Development News

Soapbox Cincinnati: A new Cincy gem

I won’t say much…I’ll let Soapbox Cincinnati e-zine do the talking for themselves:

The passion that drives the staff of this new weekly experiment is the desire to find the innovative, the hip, the inspirational, the quirky and the positive that make up this city of ours. Cincinnati is a community of delicious tensions — a city of risk-takers and a city of critics. We praise innovation but worry about too much change happening too quickly. We value development and expertise but are quick to mock insincerity and celebrity. We look to magazines to rate us but rise up in righteous anger against anyone who talks trash about the ‘Nati. We are political, but too polite to talk about it at the dinner table. We are east and west; north of the river and south of the river; urban, suburban and exurban. We are upper, middle and lower; gay and straight; black and white and Asian and Hispanic and Indian and African; and a mosaic of traditions and cultures too rich to list, and yet our conversations about diversity never creep past our geography or zip codes. We are all these things and so much more than a rant on a bar stool. So climb up on this Soapbox of ours and take a look around. We exist to tell the story of a city in sustained transformation. Our goal is to have you seeing Cincinnati differently. And if we don’t, you’re always welcome to rant, but when you’re through don’t be surprised to hear us say, “I hear you, but what are you going to do about it?”

Soapbox Cincinnati seems to be yet another outlet for those who feel a change is needed in Cincinnati. For too long Cincinnati has been made up more pessimists than optimists. It is the new blogs like UrbanCincy, and those in my blogroll, that are helping change the perception of Cincinnati. We have the power to change Cincinnati with our words, thoughts, and information…and it is great to have a new outlet like Soapbox Cincinnati around.

Development News Politics Transportation

Mayor Mallory’s State of the City Address

The Mayor delivered his state of the city address to a capacity crowd at the Playhouse in the Park.  Many more attempted to make reservations, but were placed on a waiting list.  Overall the Mayor used the speech to recap the year’s developments and progress rather than propose any new legislation or initiatives.  

Among the highlights:

“Build a Streetcar System that connects Downtown to Uptown.”
“Which brings me to what may be an uncomfortable conversation for some.  But as a city, we have to take on tough issues. And, ex-offender employment is one of those tough issues.  I told you earlier that employment is the number one request from the people that CIRV has engaged.  If we are going to truly grow our economy, we have to give opportunity to all citizens. Too many people are being excluded from employment because of mistakes in their past.  This may be unpopular, but I am telling you, this has to happen.  By opening the doors of economic opportunity to more citizens we will make our community safer and healthier.”

“Youth employment is a top priority of my administration.  Through our Jobs and Opportunities Fair and the City’s Youth Employment Program, we have provided thousands of young people the opportunity to find employment.  In fact, our program was presented as a best practice at the US Conference of Mayors and at the Mayors Innovation Project in Washington DC.  Our program has been so successful that I am proposing that we increase the funding for the Cincinnati Youth Employment Program to $2 million dollars a year in the next city budget. “

Two years ago, I told you that we were going to develop a program to focus city services on individual neighborhoods.  Last year, we launched the Neighborhood Enhancement Program.  It concentrates city services in targeted neighborhoods for 90 days.  Last year, the program targeted Price Hill, Avondale and Northside.  This year, we’re focusing on Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview, Westwood, and Evanston.  With this new approach, we’re focusing on concentrated building code enforcement, tearing down problem buildings, and addressing crime hot-spots.  And in partnership with the community, we are developing neighborhood assets.  The program is transforming neighborhoods throughout the city. “

“Which brings me to one of the most important opportunities that we have in Cincinnati: the 2010 Census.  We know that census numbers matter.  What you may not know is that 170 Federal Programs use Census Data to make funding decisions.  In order for Cincinnati to receive our fair share, we must have the most accurate Census count possible.  So, we must begin planning now for 2010.”

At the end of the speech inspirational music started playing over the Mayor’s closing remarks.  Those in attendance thought it odd, but it may have worked on television.

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In this blog, I will give you the news of all things urban in Cincinnati. I must warn you though, they will come with my own spin/thoughts! You can come for my insight, come for the news, or just come to pass the time.

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