In these times of political tension, where we see and hear a lot of the local and national media splintering into their fiefdoms, we here at the magazine witnessed something I think is worth noting. In July, the city hosted the NAACP annual conference. Both nominees for president, John McCain and Barack Obama, spoke to the delegates about racial relations and other topics, much to the attention of the pundits.

That convention also was the setting for what was probably the most poignantly emotional moment of Cincy’s summer (not counting those Olympics thrills). It didn’t get much national press. Nonetheless, citizens here can all celebrate it. On the last day of the convention, Mayor Mark Mallory addressed the NAACP delegates and thanked the City of Cincinnati Police Department; in response, the convention erupted into a standing round of applause. How far have we come since the race riots in 2001?

History points to thriving cities that have endured major downturns, only to resurrect themselves. Facing plights, these cities self-correct their failings. Many remember traveling to New York City in the 1980s and being surprised to see, right off of Times Square, a virtual Bourbon Street with all the strip joints and peep shows. NYC had a serious image problem, which hurt business and caused safety concerns for visitors and residents alike. For Chicago, it goes a little further back to the 1968 Democratic convention, when both racial and political tensions came to a head with chaos and rioting, hinting that the inequities in the Chicago community really represented much of our nation.

Of course, if you go to Times Square now, it looks as if Disney has taken ownership of the place, and thriving Chicago is deemed the crossroads of America, with multicultural diversity and young professionals moving there in droves. It obviously took major efforts and tenacious follow-through by these cities’ community leaders and individuals to actively push for change.

Here in Cincy, credit is due to many who convinced the NAACP to bring its convention here, and make it a success. In Cincy Agenda (see page 10), we go into further detail about the community officials who deserve positive attention. I personally think that much of credit also needs to go to you, the residents of Greater Cincinnati. It is all of you who make the decisions every day about how to treat others, and that provided the groundwork for convention delegates to view firsthand and praise our city.

So, are local events proving that we at our own tipping point? Can our past wrongs be eventually transformed? An argument could be made that no major evolving city goes without occasional strife. I know Cincy has what it takes to be in the same category as NYC, Chicago and other transformed cities, and I am proud to be among those attempting to make things right.