Cincinnati Local 48 Innovation Helps Re-elect Mayor

November 21 • 2017

Just when fire fighter-friendly incumbent Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s re-election looked like it was in trouble, the campaign staged a comeback with the help of Cincinnati Local 48.

On election day, Mayor Cranely won re-election with 54 percent of the vote.

From his time as a City Council member and throughout his tenure as mayor, Cranley has been a friend to members of Cincinnati Local 48 and an advocate for public safety. He supports a living wage, ended rolling brownouts and helped secure Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants.

“Mayor Cranley has always been in our corner, so we are always prepared to lend him our support,” says Local 48 President Matt Alter.

Early on, Local 48 announced its endorsement of Cranley’s re-election campaign and assisted with campaign events. No one expected City Council member Yvette Simpson to defeat the incumbent mayor in the Democratic primary, yet Simpson won by 11 percentage points.

After the primary, Local 48 and other labor supporters developed a new strategy to revive the campaign.

In a bit of inspired leadership, vacant space at Local 48’s union hall transformed into the official Cranley re-election headquarters.

“We looked for creative ways to help the re-election that went beyond donations and door knocks,” says Alter, who sat on the Steering Committee of the reorganized campaign.  “Having the campaign in our building not only showed our support to the Cranley campaign, but it showed the entire city that we stood with the Mayor.”

Alter encouraged other locals to look for non traditional ways of supporting candidates. “Fire fighters are already a sought after endorsement. Creative ways of supporting those who support us only add value to that endorsement,” he said.

Additionally, the new campaign manager was experienced in grassroots campaigning and knew the value of rallying the support of labor. “We worked hard to get out the vote of all union members in the City. We worked the phones and went door-to-door to educate our brothers and sisters on the importance of re-electing Cranley,” explains Alter.

When the votes came in and Mayor Cranley’s victory was sure, Cranley did not forget who helped him get there, mentioning Cincinnati Local 48 by name in his victory speech.