“As Mayor, one of the greatest privileges I have is to ask people to give back to our city. All of
our best accomplishments have resulted from just asking people to give back to this city. That is
why last year I challenged all Cincinnatians to give one for Cincy to motivate and inspire all
Cincinnatians to perform some act of service for our city. Give just one hour a month to
strengthen our neighborhoods; to feed those who go without; to help someone learn to read; to
teach someone the skills they need to get a job; to clean up our parks. Cincinnati stepped up in a
This would not be possible without the collaboration of several citywide volunteer organizations.
I want to especially thank our task force members who accepted this challenge with great
At the core of this challenge is the volunteer organization Inspiring Service, who when this
initiative was announced immediately asked, “How can we help?”
Inspiring Service is responsible for creating our tracking system, supporting the Give One
website and bringing several service organizations to the table. That is why this year I have been
moved to add another recognition and honor Inspiring Service for Outstanding Volunteer of the
Year. Craig Young, please come forward and accept the award.
Last year, we set the impossible high standard of 100,000 hours, and frankly, I didn’t think we
would get it. But we are already at 167,000 hours.
For 2019, I am setting a new impossible dream of 250,000 hours.
In the old west, the cavalry was all volunteer, so I am asking all of you to become part of our
city’s cavalry of hope by serving. As Tocqueville observed in the early 19 th century, Americans
are uniquely involved in civic life as volunteers and that is what makes America so special.
It’s not easy, but it’s what makes life worth living and Cincinnati so special.
It will be tough, but as we volunteer we will become a better city and better neighbors.
And we will make real our ideals that everybody matters and that while opportunity isn’t equal
now, it should be, and we will try to build a city where it is.
And then when we blink and realize that our lives have gone far too fast, we will rest assured that
what our kids and grandkids see when they blink is an example of treating all people with dignity
in this one beautiful Queen City for all.”
Transcript from the Honorable Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s “State of the City” speech.