Growing up in Lincoln Heights, Yvette faced many challenges that could have easily quashed her relentless enthusiasm. Raised by her grandmother in public housing, Yvette’s family struggled to make ends meet and many friends and family members dropped out of school or fell prey to in criminal activity. Even as a child, Yvette looked past her challenges and decided at the age of eight she wanted to become a lawyer. It didn’t matter to her that no one in her family had ever even attended college. Even at eight, Yvette understood the power of hard work, dedication, and focusing on the future.
Yvette achieved this goal, and many others along the way. After graduating from Princeton High School, Yvette became the first in her family to graduate college, at Miami University. In 2004, she made her young self very proud, receiving her juris doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
After graduating, Yvette practiced law at several firms before developing and directing Miami University’s first Pre-Law Program. In 2014, Yvette earned her M.B.A. degree from Xavier University. She currently serves as Counsel at Ulmer & Berne LLP.
In 2005, Yvette was recognized as one of the Business Courier’s Forty under 40 and a YWCA Rising Star. In 2014, Yvette was honored as one of the YWCA’s Career Women of Achievement.
Living her Life in Cincinnati’s Neighborhoods
Yvette lives in West End and works downtown. But she calls the whole city “home.” No other elected official has spent more time and energy connecting with the people of Cincinnati. At neighborhood walks, morning coffees and community council meetings, at conferences and graduations and memorials, Yvette is there. Whether it is time to cheer on the Reds, pour beer for charity at Findlay Market, share Italian food in Westwood or chuck pumpkins in Mt. Washington, Yvette shows up. She has worked with neighbors in every one of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods, and she will keep on doing the same when she is elected mayor.
Proven Dedication to Public Service
As a young adult, Yvette began holding board positions with community organizations throughout Cincinnati, including the YWCA and the Urban League. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cincinnati Alumnae Chapter and the Cincinnati Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Yvette’s role on Cincinnati City Council is an extension of this service. First elected to Council in 2011, she serves as Chair of the Human Services, Youth, and Arts committee, and serves on the Budget & Finance, Law and Public Safety, Neighborhoods and Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation committees. Simpson is also a member of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, as appointed by the City Planning Commission.
On Council, Yvette focuses on developing and expanding Cincinnati small businesses, empowering Cincinnati youth, and providing tools for our neighborhoods to become more vibrant places to live and work. Other priorities include championing and ensuring City support of human services, and introducing legislation supporting women and issues that affect women. Below are several examples of these initiatives.
- Established and leads the City’s first Small Business Advisory Committee (the SBAC) and Youth Commission of Cincinnati (the YCC). These commissions are composed of a diverse group of local leaders in the areas of small business and youth, respectively. The commissions are charged with evaluating the state of Cincinnati small business and youth, and guiding City leaders on decisions in these areas.
- Led the effort to create a new consortium, “Youth to Work,” improving efficiency in the City’s summer youth employment program. These efforts resulted in enhanced training and educational programming, and improved tracking of key data. As a result, our young people receive a more meaningful work experience and are better prepared for job opportunities and careers.
- Together with Vice Mayor Mann, convened a group of elected officials, staff, and local experts to review and update the City’s Human Services Funding These recommendations, along with a motion to double the City’s allocated Human Services funding, were unanimously approved by Council in 2015.
- Together with Vice Mayor Mann, established a Violence Prevention Working Group to develop a violence prevention framework with a focus on public health and human services.
- Established the City’s first Homeless-to-Work pilot program. This program, in collaboration with several area non-profits, helps homeless citizens become economically self-sufficient through temporary employment, which could lead to permanent employment.
- Passed legislation establishing Paid Parental Leave for all City employees. Previously, paid leave was not guaranteed upon the birth or adoption of a child.
- Supported statewide passage of the Intimate Partner Violence Bill, which expands the definition of a victim of domestic violence from a “family or household member” only to all individuals in a continuing or significant romantic relationship.
- Led several initiatives relating to Human Trafficking, including issues relating to victims and communities affected by this activity. These efforts include introducing legislation re-establishing a fund for victim support services, seeking creative deterrence methods, and educating the community through town hall meetings.