Home · Articles · News · Election · CityBeat: Roxanne Qualls for Mayor

CityBeat: Roxanne Qualls for Mayor

By CityBeat Staff · October 23rd, 2013 · Election
roxanne quallsVice Mayor Roxanne Qualls - Photo: Provided

If John Cranley wants to make the mayoral election a referendum on the streetcar project, so be it. That immediately vanquishes any possibility that CityBeat could support his campaign.

The streetcar project has already effectively been supported by two voter referendums, and the situation has progressed to the point that stopping the project could end up costing more than finishing it, a ridiculous proposition, not to mention the sign it would send to people currently investing in Cincinnati’s progress as a forward-thinking, economically growing city.  

But CityBeat’s support for Roxanne Qualls goes further than the streetcar project or any other single issue. 

During the past six years, Qualls has been part of the true revitalization of downtown and Over-the-Rhine that too many of Cranley’s supporters — and sometimes Cranley himself — publicly doubted. Anyone who’s been downtown in the past couple years has seen the result of Qualls’ work with the rest of City Council: a flourishing riverfront, an Over-the-Rhine bustling with new businesses and restaurants, and a downtown that can’t get new apartments quickly enough to meet demand.

Despite Cranley’s attempts to distance himself from some of the worst of the urban doubters, there’s a profound concern that a Cranley victory would send a message to all of the city’s detractors that voters are embracing their defeatist direction.

Meanwhile, Qualls embraced all sorts of issues to continue pushing Cincinnati’s momentum, extending from hot-button issues like the streetcar to more specific issues facing individuals, communities and businesses, including affordable housing, form-based zoning codes and a disparity study that could allow the city to award more business contracts to underrepresented minority- and women-owned businesses.

While CityBeat has concerns over the parking plan — and privatizing public assets in general — we also acknowledge that with the contracts and lease signed, no one is going to stop it.

Given the reality, CityBeat trusts Qualls to allocate the money appropriately. While Cranley’s campaign has done all it can to undermine Cincinnati’s urban core and instead measure the city’s vast priorities in a black-and-white scale of downtown vs. neighborhoods, Qualls has repeatedly stated that she will invest where the return is greatest and resources are most necessary. That’s not just a good idea for the mayor; it’s the common sense approach that everyone should embrace.

Still, while there are multiple factors, it’s impossible to ignore the streetcar project’s influence in the race. If Cranley is elected, there’s a real risk he would attempt to stop the current phase of the project and expose the city to costly litigation as contractors call on the city’s $95 million in obligations to the project. Cranley could also use the pocket veto to indefinitely hold any legislation in council that would take on the second phase of the project and expand it to the University of Cincinnati and surrounding hospitals.

With this endorsement, CityBeat isn’t just rejecting the third referendum on the streetcar project. By supporting Qualls, we are rejecting a referendum that says Cincinnati can’t push forward, try new ideas or pave the way to the city’s former glory.

Related articles:
Cranley’s Latest Attack on Qualls Deemed Invalid
White (and Orange) Noise: Mayoral and council candidates who say they’ll shut down the streetcar ignore the realities facing the project
Defriending COAST: Local politicians distance themselves from COAST’s bigoted history and hypocritical tactics



10.24.2013 at 06:54 Reply

Streetcar was and still is a wrong idea for the city, and we have finally the numbers to show it. The recent analysis of 21 North American Transit Corridors makes it very clear that Bus rapid transit beats light rail, streetcars as a development vehicle:


As they state there, the Cleveland's HealthLine “has generated $5.8 billion in development —$114 for each transit dollar invested.” By contrast, Portland's Blue Line, a light rail project completed in 1986, generated $3.74 per dollar invested.

Also read the story from Forbes on this topic:


The beauty of it is that instead of waiting till September 2016, we could have the buses running tomorrow, and we could have maybe finally some use for the empty bus transit station. 


10.24.2013 at 12:29 Reply

I can't get past the parking plan thing. Not only is it a stupid, silly plan, but it was handled in such an anti-democratic and dishonest way that it speaks volumes about how Qualls would run the city. We don't need a dictatorial mayor who will push her ideas through with scare tactics (police and fire layoffs being imminent) and secrecy (trying to bury the memo on the parking lease). 

The sad thing is that I support the streetcar and would probably vote for Qualls if she had not lost my vote through her handling of the parking lease. All the development she wants to create downtown won't mean much when anyone who doesn't live in the city is less likley to visit because of exhorbitant parking fees and ridiculous tickets with no recourse.


10.25.2013 at 09:04 Reply

Roxeanne didn't push the parking lease, the current city administration did. Roxeanne didn't threaten police layoffs, she worked on the bill that was enacted that kept them from being fired. And if you think parking rates are going to rise, then park in a private lot. If you are worried about getting tickets and towed at meters, park in a garage for nearly the same rates. John Cranley is the wrong leader for our city. His "Mitt Romney" style campaign has led me to believe that he has no original ideas or plans on how to lead this city. It's all about how bad the other candidate did/is doing. Don't fall for his lies and embelishments on the key issues. Vote Qualls and keep the city going forward.


10.25.2013 at 10:53

Your defense of Roxanne not "pushing" the parking lease is laughable. She didn't voice any concerns or opposition until she held her finger in the and realized how unpopular the plan was.  She's another community organizer that has no idea how to be fiscally responsible. She and the current mayor spent the casino tax revenue a year before the casino opened to fund a legacy project for the outgoing mayor.


10.25.2013 at 10:47 Reply

The thrust of your endorsement seems to be that the street car project is underway so it must be the right thing to do. Between selling hospitals and parking facilities Ms. Qualls is willing to sell any asset at any price to avoid having to make the city live within a budget where they spend no more than the tax revenue they earn. After forty years as a Cincinnati resident I'm moving to Clermont county after this election. At least most of the politicians out there have day jobs and realize you can't forever spend money you don't have. 


11.05.2013 at 10:00 Reply

The only reason the streetcar passed is because the money was not spent at the polls to tell people that Qualls was using deception to get it passed, basically “yes” mint “no”.  It only passed by 200 votes.  The streetcar is a garbage project with no ROI.  If it is viable in anyway, where is the money from the private sector that Qualls and Mallory lied about?  Stopping it now will save Cincinnati taxpayers hundreds of millions, with that money we can get our fire and police staffing back to operational strength.  We may pay a few million in penalties, but that ragamuffin project would run at lease a four million dollar deficit each year, monies the tax payer would be forced to fork-over.