Question 1: Across the country, local and statewide affordable housing trust funds with consistent, dependable public revenue have long proven to be effective in preserving and producing affordable homes to combat the housing crisis. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now has called for at least $50 million in city funds to be allocated annually to Cincinnati’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Do you agree the City can and should generate at least $50 million city dollars annually, while maintaining existing vital services, and annually allocate it to the development and preservation of affordable housing?
If the city can afford the 50 million to give out annually, and key vital services, yes, I do support that. But under these circumstances, COVID and other things, mismanagement, corruption, all this other stuff that we still got to protect our citizens from, do I think we can afford it right now? No, I don't. Like I said, if we can, I'm all for it, but it's too many things going on in the city to even allocate anything, annually, to put that on paper. The other thing is, affordable housing, of course, is definitely needed, but like most everybody else said, homeownership, I'm more interested in bringing people generational wealth, homeownership into our city. We need to strive, we don't need the minimum, we all need to do the minimum, we need to strive throughout the whole city, regardless of where you work or where you live. If you live in Westwood, if you live in East Westwood, if you live in Millville or Hyde Park, we should have all the same opportunities to strive with housing and home ownership, and be able to live. We need to make sure that our citizens are prepared, like just in case they do want to move somewhere or whatever the case may be. We need to make sure they are prepared for that, and we need to prepare our city to bring people into our city. We need to build our population to have more people paying taxes. Then we can probably think about allocating 50 million or whatever the case may be, each year, because we have more people in our city paying more taxes, and we'll have more funds.
Question 2: The City of Cincinnati freely awards public subsidies and benefits like land, zoning changes, and tax abatements to private development projects. Hundreds of cities across the country reserve these incentives only for projects that include affordable housing. Would you support an ordinance requiring the inclusion of affordable housing and prevailing wage jobs in order for developers to be awarded these incentives? Thousands of Cincinnatians have been displaced from their homes so that developers can move in people with higher incomes. Would you sponsor an ordinance that would make it such that developers could not both displace people for gain and receive city incentives?
We need commitment to work in good faith for our people. My honest question is, who have we been electing to get to this part? We got developments displacing people and everything, that's something that we work in good faith with. We're supposed to lead with love. We're supposed to care for our people, our citizens, our taxpayers, whatever the case may be, our voters. We need to show care. Obviously, there's been some people that we elected that don't care for our city. It’s bad, bad business. We need to work in good faith. People trust us, people trust people that they vote for. I need your vote on November 2, also on October 5, where early voting start. Because the thing is I'm working in good faith. I support an ordinance, we have to have one, because people don't know how to actually care for people that’s living in theirs areas, they want to displace them over some money. Come on, man. We got to do better. Cincinnati, we can do better. We must do better. We can't continue electing folks that are going to displace people, or even agree to. Don’t forget there’s nine council members and the mayor. We have to have the majority of the people to agree on this, and vote it in. Of course, if we need an ordinance, let's do it. But I think people need to work in good faith. People need to love first and care for every family like it’s theirs. I don't understand why we are even having this conversation. I don’t understand why we are even going through this in our city. It’s ridiculous. It’s definitely ridiculous. Not just for me or whatever neighborhood, we need to make sure that we are good, because if somebody's hurting, we’re all hurting. I feel the pain. We need to make sure that we don't displace anybody for some simple development that they're going to knock down in 10 years.
Question 3: Cincinnati has been cited as one of the most segregated cities in our country. The continuing legacy of systemically racist and classist housing and development policies and practices have left entire communities out of opportunities for economic success, while other communities have been created as places of concentrated wealth. Black People are most harmed by these discriminatory policies. How will your plans for affordable housing benefit Black People specifically? How will you work to increase access to wealthy neighborhoods?
Honestly, nobody’s really saying it. I'm not trying to ruffle no feathers, but this city has been run by two parties. Come on, let's be honest. One party more than the other. We got here because of them, let's be honest. All these policies, everything that's going on right now, is controlled by these parties. We need to start looking into these independents, look into the Green Party and look into these other parties, and see what we can find. We can change, we want change. Come on, we’ve been run by the same people, basically, they’re just different names, for over 50 years, and we’re still in the same position that we were in four years ago, and then four years before that. Come on, y'all, let's be honest. This is run by the same parties every year. I understand they have new names, and some of them look great. But hopefully, they continue to have a great heart, because it seems like everybody has a good heart until they actually get in that position, then they just change. But this city has been run by these same parties. We need to change, we want change, we want affordable housing, we want things to be better for our people, for our Cincinnatians. We want to grow the population. We can't continue to go the same route. I understand that we might go the same route this time. In two more years I'll be saying the same thing, and two more years after that, until we change. Until we honestly change who we’re voting for or what slate we’re running for, or whatever the case may be, we’re going to continue to have the same problems over and over again, until that change. I'm here for the people. I'm just a regular citizen just like anybody else.