In the race for Cincinnati City council, I have yet to decide who I will give my vote to when I head to the ballot box in a few weeks. Granted, I have not been paying too much attention to the race. When I hear candidates on the television giving their spiel about how they want to decrease the crime rate, increase the number of high school graduates while spurring economic development, my eyes tend to glaze over.
I have always been a voter who chooses a candidate by what they have done, and little by what they say that they are going to do. This does not bod too well for new comers who have a small track record of community engagement and economic renewal achievements.
This morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer announced its candidate endorsements.
Chris Bortz, incumbent (C): The Enquirer calls him "Smart, effective and articulate". I agree. A few months ago, I volunteered for a beautification event organized by Give Back Cincinnati where we planted the street island located at Clifton and Calhoun streets. Chris Bortz's campaign members were there in addition to the man himself. He was not on the sidelines of the event, he was hauling mulch, digging holes and at the end of the day, was dirtier than most of the organizers. He even hung out afterwards and had a beer with us. He gets my vote.
Laketa Cole, incumbent (D): The Enquirer says that Cole is "one of council's most effective advocates for neighborhoods." I agree. Many times I have witnessed her community engagements. She attended the event organized by the Pendleton Neighborhood Council where we attempted to reclaim the drug laced streets. News that she was involved in a physical altercation with another woman concerns me, but as the Enquirer says, "it appears to be a lapse in judgment brought on by embarrassment and immaturity. She owes voters a full explanation."
Roxanne Qualls, incumbent (C): The Enquirer places Ms. Qualls in the "Close Call" category, but calls her "Smart, capable and experienced." I agrees. She did not make the Enquirer's cut due to her absence from Cincinnati government. I think she is getting a bad rap. Since she has stepped down form being Cincinnati's mayor and a member of its city council, she has been sharpening her skills by doing the following:
Loeb Fellowship in Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University,Class of 2001
Fellow Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2000
Institute for New Mayors, Harvard University, 1993
Mayors Institute on City Design, Harvard University, 1996
Mayors Institute on City Design, University of Virginia, 1997
Not to mention the dozens of social organizations and that she is member to. I doubt that her absence would be a hindrance.
Here is a rundown of the rest of the Enquirer's picks.
GOOD TO GO:
John Cranley, incumbent (D)
David Crowley, incumbent (D)
John Eby, challenger (R)
Leslie Ghiz, incumbent (R)
Greg Harris, challenger (D)
Chris Monzel, incumbent (R)
Cecil Thomas, incumbent (D)
DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT:
Jeff Berding, incumbent (D)
Pat Fischer, challenger (R)
Joan Kaup, challenger (C)
Charlie Winburn, challenger (R)