It’s nice to say that beer is above politics, but anyone who’s debated the definition of the term “craft brewer” knows differently. We do avoid politics whenever possible here because we believe that people who don’t agree on matters of policy not involving beer should be able to talk about the things they do agree on, especially if that thing happens to be beer.
There is an issue on the November ballot that crosses whatever line we’ve drawn in our own minds about what’s appropriate for this blog. It’s a ballot measure that will directly impact what type of city Cincinnati wants to be. Julie at Wine Me, Dine Me wrote a most wonderful post yesterday that really drove home why this issue needs to be brought up here.
Excerpting the post won’t do it justice. Go read the whole thing. It’s OK, we’ll still be here when you get back.
Whatever you think of a streetcar system in Cincinnati, Issue #9 is a mind-boggingly bad piece of public policy. The small, craft brewers we all want to start brewing here (not to mention the ones we already have) need a strong social and economic base from which to draw customers. What major corporation really wants to be in a city that has to throw it out for a vote if the local zoo wants to extend its train to the new parking lot? Heck, what small business wants to put up with that?
Remember the phrase “That’s no way to run a railroad?” Issue #9 is definitely no way to run anything. Ballot measures are an awful way to make long-term public policy, unless you happen to think California (land of the 10,000 ballot initiatives) is a place you want to emulate. Elections are expensive. They take a long time to organize. Once underway, facts have little to do with the outcome. It’s easier and cheaper to do nothing. Nothing is cheap.
And worth every penny.
It’s not that the average person isn’t capable of understanding the facts, it’s just that they’re bloody unlikely to actually get any once a political campaign gets underway. All kinds of messages get clumped together whether intended or not. Let’s face it, we’re one balloon boy away from voting to prohibit thespians from venting their spleens. (“I don’t know what it means, but it sounds bad and I’m agin’ it, dagnabbit!”). It’s a system where the observation
“COAST is all for Issue #9, but don’t you have to be going downhill to COAST?”
could actually pass for an argument. (It’s trite, but feel free to use it).
If you care about the future of Cincinnati and what is possible (instead of impossible), please vote “No” on Issue #9.