Below is a letter from the Mt. Auburn Chamber of Commerce to City Council:
Dear City of Cincinnati Council Members,
Thank you for your continued commitment to the Cincinnati Streetcar Project, despite recent criticism. Your ability to think and plan for the future of our city and its mass transit needs—while those with a vested interest in changing these plans try to wear you down—is commendable. Future Cincinnatians will be grateful for your foresight and unwillingness to back down against a vociferous minority.
As President of the Mt. Auburn Chamber of Commerce, I represent the views of over 50 community businesses and their leaders — businesses as diverse as The Christ Hospital, God’s Bible School & College, TV Channels 5 & 12, the National Park Service, and Taft Elementary School. Our businesses have been active participants in the committee meetings leading up to the passage of decisions about the Streetcar Project. Our members are unified in their support of the streetcar. We believe that Cincinnati is a great city, but by the same token, we do not believe there are many great cities in the world that have not invested in mass transit (subway, streetcars, light rail) to accommodate the masses of people who come to work, live and travel there.
Several members of our Mt. Auburn Chamber have visited other cities like Portland, Oregon, that have already developed streetcars and are reaping the economic gains derived from the streetcars. It is impressive to see entire neighborhoods where residential, retail and other commercial businesses are springing to life as a result of the streetcar line.
Because we all have to balance our own institutions’ budgets, Mt. Auburn business leaders can discern the difference between “capital” funds and “operating” funds. The fact that the public doesn’t understand this difference is unfortunate. The fact that people who do understand the difference in these funds, but confuse the public to gamer more support for their position, is lamentable. As we have recently seen, based on our new governor’s position on the 3C rapid transit line, the $600 million that would have come to Ohio to bring jobs and businesses to our people and state will now be split up and given to three other states. Please don’t let that happen in Cincinnati!
The Cincinnati Streetcar Project will provide jobs and an economic boost to the neighborhoods it serves. It will infuse the downtown and uptown areas with new life, new jobs, and new sources of revenue. It will help Cincinnati attain a well-deserved reputation as a great city in which to live, work and vacation.
Thank you for maintaining your support for the Streetcar Project.
Holly D. Dorna
President, Mt. Auburn Chamber of Commerce.