Repealing discriminatory breed-specific legislation could come sooner than expected for Cincinnati. Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach is working to draft a motion that he says could be ready for council signatures as early as today.
Yesterday, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach tweeted this:
Last week, CityBeat's April 4 cover story, "Losing Fight," discussed Cincinnati's legislation that's outlawed ownership of pit bulls within city limits since 2003. Seelbach reveals to CityBeat that he made a pledge to work to repeal the city's ban on pit bulls when he was first elected to office in December 2011, and has met in with stakeholders in the past to discuss reform strategies. "I've always believed that entire breeds should not be punished — we need to punish bad owners," he says.
Seelbach's motion reportedly will seek to increase punishments for negligent owners, removing all breed-specific language and re-allowing the possession of pit bulls within Cincinnati city limits, similar to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Substitute House Bill 14, which was signed into effect in February.
Once the motion is drafted, Seelbach says he'll need to obtain a minimum of five signatures from his eight council colleagues before the motion can be voted on in a committee. He counts off the names of four council members he's already heard are in support of creating new legislation, before the motion has even been discussed.
If the committee — most likely city council's public safety committee, according to Seelbach — chooses to pass the motion, it would then proceed to a formal vote before city council.