Since 2015, youth from Children’s’ Creative Corner of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, joined by our youth from Agents of Change, have been fighting to protect local basketball courts and greenspace that sit at one corner of an otherwise-vacant 76,000-square-foot, city-owned property directly across the street from Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, threatened by the city’s pending deal with high-end residential developer NorthPointe Group.
From cookout rallies to petition signing, committee meetings, public input sessions, a demonstration at a community council meeting and a presentation at a City Council committee meeting, these kids, their families and community members have fought in vain to meet with the developer to share their concerns for the courts, the garden and the striking lack of affordability in the housing plan that would be imposed next to a school where 99 percent of its children live in poverty.
Words from our key community stakeholders:
Agents of Change advocacy
Participants in our Agents of Change summer camp helped campaign to save the basketball courts at Main St. and Schiller Street. Our Agents created a stop-motion animation video. They traced neighborhood scenes and put silhouettes of themselves in the scenes. Their silhouettes pushed out words that threaten and brought in words that strengthen community.
What You Can Do
Raise your voice by writing to our city’s government to tell them that we expect better choices for Cincinnati and public spaces are not up for the taking by private developers. Check out the Keep Our Courts article published in The Enquirer, written by Peaslee Community Education Coordinator Jennifer Arens. Follow the Keep Our Courts Campaign on Facebook for more updates.
Below are links with letter writing guidelines to get you started and evaluations of NorthPointe’s plans against the official documents created to guide development in Over-the-Rhine.