CPS, endorsers, rally on Issue 10
Backers of the Cincinnati Public Schools tax hike rallied on the indoor steps of City Hall this morning, a few hours before City Council was scheduled to approve a resolution endorsing the levy.
CPS Superintendent Rosa Blackwell promised victory next Tuesday.
"We will win," she said.
If she's right, it would be a remarkable turnaround in public sentiment. Just four months ago, voters defeated the levy by nearly a 3-to-2 margin. But levy supporters are encouraged by a much more active campaign and what they hope will be collateral support brought in by a hotly contested Democratic primary for president.
Included in the roughly 65 supporters on Wednesday were a series of high-profile endorsers of the tax levy, including City Council members David Crowley, Roxanne Qualls, John Cranley and Laketa Cole.
Also present were senior officials from organized labor, religious groups and the Charter Committee, which backed the tax hike last week.
Shortly before the rally began, Mayor Mark Mallory -- who has stayed silent on the CPS levy -- walked through the levy group, heavily populated by his fellow Democrats, on his way to his office. A pro-levy campaign organizer acknowledged his absence didn't look good.
Mallory spokesman Jason Barron said Mallory has a longstanding practice of not attending lunchtime press conferences.
Away from the rally, COAST member Paul Naberhaus responded to Blackwell's promise of victory. "All I can say is, I hope not. I hope that the voters realize that this tax, if it's enacted, is big, and it reduces their property values."
Some quotes from the event:
"Faith only lives in an educated gentry, and that's what we're hoping for." -the Rev. Richard Bollman, the AMOS Project.
"It's a must that this issue passes. There is a lot going on in the world behind me today, and we need our young people to be prepared to participate in the world economy." -- the Rev. James Pankey, president, Baptist Ministers Conference
"The fact is, we cannot grow the city without a top-notch school system." -Cranley