Vote “No on 9″ to Make Cincinnati Better (for Beer and Everything Else)

Support Cincinnatians for ProgressIt’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.

OK, then.

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.

Posted in General Comment, Opinion Tagged with: , ,
3 comments on “Vote “No on 9″ to Make Cincinnati Better (for Beer and Everything Else)
  1. Mark Miller says:

    California has 250 active small breweries. Ohio only has 42. California also doesn’t have any modern streetcars which doesn’t seem to be hurting their brewing business. Forget streetcars, bring on the beer!

  2. John says:

    Yes, but the modern craft brewing movement more or less STARTED in California. Of course they have more. And San Fran has trolleys, which serve the same purpose. Just one example.
    But, again, just talking about “the streetcar” misses the point on Issue 9. This would not only stop the streetcar, but it would force a referendum vote on ANY rail issue. Have you ever worked to get a referendum on a ballot? It is really hard and takes a ton of work. Trust me. And it’s a stupid way to govern when it comes to most issues. Meanwhile, development is completely stifled.
    Democratic representative government is set up so that the public doesn’t have to vote on every single issue that comes up – we elect people to do that for us. If we don’t like the way they do it, we elect someone else.
    Ballot initiatives also by definition rule by majority and tend to completely snuff out minorities (I mean “minority” in the broad sense, although it often includes racial minorities). For example, I fear that if Hamilton County were to vote on whether to abolish the Metro Bus system, a majority may vote in favor, saying that they never use it. But that would be crushing to the minority who DO use it, and it would likely ultimately hurt us ALL in one way or another. A poor example, but you get my point.
    I know that opens a lot of cans of worms. But come on, folks. Grab a beer, read the issue, think of the long-term ramifications, and have some intelligent, informed discussions.

  3. Phil says:

    Democratic representation is broken at a national, state and local level. What the city of Cincinnati wants and those “elected” representatives want is at complete odds with everyone else living in the county. Referendums are the only way to bring back true representation. The majority population of the city has not represented my interests in decades, probably never, but I have to live with the incompetency and have no say on the outcome. One of the original brewpubs in Cincinnati failed because of it’s location being in a dangerous neighborhood. A streetcar would not have helped that, only made it even more accessible for criminals to come into the neighborhood. Until we have a safe city, people are going to stay in the suburbs. When a 93 old lady gets murdered walking down the street by a criminal who stabbed two previous people and is still out walking the streets, I would say our city has failed. Why would anyone want to live in such a city? What business would want to relocate there? If I could actually vote on issue 9, it would be YES



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