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#NotAllIN – Greater Cleveland Congregations – Action
March 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Greater Cleveland Congregations is inviting our elected officials to meet with us and have an open conversation about the Quickens Loans Arena deal legislation.
Why is GCC “NOT ALL IN” on the Q arena deal? We don’t think the financing deal as announced gives any direct benefits to improve our citizens’ lives.
We think that as it has been announced, the Q Arena deal continues a familiar pattern: taxpayer-funded development at the expense of our neighborhoods. We have the hope that successful sports venues will support thriving business and that everyone benefits from the result. But we also want jobs for our unemployed citizens, help for those suffering from mental illness and addiction, and the physical rebuilding of our neighborhoods. As it was first announced, the total cost for facility renovation, including loan interest and funds for future stadium work, is estimated at $282 million, $160 million of which would come from public sources that could be better spent elsewhere. If there is enough money for arena remodeling there should also be enough money for our communities’ most pressing needs.
COMMUNITY EQUITY FUND
We are calling for a Community Equity Fund (CEF) that will match the city and county’s investment into the Q Arena project and will be funded through a direct stake in the Q deal. A CEF will directly link the growth and prosperity of one of our region’s strongest economic engines, downtown Cleveland, with the improvement of the neighborhoods and communities of the whole city and county.
EXAMPLES OF OTHERS
We think our leaders are missing an important opportunity. In other cities, tax-payer funded stadium and capital deals produced funding for direct community benefits too. In Milwaukee, owners of the Bucks contributed $30 million to address foreclosed and dilapidated housing in inner-city Milwaukee when the Bucks wanted a new stadium. In Baltimore, when Under Armour wanted hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidy to build a new global headquarters, the company negotiated a $135 million community benefits agreement with residents in the form of new affordable housing and jobs for Baltimoreans from distressed neighborhoods. When the Nationals wanted to build their baseball stadium in DC, they negotiated a Tax Increment Financing District that funneled millions of dollars to neighborhood development across the city. We want our community to be as innovative as those cities.