Following years of state budget cuts to local governments, mayors from both parties came together in 2016 to form the Ohio Mayors Alliance. This unique, state-based, bipartisan coalition of mayors formed to leverage the mayors’ collective voices and improve their advocacy efforts at the state and federal level.
After a series of individual meetings in 2015, a group of mayors met in Washington DC in January of 2016 in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. Over dinner at the historic Willard Hotel, the group determined that for cities and the state of Ohio to thrive, mayors had to have a stronger voice on state and federal policy issues. Later that year, the Ohio Mayors Alliance officially formed with the mayors from Dayton (Nan Whaley), Findlay (Lydia Mihalik), Cincinnati (John Cranley), and Parma (Tim DeGeeter) serving as the original board members. A few months later, as the number of member-cities grew, the mayors from Columbus (Andrew Ginther) and Kettering (Don Patterson) were added to the board of directors, with then-Mayor Don Patterson saying:
“Mayors and elected leaders from different parts of the state need a forum to communicate, share ideas, and better understand the differences that sometimes divide us. The Ohio Mayors Alliance provides that forum and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a dues-paying organization comprised of mayors in Ohio’s 30 largest cities. In addition to advocacy, the Ohio Mayors Alliance Foundation was formed in 2021 to work alongside the organization and provide non-partisan policy research. The board members for the Ohio Mayors Alliance Foundation are former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, former Ohio Governor Bob Taft, and former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell.