Citizens Connect encourages regional thinking

Citizens for Civic Renewal (CCR) continues its Citizens Connect series, an interactive community forum designed to connect citizens of Greater Cincinnati and engage them in creating solutions for our region.

The most recent forum, held at the First Unitarian Church in Avondale, addressed the issues of rebuilding our aging infrastructure in a sustainable manner and providing a truly regional transit system.

Eleven civic groups partnered to hold the forum, which featured SORTA CEO Marilyn Shazor as guest speaker.

CCR director Steve Johns says that participants found that the main issues that local transit faces include a lack of awareness of the benefits of transit, a lack of stable operating dollars, and the fact that our region spans multiple states.

Discussions from the breakout sessions led to an actionable plan.

"Our call to action was to reach out to elected officials at the federal state and local levels to indicate the importance of expanded transit for our region," Johns says.  "This was specifically expressed by proposing that we email newly elected congressman Steve Driehaus, participate in ODOT's 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force survey and contact our local leaders.  It was also suggested that we testify at OKI's December 3 public hearing on the regional transportation planning process."

CCR plans to continue the Citizens Connect series to explore more ways in which the region's many jurisdictions can collaborate and share resources.

"CCR invites partners based on the topic," Johns says.  "The next topic is shared local government services - highlighting the City of Silverton who has a Joint Fire District with the City of Deer Park, contracts building inspections through Hamilton County and contracts income tax collection through RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency)."

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Steve Johns, director, Citizens for Civic Renewal

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