Monday, August 3, 2009

Petitions Submitted to City Council

Today we formally issued our demand for a vote on passenger rail transportation to Cincinnati City Council. Hundreds of petition forms containing 11,530 signatures were officially transmitted to the Clerk of Council, who will have them verified according to the statutory procedure, eventually causing the anti-boondoggle charter amendment to be placed on the November 3rd ballot.

Media coverage of the event was very thorough from WCPO, Local12, Fox19News, and News5.

The entire coalition, comprised of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP, COAST, Southwestern Ohio Green Party, and Cincinnati Libertarian Party, would like to thank the many volunteers who circulated the petition.

We would especially like to thank the thousands of citizens who participated in the democratic process by either signing our petition, or by listening with open minds to the merits of our case. Widespread common sense and vigorous debate leave us more convinced than ever that voters should decide passenger rail transportation matters, not politicians.

A few notes from the field:
  • We expected to find more support in far-flung neighborhoods than along the planned route. Neighborhood anger at the ridiculous trolley plan was as expected, but we were pleasantly surprised at how productive signature gathering efforts were at Findlay Market and Fountain Square. City leaders noticed too, and forced us to sue them in Federal Court to halt their harassment. 1st amendment wins again.
  • Some of COAST's LGBT members had been telling us how prevalent fiscal conservatism is among their community, so we made a concerted effort to saturate the Pride Parade and Northside 4th of July Parade. We certainly weren't disappointed. These two events out-produced many church festivals. We had no luck recruiting LGBT leaders to "come out" in support of our cause, but community members were some of the most knowledgeable and budget-savvy voters we encountered. Thanks, let's find more ways to work together.
  • Special thanks goes out to Councilmember Roxanne Qualls. Her insistence that uptown be included on the route introduced tremendous uncertainty into the proposal. City planners scrambled to figure out how, and indeed if they could get up the hill, and struggled with a near-doubling of the cost. All of that gave us the time we needed to conduct a rather relaxed signature drive. If not for that, the streetcar might be underway by now.
  • The biggest boon to petition production, however, was Mayor Mallory. His mishandling of the budget, frequent junkets, and utter obliviousness to the plight of the beleaguered taxpayer engendered a rage among the electorate that had people yanking petitions out of our hands to sign them.
Today the campaign also enters the second phase. Now we have an opponent. Cincinnatians for Progress will try to convince voters to trust city leaders to do their thinking for them. They'll ridicule the act of voting. And in their heart of hearts, they'll be thinking, "These rubes aren't smart enough to decide whether this is a good plan." The CFP message reflects the attitude of the current administration. To them, "progress" is condescending contempt for voters.

This November, voters will say, "right back at you."


  1. Ignorance: 1
    Progress: 0

  2. It's just a shame COAST has to try and masquerade this as a "demand for a vote" while they sit idly by as tax dollars are wasted on other projects.

    In reality, the voters will never get a say. With a California-style voting initiative such as this, project planners won't even consider Cincinnati for rail projects. Who wants to sit around and wait for Cincinnati to hold a vote at taxpayer cost when there are other cities lined up and willing to take initiative without these ridiculous charter amendments.

    Vote "Yes" and you likely won't see rail projects in Cincinnati, just more and more congestion on the highways and tax dollars being poured into rehabbing them. But that's ok, according to COAST that's a legitimate waste of tax dollars.

    I'll be voting "no." No real conservative group would ever team up with the likes of Chris Smitherman and suggest California style voting.

  3. College Hill SandraAugust 3, 2009 at 9:42 PM


  4. Since when is applying 100 year old technology to solve a problem that doesn't exist progress? And since when is demanding that the voters have a say in how the government spends their money ignorance?
    What problem does this trolley boondoggle solve for the public? Are we city taxpayers concerned that the Bortz family property holdings are not properly overinflated by the machinations of our city government so that more needs to be done?
    Prediction, will be vastly overspent and will prevail.
    The public is not convinced of the need to rip up downtown streets to waste hundreds of millions of dollars, and they will not be. Why, because there is no such need and because the people trying to convince them are a bunch of self-righteous pompous twits that will turn off the voters every time they open their mouths.

  5. Streetcar advocacy is the #1 cause of smug in the City of Cincinnati. Expect daily smug alerts throughout the rest of the summer and fall as pro-boondoggle forces blanket the area in a thick, noxious layer of smug. The government bureaucrats in the City Economic Development Department, genius City Councilpersons, and the pointy headed professors at UC have joined with YP snobs to create a smug cloud of epic proportions.

    Don't forget people of Cincinnati, they know better than you do!

  6. The anti-streetcar fools just don't understand that it's "progress" to spend $200 million for 7 miles of 19th Century technology rail. People do not deserve the right to vote on this issue.

  7. "Since when is applying 100 year old technology to solve a problem that doesn't exist progress?"

    - Whether you are for or against the streetcar, I would look into the proposed system, it's NOT 100 year old technology. The proposed system would utilize a modern, light rail technology.

    "Are we city taxpayers concerned that the Bortz family property holdings are not properly overinflated by the machinations of our city government so that more needs to be done? "

    - No, we're more concerned in helping COAST line the Smitherman family's pockets:

    "Streetcar advocacy is the #1 cause of smug in the City of Cincinnati."

    - Great post, Bris. It's nice that when all logic fails and COAST runs out of any valid points or arguments, they'll result to parodying old simpsons and South Park episodes! Hilarious stuff!

    "Don't forget people of Cincinnati, they know better than you do!"

    - Yes, citizens of Cincinnati, as Bris pointed out: COAST/NAACP believes they do know better than you do. Let them decide when and which issues it's ok for you to vote on. As Bris said, COAST believes they should speak for you, not the people you elect.

  8. I'm glad this trolly boondoggle is getting shot down. Now we can spend our city funds on useful investments like the Kennedy Connector and perpetual widening of I-75 and I-71. Maybe we can finally spend our capital dollars on programs like Mr. Smitherman's bed bug eradication proposal.

  9. Thanks COAST for all your hard work! There are some rumblings that the city may put a traffic light up on Clifton at Clifton Court. I DEMAND a vote on this wasteful spending!

    I was at Ault Park yesterday and I am really displeased at the height of the cut of the grass. I DEMAND a vote that would mandate city workers cut the grass at a height of 1.5 inches!

    Thank you COAST for fighting the fight to bring the true meaning of representative democracy to Cincinnati!

    Thank you for exposing the "trolley". I have been to Portland and the effects of the "trolley" system have been awful. Imagine this: a once run-down, dangerous area adjacent to downtown Portland transformed into a vibrant, 24-hour neighborhood. Landing in PDX, check in at the nearby hotel, hopping on a light rail train to downtown. Spend some money at the downtown farmers market, spend money at newly-opened stores, and spend a ton of dough at the various bars along the streetcar line. Stumble back on to light-rail and back at the hotel in twenty minutes after a day injected money into the Portland economy.

    Horrible I know! Thanks COAST and the NAACP for your hard work in preventing this dystopic future for the city of Cincinnati!

  10. On behalf of COAST -
    You're welcome Cincinnati4Progress!

  11. Oh and nice left-handed at the LGBT community COAST!

    "We had no luck recruiting LGBT leaders to "come out" in support of our cause, but community members were some of the most knowledgeable and budget-savvy voters we encountered."

    Bravo for your "fabulous" outreach efforts!

  12. I am sure the support in Findlay area was just amazing. Especially when your signature gatherers were holding a sign saying it was the Streetcar Petition, and people were signing thinking it was in support of the streetcar. Or what about the woman who was gathering signatures at Pride thinking she was helping out in support of the proposed streetcar system. You'll even deceive people who were willing to give up part of their day to gather signatures. Great job deceiving the public, pat yourselves on the back!

  13. YEAH for the anti-progress amendment!
    Lets keep Cincinnati 20 years behind the times.

  14. Cincinnatian for Progress, one of your supporters was referring to Christopher Smitherman as "boy" in the comments section of an Enquirer article. Is that what you consider tolerant and forward-thinking? Would it be ok to refer to the black man who is co-leading your group as "boy"?

  15. That comment is just as inappropriate as the one by COAST. The big difference is that that was a comment made by an individual and this was a comment made by a political organization. Comments like that show that COAST is driven by emotion rather than fact. Driven by personal benefits rather than what benefits this great city. The streetcar benefits all Cincinnatians regardless of race or beliefs. Report after report serve as verification.

  16. "Sure, the economy is generally burnt toast right now – but history tells us that some of the most important companies, inventions and decisions were made during great economic strife. The Cincinnati streetcar should join that list. If Cincinnati and its voters turn their backs in November on a streetcar and rail system this time, we once again will be cutting ourselves out of significant state and federal shifts toward this type of transportation system that are sure to propel other metropolitan regions far ahead of us." - Douglas Bolton, publisher Cincinnati Business Courier


We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.