Nan Whaley releases Ohio jobs plan, calls for $15 minimum wage steps from Cincinnati City Hall

“I fully think Cincinnati is a key part of Ohio, so I wanted to kick this off here.”
Rob Richardson, left, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, speak...
Rob Richardson, left, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, speak after a news conference on Monday, Aug. 9 2021, at blaCk Coffee Lounge in Cincinnati.(Albert Cesare/The Enquirer)
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (Enquirer) - Dayton Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley on Monday chose to unveil her jobs plan Monday a block away from Cincinnati City Hall, according to our media partners at the Enquirer.

That’s where her expected opponent in the Democratic primary, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, works.

Cranley hasn’t officially launched his campaign. That’s expected soon.

On Monday, Whaley and her team set up camp at blaCk Coffee Lounge a block from city hall on Elm Street. This is the same Black-owned coffee shop where Vice President Kamala Harris stopped in for a cup of coffee with Cranley and his wife when she visited the city on April 30. 

Whaley dismissed a question by The Enquirer whether the location was chosen for the proximity of her expected primary opponent.

“We’re traveling the entire state,” Whaley said. “I fully think Cincinnati is a key part of Ohio, so I wanted to kick this off here.”

Former Democratic state treasurer candidate and mayoral candidate Rob Richardson and Cincinnati Public Schools board member Mike Moroski also were at Whaley’s event on Monday.

Whaley’s jobs plan included raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 and investing in renewable energy.

Whaley flashed her working-class credentials on Monday, describing her upbringing from a father who was laid off from a General Motors plant and a mother who worked at a laundry to make ends meet.

She focused much of her speech on increasing wages for workers. This includes directing JobsOhio and the Development Services Agency to invest in and help companies that pay a fair wage. When asked at the news conference whether a fair wage was higher than $15 an hour, Whaley didn’t have a specific number other than to say a “living wage.”

“Wages need to go up across the board in Ohio so one good job can be enough,” Whaley said. “As I travel around the state, I’ve talked to far too many people who work two jobs and still must go to the food bank to get by.”

Cranley did not respond to messages seeking comment. The Cincinnati mayor launched a campaign committee in February 2020 and raised $1.07 million in the first half of 2021.

Whaley launched her campaign April 19 and had raised $1.64 million through June 30.

Whaley did not mention Cranley at the news conference. When asked by a reporter what the biggest difference is between her and Cranley, she talked instead of politicians in general and Columbus.

“I’m really excited about this race because of the opportunity we have to change Columbus,” Whaley said. “So when I think about this race, I think about how we have had so many challenges in Dayton, but we’ve been able to look forward and not back. …I recognize I look a little different than everyone who is running in this race and I come from a different kind of place.”

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