Guest editorial: Cincy needs a helping hand

A large area of Cincinnati is slowly sinking into a river of extinction. Downtown businesses are closing fast, and many are jumping to the other side of the river just to stay afloat. Doors are closing to the public and people are moving to Kentucky and other suburbs. Cincinnati needs to make some changes before its too late.

Downtown has been in a steady decline over the past six years. In 2001, the shooting of Timothy Thomas, a young black man, by police officers led to a riot in the city. His death in Over-the-Rhine also sparked a boycott of downtown businesses and concert venues that cost Cincinnati more than $10 million in revenue.

The riots brought in a fear that took hold of many Cincinnati residents. Residents became afraid of their own city and began to avoid downtown.

The boycott reinforced that fear. Entertainers who boycotted Cincinnati, such as Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg and Wynton Marsalis not only discouraged people outside the city from visiting, but also encouraged the city’s own residents to stay away. I wonder if Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg even remember boycotting the city. I wonder if Whoopi Goldberg knows that her “Wake up with Whoopi” morning show now plays on Cincinnati radio.

But the businesses aren’t the only ones suffering. Currently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation considers Over-the-Rhine to be one of the 11 most endangered places.

Once a thriving neighborhood, CityBeat reports Over-the-Rhine now has an estimated 500 of 1,200 buildings vacant. When left empty, these buildings face being destroyed for public safety reasons.

The German architecture, which made this city unique and beautiful, is becoming a dilapidated fa