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Cincinnati defeats Issue 48 and votes a younger, more progressive city council into office

Cincinnatians defeated Issue 48 at the polls on Tuesday, and scored the second major political victory for rail transit advocates over the past three years. In the process, voters also dramatically altered City Council by voting in four new democrats – three of which are 32-years-old or younger.

For the second time in three years rail transit advocates scored a major political victory in November. This year’s victory came in the form of the 51.5% to 48.5% defeat of Issue 48 which would have banned all investments in rail transportation for the next decade.

The defeat of Issue 48 coincided with the overhaul of Cincinnati’s city council. The new council includes a 7-2 majority in favor of the Cincinnati Streetcar (previously 4-4-1), and an 8-1 progressive voting block after four Republicans were not reelected. Also striking with new council is that the three brand new members are all Democrats and all 32-years-old or younger.

Still, the news of the day was the repeated defeat of a measure intended on stopping Cincinnati from building a modern streetcar line and planning a comprehensive regional light rail system. Construction of the Midwest’s first modern streetcar system is now scheduled to commence in the coming months.

UrbanCincy will provide more in-depth updates on the 2011 election results in the coming days, but for now enjoy this exclusive footage from the Cincinnati Streetcar celebration at Arnold’s Bar & Grill last night.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.