Thursday, February 26, 2009

State of the City

I attended the State of the City address last night.

First, I'll disclose that I am a big fan of the city of Cincinnati. I love our downtown and all the great city neighborhoods. Too often, good suburban Republicans see downtown as disconnected, Democrat controlled territory that is hostile. We should not. Hamilton county has a a vibrant city center with a tremendous arts community, professional sports, great dining, and much to offer the region.

So, last night was a celebration of the city. That part of the evening was non-partisan. There is much to celebrate and Republicans should be part of celebrating what is good. I enjoyed that celebration.

Mayor Mallory is eloquent and personable. His remarks focused on the partnerships that exist between city government and the private sector. He did a nice job.

Councilmember Chris Monzel offered his remarks as a "Republican Response" after Mayor Mallory spoke. Of course, I found Chris' remarks to be more in line with how I see things developing in the city. Chris talked about a focus on public safety and basic city services. He talked about his opposition to the Mayor's proposal on street cars. As our senior Republican on the city council, Chris Monzel did a great job.

I rarely complain about our local media on this blog. I find the local folks to be mostly fair. I am disappointed that WLWT, Channel 5, was the only TV station to cover Chris' remarks. I applaud the radio and print journalists that understood the fundamental fairness in covering a Republican on this night and for showing up. This is a city election year and the Mayor is a candidate. After giving the Democratic mayor such great coverage, I wish the other three TV news networks had given our candidate at least some voice. We'll continue to work respectfully with the media.

Finally, we are working on a couple of key issues as it relates to what is happening at city hall. I am watching with great interest the NAACP's actions as it relates to our mayor. My early research tells me that this venerable civil rights organization will provide significant evidence that the mayor and his city administration have not been inclusive of minorities in conducting the city's business. The leadership of our local NAACP feels that way.

As Republicans, we have always stood against quotas and set-asides based on race and we should. But, we can also stand for inclusion and Republicans have always stood for equal opportunity for everyone.

We'll keep watching.