LaKeisha Cook

Why LaKeisha Cook is Running for Cincinnati City Council

My core value is my faith. It allows me to learn and strengthens me to speak up for women, children, LGBTQIA, mental health, working-class, poor, other religions, and etc. I am an accomplished and driven professional with extensive experience in coordinating with community relations leadership and internal departments to move strategic initiatives and meet established objectives around Cincinnati. I will develop and provide leadership as a Cincinnati City Council member. In Cincinnati, a lot of communities have been plagued with gun violence, lack of affordable housing, and a crumbling Western Hills Viaduct. There are 52 neighborhoods in Cincinnati, I plan on listening, creating a plan and making adequate steps to ensure it happens in a timely manner. I plan on supporting local businesses, initiatives to end gun violence, supporting the youth, fixing the roads, fixing Western Hills Viaduct and speaking out on Brent Spence Bridge. It is time that Cincinnati was centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Before I decided to run for Cincinnati City Council, I prayed to God to show me how I could be more effective in Cincinnati. I have worked directly in the community with volunteer recruitment, educational services and indirect services including reviewing and distributing federal grants for FEMA, and local grants for Cincinnati. During quarantine I watched horrific videos of several people murdered by the police. Breonna Taylor’s case broke my heart. As a single 35 year old black woman who lives by herself I questioned how safe I felt in my home. I have processed it several times in the past , this time I did not feel like protesting was good enough, more had to be done. I need to be at the table creating the policies to make certain accountability was maintained. Protesting and creating policies are equally needed to make effective change.

This was not the only frustrating thing that I brought to God. I saw how many people were dealing with mental health issues, how it was taking a toll on everyone and how there was no immediate support for them to call. I researched and found many other cities were creating public mental crisis units to address these concerns and I want to create this for Cincinnati.

There are so many more issues and factors going on in Cincinnati that I want to create policies to address, such as violence among the youth, transportation, affordable housing, Western Hills Viaduct, and traffic safety. The Brent Spence Bridge must be remodeled by the federal government and my role would be to constantly remind them about the traffic concern in Cincinnati. Then request the federal government to give Cincinnati a timeframe on when it will be fixed.

With all these different emotions and questions I had circling around, I sat with God about my next steps. I woke up in the morning and read an article that all nine seats for Cincinnati City Council would open. At that moment, I felt God expressed to me that He wanted me to run. In that same moment, I felt every insecurity that I’ve ever had in my life come up. After praying, seeking guidance and wisdom from my community, I decided to leave my job and run for Cincinnati City Council. I’m very clear that God told me to run, and I will rely on Hebrews 12:1-3, during this race to stay focused.

While I plan on making policies and funding to support the community at large, I want to assure everyone that it will be based on each neighborhoods’ needs and people that live in Cincinnati. I want to provide accountability, attainability and accessibility.

Paid by Friends of LaKeisha Cook for Cincinnati City Council