The rally started with a pep talk from Mayor Mallory and Rob Richardson outlining just what they expect the streetcar to do, attract business and people to the city. The Mayor, "Will we lose opportunity? NO, we didn't before [Issue 9 in 2009] and we won't now." Issue 48 will cause Cincinnati to lose opportunity.
The Mayor also talked about how opposition to the streetcar would have you believe that business does not support rail. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the big companies in Cincinnati support it. P&G, Duke and others have given financial support for the project.
Doug Sizemore, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO: We cannot support a charter Amendment that will stifle growth for ten years."
Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon held up a bowl of candy and asked, "Trick or treat?" With Issue 48 all you get is the trick.
Congressman Blumenauer talked about Salt lake city's streetcar, which was controversial but at no time did anyone suggest outlawing rail. Their downtown is now turning around.
He went on to rip into issue 48 citing that he has never seen a community voting to put itself into hibernation for ten years. The congressman stated No city should tie one hand behind its back and 48 offers no sense into where the community is going. Cincinnati deserves better. 48 will allow people with no vision to tie down the work of those trying to improve the city
The biggest surprise of the evening for me? Seeing P.G. Sittenfeld in the back of the room. Months ago P.G. was evading all questions about the streetcar, but as politicians do, once he saw which way the wind was blowing he's picked a side.
UPDATE: OK this wasn't meant to be a slam on P.G. as much as a confirmation that Issue 48 doesn't stand a chance.
P.G. Sittenfeld photo courtsey @BRADLEYWTHOMAS