September 22, 2012
He’s gone undercover. He’s met the POTUS, and, he’s all about Cincinnati. But that’s how it should be; he’s the Mayor, after all. Mayor Mark Mallory grew up in Cincinnati’s West End and has a long history in politics. Prior to assuming the office of the Mayor in 2005, he served as assistant Minority Leader in the Ohio Senate (1999-2005) as well as in the Ohio House of Representatives (1995-1998), a seat he originally won in 1994 after replacing his father who served for nearly 30 years.
As I learned from my interview with the Mayor, family has had a major impact on his career path. I learned a few other things, too, but for fear of spoiling the surprise, I won’t divulge those details just yet.
Without further adieu, a look at our Mayor’s greatest inspirations, thoughts on Cincinnati’s renaissance, and his motto for life… (the last one is a real zinger).
iSPY: Tell me a little bit about your background… what set you on the path to becoming Mayor of Cincinnati?
Mallory: My parents. My mom would always say, “I don’t care what you do, but you have to do something.” And, when I was young, my father would take me with him to work at the Statehouse in Columbus. He would sit me down in his chair and tell me to pay attention to what happens while he was out of the room. When he returned, he always asked me what happened, and he expected detailed reports.
iSPY: Who or what inspires you?
Mallory: My parents.
Mayor Mallory with his father
iSPY: Cincinnati has had an amazing summer in terms of the World Choir Games, Bunbury Music Festival and the reopening of Washington Park, among other things. Moreover, many would say Cincinnati is undergoing a cultural renaissance. To what do you owe the revitalization of the city?
Mallory: Cincinnati is experiencing a renaissance, and it is a result of a lot of hard work and planning by a lot of committed people and organizations who want to see the city succeed. People are excited and optimistic about the future of Cincinnati, and they are not just believing we can accomplish big goals, they have become confident that we can. We have a “can do” attitude that is fueling everything. People are tired of the naysayers and the attitude that we should slow down or put off big projects. People want to see our city move forward, and that is what’s fueling this renaissance.
At the July 2012 World Choir Games
iSPY: What is the toughest aspect of being Mayor that people wouldn’t expect, and what is the most rewarding?
Mallory: The toughest aspect is that you are always Mayor. Even when I go to Blockbuster or the grocery store, people are still coming up to me asking questions. The most rewarding aspect is – by far – seeing my vision for Cincinnati become a reality. You always set out to accomplish your goals but you never know how successful they will be. So, to see the city transform over the last few years has been unbelievably rewarding.
iSPY: Cincinnati is known for being a great place to raise a family but has struggled at times with its reputation to attract YP’s. That being said, please speak to what makes Cincy a great choice for the “young and restless” along with the work of your Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet (YPKC)?
YPKC event – community garden
Mallory: Cincinnati is the perfect city for a YP for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Cincinnati is a city where you can truly get involved, even as a YP. Because of our size, there are a lot of opportunities for committed YP’s to make a difference quickly. That is one of the things I am trying to accomplish with the YPKC. How many cities are there where YP’s have that kind of access with the Mayor?
(*If you are interested in learning more about the YPKC, please visit their Facebook page HERE.)
iSPY: If you were stranded at any place in Cincinnati, where would you want to be?
Mallory: My parents’ dinner table with the family sitting around while my mom is cooking.
iSPY: If you had to describe Cincinnati in a word, what would it be and why?
Mallory: Family — this is a family town through and through, and that is the core that gives us strength to accomplish all that we want to accomplish.
Mayor Mallory at the 2012 DNC
iSPY: All Star Game 2015 — what’s your pitch to the MLB as to why the Queen City should play host?
Mallory: I think Major League Baseball learned with the Civil Rights Game that Cincinnati is prepared and ready to host a prime time event. We rolled out the red carpet and showed them a type of hospitality that other cities will have a hard time matching. Then, I’d tell them about the amazing success of the World Choir Games and I think they will be excited to bring the All Star Game to Cincinnati.
iSPY: What is top on your bucket list?
Mallory: I just want to continue to have a positive impact on the community around me.
iSPY: Do you have a motto to live by?
Mallory: Lunch is at 11:30.to top ↑