As Cleveland gears up to showcase our great city for the 2016 Republican National Convention, there’s a great deal of media attention about completing major capital improvement projects around town — such as the makeover of Public Square.
There’s another capital project that deserves to be at the top of the list – to provide quality school facilities for our kids. While many Cleveland schools have been rebuilt and improved over the last decade through the 2001 bond issue-funded program, it’s about to expire. Passage of Issue 4 on Election Day will extend the 2001 bond issue with the state-required permanent improvement levy. Here’s a few facts about Issue 4:
- It will not raise taxes for Cleveland taxpayers. It will cost the owner of a $50,000 home $44.10 per year. That is what homeowners pay now, so it will not raise taxes.
- It will provide the funds to rebuild 20-22 run-down, obsolete schools and refurbish over 20 more.
- It will assure a continued 68% match from the State of Ohio – the state will contribute $2 for every local dollar spent on construction.
While United Way doesn’t typically support ballot-issue campaigns, our goal is to ensure every child graduates from high school. We’re a major partner in the CMSD wrap around strategy and understand that all children deserve a “warm, safe and dry” learning environment. The Cleveland Plan is beginning to work — evidenced by a 11.5% increase in graduation rates over the last three years. As a result, the United Way Board of Directors unanimously approved a one-time, $10,000 contribution to the campaign to help educate voters about the Issue 4 campaign.
How can you help?
If you’re a Cleveland resident, please educate yourself and seriously consider voting for Issue 4. The deadline to submit your application to vote by mail is noon on November 1. Or simply take a few minutes to stop at the polls and vote on Election Day. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m.to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4.
If you’re not a Cleveland resident, please encourage your family and friends who are Cleveland residents to vote for Issue 4.
Regardless of where you live, exercise your right to vote. Voters who stay home on Election Day are missing the opportunity to take part in building stronger communities and to have a say in the issues that matter most to them. October 6 is the deadline to register to vote or update your voter information, such as a change of address.
Public education is the backbone of our democracy and our democracy is powered by a diversity of voices. Although it’s not a Presidential election year, hitting the polls and participating in our democracy is as crucial as ever. In fact, the decisions made by the officials that we elect at the local level often have the greatest impact on our daily lives. Our jobs, education, health, families and futures depend on it.