Cleaner, Greener, Smarter

Browse by topic

Cleaner

Clean air, clean water. Without it, nothing else matters.

Doubters — talk to people in Flint, Michigan, or commuters in China wearing masks.

With the top-down political push to weaken EPA, it’s more important than ever to have a Cincinnati Council Member willing to fight for clean air and water. We have poor air quality in Cincinnati, as families with asthma sufferers know. I’ll fight for solutions to improve the air we breathe.

Cincinnati has outstanding water, and we’re known for water innovation, which has attracted 6000 water scientists to our region. I support entrepreneurial spinoffs based on our water asset.

To ensure safe drinking water and clean natural waterways, I led passage of legislation banning deep well injection waste disposal in Cincinnati. We were the first Ohio city to pass a law to prevent fracking waste from polluting our water.

Purple People Bridge Cleanup

ppb

I love a clean and inviting city gateway. Ohio’s side of the Purple People Bridge used to scare away folks walking over from Newport, KY.

As a Channel 9 I-Team Reporter I investigated why the PPB was such a mess, and then raised funds from citizens who sponsored benches and flowerpots for Ohio’s side. Next, politicians got their hands on some big bucks and actually made Ohio’s side look worse! Photo above shows overgrown bamboo and stringy lights that made people think this was a temporary construction site.

A few years later I was elected to Cincinnati Council and worked with volunteers from Downtown Residents Council and Master Gardeners to transform the Purple People Bridge into a wonderful parklet. Citizens bought more benches, flowerpots, and plantings and volunteered to paint and repair our side of the Purple People Bridge every year. Volunteer artists painted a mural and DCI sponsored a lighted kiosk. Ohio’s side of the Purple People Bridge is now clean and inviting. I’m happy now. I bought benches to honor my Mom and Dad, Jack and Jeanne Quinlivan.

Fracking Waste Ban

fracking

Oil companies don’t frack in Cincinnati, our geology isn’t suited. But fracking waste? A company might want to truck it here, drill down and inject it.

To protect our Cincinnati water, I authored legislation to prohibit fracking wastewater disposal via deep injection well. Disposal wells elsewhere have leaked, releasing chemicals and poisoning groundwater. There’s evidence it can even cause earthquakes.

Anyway, don’t worry. It can’t happen here. Not anymore.

Enhanced Recycling

recycling

Cincinnati was the first city in the Midwest to implement Enhanced Recycling, free green carts delivered to every household. I enjoyed helping City Sustainability Director Larry Falkin roll out the program citywide. I produced a video on how Enhanced Recycling works and what citizens could expect. The video was shown at community council meetings across the city.

With a 75% increase in citizen recycling saving the city $1 Million/year, our green carts fill up faster than ever. Time for weekly pickup of recycling, just like garbage. I’ll advocate for that.

Greener

Sustainability is a core value for me, and for our city.

As Chair of the Mayor’s Green Steering Committee, I worked on the Green Cincinnati Plan and helped implement Enhanced Recycling, ZipCar, bike lanes, community gardens and the first Greenarama Home Show.

After experience building an energy efficient LEED Gold home in 2011, I authored the change to the city’s LEED tax abatement that sparked a boom in green construction. Cincinnati leads Ohio and the region in LEED certified buildings.

I prioritize green space, parks and energy efficiency.

I’m proud to have been on the council that funded the new Cincinnati District 3 Police Station. I encouraged putting public art in the budget to be designed by west side citizens.

We now have America’s first LEED Platinum Net Zero Energy police station! It’s such a remarkable achievement for a midwestern city that PBS wants a documentary. I’m Director and Producer of the program, to air sometime in 2017. Watch a preview.

Wasson Way Bike Trail

wasson

Wasson Way Bike Trail is 6 miles of alternative transportation breaking ground in 2017. The trail was my baby at City Hall, birthed in 2010 after a visit from WW founder Jay Andress and his daughter. They saw unused railroad track and thought “bike trail!”

We built council support for Wasson Way by championing the project in my Strategic Growth Committee, convening neighborhood meetings and local governments touched by Wasson Way. I authored the Motion directing the City to buy the right of way from the railroad.

In the summer of 2012, I went to Carmel, Indiana with 25 other Cincinnatians to ride the Monon Trail, an urban bike trail that has transformed that city. Wasson Way will do for Cincinnati what the Loveland Bike Trail has done for Loveland.

The east-west Wasson Way Bike Trail stretches from Xavier University in Evanston to Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, Fairfax and Mariemont. The trail may eventually extend into Bond Hill, and its part of an extensive bicycle superhighway plan that touches 22 Cincinnati neighborhoods called “Connect Cincinnati”.

Neighborhood Green Space

green-space

We know that neighborhood green space improves property values, and happiness.

In my tenure at City Hall, I led efforts to preserve green space and urban gardens like Permaganic in Pendleton.

I support vacant lot cleanups led by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, and all the volunteers who pick up litter in neighborhoods, like Avondale Youth Council.

When I learned that taxpayers were funding flowerpots and green space maintenance for only a few lucky business districts selected for political reasons, I worked with Cincinnati Parks to open up the opportunity to any neighborhood business district willing to partner with Parks and pay half the cost. Now, our Business Improvement Program is a sustainable solution beautifying 22 Cincinnati neighborhoods at no increased cost to taxpayers. Cleaner, Greener, Smarter…the leadership I offer.

Working with homebuilders, I created Cincinnati’s first Greenarama Home Show in 2011, energy efficient home in Columbia Tusculum built to LEED standards. It was a great way to market our LEED Tax Abatement in 2011, when many still didn’t know about it.

LEED Tax Abatement

leed

A LEED certified building is energy efficient and cheaper to operate. It’s healthier for occupants. And, green buildings reduce our carbon footprint.

My husband and I built a LEED Gold home in 2011. In doing so, I realized our city’s LEED Tax Abatement needed restructuring. Cincinnati had been offering the same tax break for basic certification, LEED Silver and LEED Gold. The change I authored gives better tax breaks for achieving higher levels of LEED, incentivizing people to invest in sustainability.

Many cities, including New York, are now copying our program. Thanks to our LEED Tax Abatement, Cincinnati has more green buildings than any city in Ohio, any city in the region.

As a filmmaker, I’m now documenting the greenest building in Ohio, the first Net Zero Energy Police Station in America, Cincinnati Police District 3 on Ferguson Rd on the west side. It will air on PBS sometime in 2017.

Smarter

I will create jobs and help neighborhoods to move Cincinnati forward.

My Community Entertainment District legislation was a smart strategy to accomplish both goals, resulting in 1000 jobs and 100 new businesses. These unique, locally-owned businesses are helping neighborhoods thrive.

When you return me to Cincinnati Council, I’ll work with you on key city challenges: transportation, affordable housing, the heroin crisis, and childhood poverty.

Transportation

streetcar

Improving transportation will make Cincinnati more livable for all of us.

METRO’s bus system needs regional funding. We can do better connecting workers to jobs.

I was an early champion of Cincinnati Streetcar and never wavered. This first leg of our modern rail system has already brought $160 million in private investment to the urban core, and we will expand it to connect more neighborhoods. Citizens who have invested millions in OTR because of the streetcar helped me to flip longtime critic WLW’s Bill Cunningham.

I led council support for Wasson Way Bike Trail, which breaks ground soon as an east-west recreation and alternative transportation route. I also support Connect Cincinnati, a bicycle “superhighway” plan to connect neighborhoods throughout the city. I’m a TriState Trails member, and support all bike trail projects.

Let’s maximize the potential of Red Bike, the city bike share program for low-income residents, bike commuters and tourists. We need more bike paths for safer travel and more riders.

Infrastructure investments like Western Hills Viaduct and Brent Spence Bridge are important too, and time’s a wasting. In my experience as Vice Chair of Council’s Transportation Committee and member of the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District, transportation projects take more time than you’d think and get more expensive the longer you wait.

Jobs – Community Entertainment Districts

jobs

My Community Entertainment District legislation has created more than 1000 jobs in the city, by helping entrepreneurs launch about 100 new neighborhood restaurants.

Many are women and minority-owned businesses, like Verzcruz Grill in Price Hill, Overlook Lodge and Emanu in Pleasant Ridge, Pho Lang Thang at Findlay Market, Just Q’in in Walnut Hills and Myrtle’s Punch House in East Walnut Hills. CED restaurants are increasing the vibrancy in Price Hill, Northside, Madisonville, Pleasant Ridge, Clifton Heights, East End and Over the Rhine and Westwood.

Our CED story begins in 2010 when neighborhood leaders in Pleasant Ridge asked me to help find a way for non-profit neighborhood groups like Pleasant Ridge Community Development Corporation to become Community Entertainment Districts.

A Community Entertainment District (CED) designation attracts restaurants and revitalizes business districts. A CED enables a business owner to get a liquor license at a fraction of the open market price, saving $30,000- $50,000 in start up costs.

Before I got involved, the only CED in the city was at The Banks. Long story short, I worked with PRDC’s Bryn Lewis and others to craft new legislation enabling non-profits to become CEDs too. My council colleagues passed the law and good stuff started happening.

Emanu, an Ethiopian restaurant in Pleasant Ridge, was nearly out of business. Owner Sam Yhdego got the first CED liquor license for Emanu and his profits increased immediately, enough that he even bought his building. Residents of Pleasant Ridge are thrilled that Emanu stayed and that more CED restaurants are coming, like Overlook Lodge, Molly Malone’s Pub and Casa Figueroa.

Pleasant Park coffee shop got a CED liquor license too, and business tripled. The owner says she doesn’t actually sell much wine, and believes business boomed because people prefer gathering someplace where having a glass of wine is an option.

Jobs – Mobile Food Vending

mobile

In 2010, Cincinnati had only a few food trucks and the owners told me they were about to leave town because the city made it hard to do business. City law banned food trucks from operating downtown. Say, what? Crazy, but true.

I worked with food truck owners Tom Acito and Emily Frank and DCI’s David Ginsburg to identify downtown locations to create food vending “zones.” I convened a city team with reps from every department to help make it happen. They did, we did, thanks to Scott Stiles, former Asst City Manager. Restaurant owners were wary of this plan, but agreed to give our MFV pilot program a chance.

Mobile Food Vending in Cincinnati took off. Now, our handful of food trucks has blossomed into an entrepreneurial ecosystem of 80 small businesses, creating hundreds of new jobs and lots of delicious, healthy food.

Congratulations to C’est Cheese food truck owner Emily Frank, opening a cheese shop in Pleasant Ridge, and to New Orleans to Go food truck owners Randy & LaToya Filson. They now have a bricks and mortar restaurant, Mardi Gras on Madison, in East Walnut Hills.

Health & Safety

healthy-living

After two University of Cincinnati students died in an off-campus fire in 2013, I worked with their parents and UC student leaders to create the Cincinnati Safe Student Housing program.

This program encourages landlords to fix up their properties. A landlord or renter may call Cincinnati Fire Department for a free safety inspection. If the property passes inspection, it’s listed as safe on the new website we created to market quality rentals, www.CincinnatiSafeStudentHousing.com.

When I served 2009-2013, many on council wanted to eliminate our funding for school nurses. Working with Roxanne Qualls and Interact for Health’s Jim Schwab, we saved school nurses, with a sustainable solution. CPS school-based health centers are now a national model and point of pride for Cincinnati Public Schools.

When Bootsy Collins’ nephew died after the tooth infection he couldn’t afford to his treat went to his brain, Bootsy addressed my council committee on the importance of low-cost dental care.

I persuaded my colleagues to fund an additional 2000 free or low-cost dental visits each year at our Cincinnati Health Clinics, and there’s a plaque honoring Bootsy’s nephew at the Elm St Clinic. This program saves taxpayers money by cutting down on indigent emergency room dental visits. It may also save lives.

Good Government – 4 Year Terms

good-government

To save taxpayer money and make council more productive, I led the change to 4-year council terms.

In 2012, Cincinnati voters passed 4-Year Terms, a good government reform.

I appreciate citizen leaders who joined as co-chairs for this non-partisan issue: Cathy Crain, Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr., Otto Budig, Jim Tarbell, Gwen Robinson and Mike Allen.

Good Government – Preschool Promise

promise

The Preschool Promise is a game-changer for our city. It addresses poverty by ensuring all children have access to quality preschool. Research overwhelmingly shows quality preschool leads to success in life.

I led political support for Preschool Promise on city council. In 2013, I invited former P&G Chairman John Pepper to address my council committee to inspire council members to become advocates for quality preschool and sign the ‘preschool pledge.’

In 2014, I produced a Preschool Promise video showing how it changed the life of one boy and his grandfather. The video played at many house parties hosted by citizen “ambassadors” like myself who were part of the grassroots campaign.

I worked the polls Election Day 2016, and was thrilled that fellow Cincinnatians passed Issue 44, to enact the Preschool Promise.

Pastor Ennis Tait is one of many Cincinnati religious leaders who worked hard to educate our community about the importance of quality preschool as one solution in our fight to wipe out childhood poverty.

Economic Development

economic

Major economic development investments I voted for include transforming Washington Park, and developing Smale Riverfront Park, The Banks and Cincinnati Streetcar.

Can you imagine our city today without these investments?

We focused strategically on neighborhood development 2009-2013 with our Focus 52 Fund, directing $10 Million for Walnut Hills and significant funding for Madisonville, Westwood, College Hill, Evanston and Avondale. The Focus 52 program was cut by this administration. When I’m back on council, I’ll lead the charge to restore a funding source to spur major investments in neighborhoods.

On Council, I created Community Entertainment Districts to help struggling business districts attract new, locally-owned restaurants. CEDs have created more than 1000 jobs in the city.

My vision for Cincinnati was sparked in 2001 while filming my Peabody Award-winning Ch. 9 documentary “Visions of Vine Street.” I fell in love with OTR’s Italianate architecture, and Cincinnati’s cultural history. “Visions of Vine Street” advocated revitalization of the most important street in Cincinnati, and then-Mayor Charlie Luken reacted, making Vine Street his #1 priority. His action led to creation of 3CDC and the transformation of Vine Street over the past 15 years. Lessons learned.

Arts

arts

Cincinnati’s phenomenal arts and culture is unmatched in the region, attracting residents and top-notch talent. Promoting our Arts is smart business.

In 2012, I created Cincinnati Arts Ambassador Fellowships to retain the creative class in Cincinnati. CAAF artist creations include Bridget Leake’s pop-up adaptation of Tom Sawyer, Shark Girl by the Sea, (sculpture bought by Buffalo) and Nathaniel Chaitkin’s Bach & Boombox.

This current council eliminated CAAF, a penny-wise and pound-foolish decision that broke Cincinnati’s 20-year history of awarding individual artist grants.

To promote the city’s musical heritage during the 2012 World Choir Games I produced “Cincinnati’s Singing”, a music video starring hometown celebrities Nick and Drew Lachey, Jerry Springer, Bootsy Collins and the Naked Cowboy. Our 30- second version is a great TV commercial for Cincinnati, and we could not have done this without our talented friends PPS.

Cincinnati’s major arts institutions performed in NYC on the world’s biggest stages in 2014 and I had to tell the story. With funding from ArtsWave and Otto M. Budig Foundation my company produced feature stories from New York, which then aired on Local 12 news. Check out the talent in Cincinnati May Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall, Romeo & Juliet of the chorus, Cincinnati Ballerina and Playhouse favorite Teresa Rebeck.