Dayton’s first black woman city commissioner, Bootsie Neal, remembered

Dayton’s first black woman city commissioner, Bootsie Neal, remembered

Former Dayton City Commissioner, Bootsie Neal, passed away on Jan. 24 at the age of 68.

Neal became the first Black woman to serve on Dayton City Commission after winning the election in 1991, and she served until 2004.

Dayton Mayor, Nan Whaley, said that Bootsie was a leader, someone many people looked up to, and a “Giant” in the community.

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“The other thing I think Bootsie did that is not as much talked about: there are many, many black women that are in government because of Bootsie Neal. And they are doing all kinds of things from working in City Hall to the county in finance, in places you would never think that really got their start because of Bootsie investing in them. And I think that’s the legacy she leaves behind, frankly,” Whaley said.

Congressman Mike Turner also released a statement today on Neal’s death that shined a light on her character.

“Bootsie Neal was one of my dearest friends. I had the privilege of working with Bootsie while I was Mayor of Dayton to turn the city around, and I know that without her leadership and partnership we would not have balanced the city’s budget and built the baseball stadium, Schuster Center, and RiverScape,” said Turner.“Bootsie’s legacy of service through her sorority Delta Sigma Theta as well as to the entire Dayton community will forever be cherished.”