05 September 2005

David Pepper for Cincinnati Mayor by Davida Gable

Dear David,

As a campaign volunteer, I try to sit back at events and let you do your stuff to garner the votes necessary to decisively win the mayoral election on Tuesday, September 13th. I have always assumed you already understand what I am about to say. But I must make make sure that you hear anyway, because we can't afford any more mistakes.

I'm a resident of East Walnut Hills, making the move to Mt. Adams. I have friends and family scattered throughout wealthier East side neighborhoods in Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, and Oakley. We dutifully check the "Taxes" and "Crime" boxes of "What are your concerns?" surveys. But our concerns are larger than that, and the constricting surveys miss the point.

East Side residents love Cincinnati and regard it with the same hometown affection you passionately display. But we are tired. We are tired of shouldering the burden of (barely) educating the region's poor. We are tired of being the first neigborhoods under siege when the effects of generational poverty and educational failure spill over. We are tired of subsidizing the zoo, the arts, stadiums, and fabulous fireworks viewing parks for suburbanites who come in briefly when they want a good time or wedding pictures. And then leave. When Katrina survivors are in need, we're the ones who quickly offer our governmental facilities to hundreds. We always tell our suburban friends that we can't afford Bengals or Reds tickets because we're the ones paying the taxes on the stadiums. They laugh, tailgate, and then go back home... gliding happily along interstates that shield them from viewing the urban decay they leave to us.

We East Side residents, however, have not bailed on Cincinnati. West Chester homeowners pay only a fraction of the taxes we assume, and they send their kids to excellent schools. Conversely, we are being wrung dry with taxes, and then we must start shopping for private schools after installing our home alarm systems.

Cincinnati taxpayers cannot take it anymore. The Cincinnati poor cannot take it anymore. Yet, again and again, we Cincinnati citizens end up in brawls, and then dutifully check the "crime" and "taxes" boxes each election cycle. We are not just the city proper of Cincinnati, but we are the hope for the Cincinnati region. If Cincinnati fails, the Cincinnati region circles the drain, too. Homearama golf community citizens of Mason and West Chester must step up to the plate. Indian Hill residents of palatial estates must step up to the plate. Convergys must step up to the plate. Bengals and Reds stadium owners must step up to the plate. Even Saks Fifth Avenue must step up to the plate.

We need a mayor who not only is serious about schools, transportation, crime, and housing in the city of Cincinnati. We need a strong mayor who can lead the Cincinnati region. I am confident - well, pretty sure - that you are the kind of leader who can convince businesses and wealthier suburban communities that they must, as Cincinnatians in spirit, commit more of themselves to shoulder the regional burdens we face. You are the rare person who can help bridge the astounding gap between the suburban wealthy and urban poor.

In the wake of Katrina, and with increased awareness of poverty's challenges, we have a rare opportunity to send our own SOS to the region. As a region, we must commit to having the most talented workforce and citizenry in the face of increased globalization. I repeat, WE MUST HAVE THE MOST TALENTED WORKFORCE AND CITIZENRY. We must have this commitment from every single citizen. We have no choice. The starting gun has already been fired, yet we are still squabbling in the warm-up area. I believe you are the best candidate who has the potential to earn regional trust for a new commitment.

I'm sending this email to all my Cincinnati friends and family, so that they understand why I'm voting for you on Tuesday, September 13th. Republicans and Democrats alike can vote for any one candidate. I hope my friends and family vote for you. Most of all, however, I hope they vote.

Back to stamping mailings,
Davida Gable

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