Friday, November 15, 2013

I Believe in Cincinnati

An Open Letter to Mayor-Elect John Cranley and City Council Members:
Last night I attended the Town Hall meeting to show my support for the Cincinnati Streetcar. I went to represent a segment of people who could not vote in the prior elections yet have a vested interest in the direction our city is headed. I don't live within the city limits, but my husband and I started a business at Findlay Market in 2009 and purchased a vacant building on West Elder Street in 2010. We were excited about growth and development in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, much of it ignited by talk of the streetcar.
During the last few years, the streetcar has become a political football. Yet, I've watched as one piece of property after another has been purchased around Findlay Market. Historic buildings are being saved. New businesses are being started. The Brewery District has been reborn. Young people now come from the suburbs to socialize and dream of the day they can move Downtown. The city has become a hub for startups and entrepreneurship.
Cincinnati is on a roll, and the Town Hall meeting only confirmed the passion that so many of us feel. I was inspired by the sense of community in the room. It quickly became obvious that the streetcar is a nonpartisan issue that concerns citizens of all ages and from all neighborhoods of the Greater Cincinnati area. These citizens believe, as I do, that the streetcar is just the first step in increasing population, attracting new businesses, retaining top talent, and growing the tax base of the entire area.
Please consider the fact that many of us have voted with our dollars. We have invested in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and Downtown Cincinnati because a plan is in place to use light rail to grow the community. Any money that you think can be saved by stopping the streetcar will be lost to the individuals like us who have invested money, hired employees, paid property and income taxes, and spent dollars within the district. Some of you think we can't afford to build the streetcar. We think we can't afford to stop.
Yours truly,
Barb Cooper
Daisy Mae's Market

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