A longtime Cincinnati councilwoman who also was the city's first female mayor recently was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
Bobbie Sterne, 91, who served for a quarter-century on City Council, was given the honor during a ceremony May 26 at the Capitol Theatre in Columbus. She joins more than 350 people inducted into the Hall of Fame since its creation in 1977.
Sterne was first elected to City Council in 1971 as a Charter candidate, and won reelection several times to serve through 1985. After a brief hiatus, she again served from 1987-98. Sterne was the first woman to serve as mayor in Cincinnati, during two terms from 1975-76 and from 1978-79.
“Those inducted into the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame embody the productivity and enjoyment that should be a part of every person's older years,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, in a prepared statement.
“Mrs. Sterne has spent her life making a difference in her community,” Kantor-Burman added. “She is a well-known public servant — not a politician — doing what is right, not what is politically expedient.”
As a founder and president of the Health Department Volunteers, she helped create Cincinnati's primary health-care system. Also, she organized an immunization campaign for inner-city children that was featured on national television and served as a model program statewide.
In the past, Sterne has remarked, "My mother always used to say, 'You have no right to ask people to do something you're not willing to do yourself.' In my family, you were brought up to leave the world a better place than you found it."