The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, a local organization that began as a local network of Bernie Sanders supporters
, will announce at a press conference tomorrow that it is opposed to the Quicken Loans Arena rehabilitation.
That rehab — dubbed the "Q Transformation"
by Dan Gilbert's crew — was initially ballparked at $140 million, about half of which would come from a combination of public revenue streams. After interest and fees, the total cost is estimated to be more like $282 million, with roughly $160 million coming from taxpayers.
The CCPC opposition is in much the same vein as Greater Cleveland Congregations,' who kicked off their #NotAllIn campaign last month
. Like the GCC, the CCPC views the rehab project as a "gross misuse" of public funds.
"The proposed rehab of the Q is an opportunity for the people of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to end their silence and start to be citizens instead of spectators to the decisions impacting their communities," read a CCPC press release. "We will not stand by while those elected to lead us redefine progress as working people subsidizing billionaires."
GCC, as part of its campaign, proposed a dollar-for-dollar match to create a community fund for mental health crisis centers, workforce training, and neighborhood development projects. The CCPC has proposed no such plan; it has merely announced its opposition to the "rubber stamp" mentality among elected leaders.
In a statement, CCPC’s Outreach Director Yvonka Hall echoed the same frustration and misgivings of many Clevelanders: “I see development happening downtown, but up here at Lee-Miles, where’s the development?" Glenville, Fairfax, Central, Kinsman... have they completely forgotten about us?”
That rhetoric has been adopted with fervor by Cleveland City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson. He is on a platform of neighborhood investment. He is expected to vociferously oppose the deal during any City Council hearing on the matter, though none have been scheduled.
Next Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Council will discuss the deal at a 5 p.m. meeting at their administrative headquarters downtown (2079 E. 9th St.). The public is encouraged to attend.