Officials with the Hamilton County Democratic Party have issued the following statement about the Fair Cincy proposal to change the way Cincinnatians elect their city council members. The statement follows:
“A plan came to light this past weekend that would change the way members of Cincinnati City Council are elected from the current citywide, at-large system to one that is majority district-based. It is not supported by the Hamilton County Democratic Party. This is a backroom deal that would limit the number of African American officials, extend the influence of big business, and crowd out grass-roots candidates.
“The plan and proposed map were cooked up behind closed doors with no community input. The public needs to be part of any plan that vastly reshapes how we elect our city representatives.
“Second, our current system has worked well to elect a council that is representative of who we are. Implementation of this proposed plan would make it harder for candidates of color to win more than two seats.
“Finally, and most critically, this new plan calls for head-to-head races for each seat. This new scheme would allow money to have an oversized role in electing members to council, while inviting in increased negative campaigning and messaging. These are both things that we, as Democrats, should be working against.
“The Democratic Party has not been approached by the organizers of this proposal for endorsement consideration, but on its face it seems to be contrary to our party values. We urge Cincinnati voters to not sign the circulating petitions, as we believe this newly proposed plan is not good for the city of Cincinnati and its voters’’