Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Council Bickering Blocking Black Business Inclusion?

Black Businesses can't get a fair shake in Cincinnati. Even though there's a Black City Manager, Black Mayor, and a majority of City Councilmembers are Black, the City isn't doing business with Black companies.  That's the bottom line! Faithful readers of the Cincinnati Black Blog know we've been covering the latest fight to get Council to pass a Diversity/Disparity/Croson study. (See, this and this.) Well, there was a big Council committee meeting on Monday, the purpose of which was to deal with the Croson study. We regret to report that Council couldn't stop bickering, grandstanding, and politicking long enough to pass a motion directing the City Manager to get the Croson study done. Why should Black businesses suffer because Council can't work together to get a motion passed?! They shouldn't!!!

Earlier today, mayoral candidate John Cranley went on the Lincoln Ware show on WDBZ radio. Councilmember Charlie Winburn, who chaired the non-productive committee meeting on Monday, is working with Cranley. He doesn't want Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls to be mayor.  Winburn called and gave a report. According to him, progress was made at the committee meeting when Chris Seelbach and P.G. Sittenfeld joined with him and Christopher Smitherman to have a Croson study done.  They led listeners to believe Qualls and the other 4 Councilmembers -- Laurie Quinlivan, Yvette Simpson, Cecil Thomas, and Wendell Young -- wouldn't support the city doing a Croson study, mainly because Smitherman's name was on the motion. Now, it may be true that no one on Council wants to work with Smitherman. Who would want to work with that divisive creep!? But that's no excuse to delay positive movement on the Croson study.

Because we don't believe politicians, we decided to check the city's website before we published this report, and here's what we found. It's true that a Winburn/Smitherman/Sittenfeld/Seelbach motion was introduced. Here's what Cranley and Winburn didn't mention.  Qualls, Seelbach, and Young introduced their own motion that Winburn, Smitherman and the others didn't sign. There's no significant difference in the two motions.  This is all politics. Winburn and Smitherman don't want Qualls to get credit for sponsoring a Croson study motion that passes because it goes against this narrative they're trying to put out in the Black community that Qualls has never done anything for Black people. The Black community should send a clear message to Council: quit playing around and pass one of the motions on Wednesday.