If you have not been to City Hall before, please go. Walk around and become familiar with the building; our building. Please attend a city council meeting and some council committee meetings. Most Cincinnatians have probably never been in City Hall and certainly most have never been in council chambers. This and low-voter turn-out are connected.
“Half of democracy is just showing up.”
– Ralph Nader
Perhaps people feel there is nothing they can do to change what occurs at City Hall. Or perhaps people think what happens there doesn’t really affect their lives or the lives of people around them. Both feelings are incorrect. Individuals and especially groups can affect what occurs at City Hall, yes through voting, and also through being there, speaking and meeting with council members. The decisions made in council chambers do affect our lives. Certainly we may not feel as much of that positive affect as we should because 70% of our tax-dollars go into police/fire alone and much of the dollars that pass through our city go to for-profit developers and the like, but we can change that.
It is both disappointing and alarming whenever I go to a council meeting and very few people are sitting there for the meeting. And that probably happens more than not. Real decision making power by the People requires that decisions and discussions happen in the light. The government must be transparent and operate in the light, and we need to shed light in order to display the truth and fight for positive change. If you can get away from work on a lunch break or at another time, go by our City Hall.