neighborhoods are not left behind, and that everyone receives quality city services.  The unprecedented amount of resources devoted to neighborhood development in the 2004 Budget is proof positive that Ms. Cole's neighborhoods push is gaining momentum.

Biography obtained from the Cincinnati city council website.