Five 'Everyday Experts' Will Pitch Policy Ideas to Cincinnati City Council Members

Policy Pitch Night, taking place Aug. 8, will give five community members the chance to share their best, most important ideas with three members of council, who will then take up one of those ideas at City Hall.

click to enlarge Cincinnati City Hall
Cincinnati City Hall

Ever come up with a way to solve a big civic problem in Cincinnati? Maybe you're a lowkey policy wonk trying to get the ear of someone in the city who can put your brilliant plan into action. 

Five Cincinnatians will get a shot to convince three members of Cincinnati City Council that their idea is worth fighting for at City Hall Aug. 8 during Policy Pitch Night, an event co-hosted by community engagement group Cohear and Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld. 

It's the second year for the event. Last year, the founder of minority business incubator Mortar, Derrick Braziel, won the day... err, night... with his idea to create a city office to nurture business growth and innovation among minority entrepreneurs. 

This year, a group of community leaders chose five "everyday experts," as Cohear calls them, from almost 30 entries. They will pitch for a shot to win backing at City Hall from Councilmembers Sittenfeld, Greg Landsman and Jeff Pastor. The council members will work with the winner to try and make their idea a policy reality.

The contestants are:

• Chelsie Walter, who wants the city to work to ensure that residents facing eviction have access to legal representation.

• Justin Ogilby, who says the city should create raised pedestrian crosswalks near schools and business districts.

• Kai Stoudemire, who proposes lactation areas in city-owned buildings where new moms can breastfeed.

• Leon Washington, who thinks the city should stop taking into account marijuana use and charges when making hiring decisions

• Mike Moroski, a member of the Cincinnati Public School Board, who argues that long-time residents of quickly-redeveloping neighborhoods should be given property tax breaks to help keep them there.

Each person will have up to five minutes to pitch their idea, which the audience and councilmembers will then vote on. Want to cast your vote? Pitch Night kicks off Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati's 1819 Innovation Hub

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