A product of a working-class family, Senator Cecil Thomas was born in rural Alabama in 1952. At the age of 8, Cecil’s family fled in the middle of the night after the Klu Klux Klan came to lynch his father. Luckily, his father wasn’t home. That experience led to Cecil’s commitment to public service ever since.
Cecil has been serving Cincinnati and fighting for justice his entire adult life.
Cecil previously served as a member of Cincinnati City Council for four terms.
While serving on the police force for decades, Cecil led an internal reform to ensure that both African Americans and women received an equal opportunity to serve and protect their community. As a result of his actions, the Cincinnati Police Department increased the percentage of African Americans and women on the force to 40% under two federal consent decrees. After retiring from the police force, Cecil led the Cincinnati Human Services Commission, which, in the wake of the 2001 civil unrest, was integral to the establishment of Cincinnati’s nationally recognized Collaborative Agreement.