FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2021
Contact: Daniel van Hoogstraten, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Ginther and Columbus Leaders Announce Opposition to Misguided and Harmful Ballot Measure
At Today’s Announcement Event, Leaders Urge a NO Vote on Issue 7 to Keep Columbus Safe and Healthy
Columbus, OH — Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, City Council President Shannon Hardin, and labor, environmental, and community leaders today came together to announce their strong opposition to Issue 7, a ballot measure that would take $87 million from the City of Columbus’ general fund. It is the only issue that will appear on the ballot this November in Columbus.
Today’s event took place at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 683 building in Columbus, where speakers discussed Issue 7 and the negative impacts its passage would have on city services.
“Columbus leaders have come together to keep our city safe and healthy by opposing Issue 7,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The city’s financial position, while challenged, remains strong, and reserves have been maintained to ensure we can continue to weather the pandemic. Issue 7 would force massive budget cuts that would challenge our commitment to closing existing gaps, advancing equity and making positive gains on our community’s highest priorities, including police reform, affordable housing and public health.”
“Taking $87 million of taxpayer dollars would devastate city services. It would undoubtedly require significant cuts to public health, emergency services, parks, and other critical services our citizens depend on every day,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. “Making matters worse, the issue is so vague, it’s difficult to know where the money could go. What we do know is that the group behind this effort and that would control how most of the money is spent has no business controlling city resources.”
Adding to the strong opposition from city leaders, Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore and former Columbus City Auditor Hugh Dorrian issued the following joint statement: “We oppose Issue 7 and urge voters to vote ‘no.’ The financial consequences of Issue 7 are so concerning that it brought us together — the former and current City Auditors — to speak out against Issue 7. This issue pushes public money to private hands, dispenses with Columbus’ budgeting processes, and restricts our ability to provide transparent financials to our residents. We ask voters to learn about the consequences of this issue and vote ‘no.'”
“When our city and the critical services it provides are thriving, our workers thrive,” said Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades Council. “By stripping away much needed funding from the city, Issue 7 would be a gut punch to organized labor and our workers. For the safety and health of Columbus and for the strength and wellbeing of our workforce, we strongly urge all Columbus voters to oppose Issue 7.”
“Issue 7 is a deceitful attempt to use Columbus voters’ legitimate concerns about climate change and interest in supporting clean energy programs to reallocate taxpayer money for mysterious purposes,” said Cody Weisbrodt, Government Relations Policy Associate for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “When you work in clean energy and promote effective and comprehensive clean energy programs and solutions—you know the leaders in the industry. This unidentified group isn’t considering what is in the best interest of Columbus. Moreover, what we certainly don’t need in our ongoing efforts to promote clean energy are dishonest campaigns created to confuse voters on the lasting benefits of authentic clean energy programs and projects.”
“Mothers who smoke during pregnancy have nearly twice the risk of an infant death or low weight birth as mothers who did not smoke. For SIDS, the risk associated with maternal smoking is more than five times as high,” said Amanda Turner, Executive Director of Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. “As we collectively work to protect our community from kids being exposed to tobacco and nicotine products, assisting those that want to quit this deadly habit, and supporting mothers to help prevent infant mortality, we need all the resources that have been budgeted for these critical programs. Budget cuts to vital health and human service programs from Issue 7 could severely harm our critical public health services like tobacco prevention, smoking cessation, and infant mortality programs.”