Sustainability and environmental advocacy is not just about a better planet. It’s about jobs, health and social/economic justice. Jobs because being “green” attracts and retains employers/employees; health because Cincinnati has some of the worst air quality, which leads to health issues, and social/economic justice because these issues disproportionately impact lower income communities particularly communities of color.

In Cincinnati, the great news is that we already have a really robust plan with the Green Cincinnati Plan — a super detailed set of goals and recommendations that was last updated in 2018. And we are by many measures ranked highly in “green”…


There are no shortages of proposals around how Cincinnati should use the ~$291M in American Rescue Plan(ARP) funds. I have myself suggested that we leverage it to invest in the Affording Housing Trust Fund and Capital Projects such as parks, Western Hills Viaduct, and biking infrastructure. But before we get into the weeds on how we should spend it, I think we’re missing a few steps including setting holistic, bold goals for what we should accomplish with it.

Business and government are of course different, but one thing should be consistent: spending choices should be grounded in clear objectives, goals…


No one should be surprised that the Affordable Housing Amendment (Issue 3) is on the ballot next month. When an issue does not get resolved by policymakers, and there is understandable frustration, then grassroots organizing often puts a solution forward. Kudos to those working on affordable housing issues for pushing for action on this issue. As someone who has spent 3/4 of my life as a renter and who grew up working poor, I personally understand what it means to have housing that is affordable. However, it’s a straw man to say that anyone opposed to Issue 3 is opposed…


Tree canopy in Cincinnati neighborhoods might seem like a “nice to have” issue that barely impacts people’s lives, but that is far from the truth. It has a direct impact on the temperatures in our neighborhoods, health of Cincinnatians, and the pocketbooks of our neighbors. And it’s an issue that impacts lower income neighborhoods of color disproportionately. Investing in increasing tree canopy also is one of the higher returns on investment (>3:1), which makes it one of our smarter investments as a city.

A recent study from August 2020 and two maps of our city’s neighborhoods from the Cincinnati Parks…


2020 could not be more divisive — a pandemic combined with a political environment where we’re left wondering whether we can ever get back to a time when we could make anything happen — let alone transformative ideas that we imagine and then bring to life.

On this the 10th anniversary of go Vibrant (www.govibrant.org), I wanted to offer an origin story of the P&G goVibrantscape at Smale Riverfront Park — one of go Vibrant’s signature accomplishments— as a model for public/private partnership. From idea to execution, this is how public, non-profit and private sector collaboration and impact should work.


Labor Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a little kid, I loved it simply because it was a day off of school just after summer vacation, and because it meant the last of summer cookouts in our backyard. As a young man, it was a day of picnics with my union brothers and sisters in Local 59 in NYC filled with a lot of laughs. And as an ‘older’ man now, it is a time to reflect on what really matters to me and my family.

I grew up on the West Side…of Manhattan, the son…


go Vibrant is a 501c3 non profit, but not your typical non-profit and it did not start out to become one. go Vibrant started with a few people with a passion to make a city (Cincinnati) healthier. Since 2009, our journey has taken us to building a network of walking routes that has got thousands of people walking and building a series of play-like experiences in parks that make activity irresistible for millions of people. And this is with an all volunteer board, two part time employees and a lean operation — so lean that we don’t even have physical…

Mark Jeffreys

Dad/husband, entrepreneur/builder, former P&G executive, non-profit founder, dancer, mason, son of immigrant, and lover of parks, the arts, Cincinnati, & travel

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