Is City Council really going to sell Cincinnati's valuable parking assets, and the sovereignty to enforce Cincinnati's parking laws, or will COAST stop them?The answer is that COAST simply does not have the ability, on its own, to stop this devastatingly foolish act. We don't. Despite our network of volunteers, our communications systems, our capable attorneys, our coalition partners and our financial resources, COAST simply does not have the throw-weight to get this done on its own.
First, because of duplicitous parliamentary maneuvering by the City Solicitor and Chris Seelbach, the City takes the position that the ordinance that authorized the lease is not subject to a referendum. That is the topic of litigation in front of Common Pleas Court Judge Bob Winkler. By next Wednesday, he will rule on whether the issue may proceed, by petition, to a vote of the people. We rely upon the courage and wisdom of Judge Winkler in getting past this legal hurdle.
Second, we rely upon volunteers, and donors, to advance the issue to the ballot on pretty much the same date, with sufficient signatures. Do not mistake that COAST can accomplish this on its own, or that even with the tremendous leadership of Christopher Smitherman, Peter Witte, Amy Murray and others that this is a "given." It is not. Much, much hard work is yet before us to bring this petition drive to a successful conclusion. The cold weather, the tight time constraints and the legal uncertainty hanging over the effort have all hampered collection efforts.
The bottom line:
We need your help.
Write a check to COAST, circulate a petition, and spread the word!
And we need courage, wisdom and inspiration for Judge Bob Winkler. Please pray that his ruling follows the law in this case.
COAST has been encouraged by the efforts of our attorneys, and our dozens of volunteers blanketing Cincinnati to advance this important cause. We have been encouraged that Judge Winkler has issued a 28-day Temporary Restraining Order to allow this drive to proceed. We are inspired by our coalition leader Christopher Smitherman and his committed groupd of NAACP volunteers. We have even been inspired by Mayoral candidates Jim Berns and John Cranley. They have all provided invaluable backbone when it is truly needed.
Thank you to everyone who has helped so far.