City Councilman Chris Bortz is a lifelong Cincinnati citizen elected in November 2005. As chairman of City Councilís economic development committee, Bortz announced the formation of Go Cincinnati
, a public-private economic development initiative charged with devising an economic growth strategy that uses the best of existing plans and programs as well as new ideas. The committee will develop an economic growth strategy to effectively allocate the cityís limited resources, set priorities, and set the stage for an increase in government revenues by expanding its tax base. It will concentrate on three areas: job attraction and retention, workforce development, and neighborhood development.
In addition to working on economic growth and crime, the Councilmember is a major advocate for a Streetcar system that would link the urban core, spur business and residential development, provide parking relief and reduce congestion and air pollution.
Environmental issues are also an important topic to Councilmember Bortz. Along with Councilmember Laketa Cole, he initiated two pieces of legislation that provide tax and other financial incentives to develop buildings to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards. New municipal buildings and renovations to existing municipal buildings will also incorporate green building elements. Additionally, a fund will be created to provide loans to developers of low and moderate income housing to build LEED certified. He is currently working on Green Streets Legislation modeled after Portland's Green Streets project, which reduces storm sewer runoff by using landscaped storm water planters to infiltrate street runoff.
Fighting blight and nuisance is also a topic of concentration. Councilmember Bortz is working to analyze city owned property and its possible potential in an attempt to reduce blight. He is currently working towards empowering the Department of Buildings and Inspections to aggressively pursue the elimination of blight through increased funding for demolition, blight/hazard abatement and adding additional inspectors.