Discover the Power of Grass-Roots Community Advocacy, Bridging Broadway

by on October 26th, 2014
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“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.” – Mark Twain

Cincinnati has long been stereotyped as being behind the times as stated in the aforementioned quote by one of the nation’s most famous satirists, but one local Cincinnati nonprofit organization is bucking that trend.

Bridging Broadway has been leading a group of community enthusiasts, business owners and other community stakeholders over the past year and a half to help Cincinnati’s coming casino to work cooperatively with its surrounding and burgeoning residential and business districts. Since their incorporation in 2010, they have held community forums, solicited opinions from local government and casino officials alike and conducted a 6-month comprehensive district study of a ½ mile radius surrounding the casino. On Sept 13, they will again gather to set forth steps to make their recommendations become a reality.

The volunteer driven non-profit organization which favors community engagement and cooperation as opposed to divisive and behind the scene dealings has created an impact. As one enthusiastic community stake holder said, “Our community needs more organizations like this.”

Over the past year and a half, Bridging Broadway, as it mission states, has used its influence to promote the Broadway Commons casino development as a catalyst for improving the quality of life for downtown Cincinnati, its businesses, and neighborhoods. In its first year, the team’s main focus was developing a comprehensive study of the surrounding casino area. Now that the district study has been completed, with the partnership with The City of Cincinnati and The University of Cincinnati’s Neihoff Design Studio, the group is forging ahead. Not only have they decided which direction to take, but also are in the process of redeveloping its structure so that it is most conducive of its mission. In some ways, the organization is recreating the way that community organization and local government get things done!

“Community organization can’t be something that you just talk about,” said one concerned community stake holder, whose home sits directly across the street from Cincinnati’s newest tourist attraction. “The power is in the action behind the words.”

And that’s what Bridging Broadway sets out to do. On September 13, Bridging Broadway will hold Bridging Broadway Blast!, a community networking event which will not only give community members, stake holders and business/property another opportunity to learn more about the organization and The District Study, but also get more information about how to set the recommendations which they garnered in to action.

From 6pm to 8pm, not only will Stephen Samuels, current president of Bridging Broadway, will give a brief introduction, about the organization’s next step in addition to hearing directly from the horse’s mouth. Afterwards, the floor will be given over to participants who live, play and work in the area so that they can share their needs and wants for the area.

Given the infancy of the organization, there have been those out there who have doubted Bridging Broadway’s legitimacy and that their community driven mission could be stepping on the toes of already established non-profit organization. Taking on these opinions head on, Bridging Broadway has always worked with an air of transparency and forward thinking policies; always being and advocate for cooperation.

Organizers of Bridging Broadway are forging ahead with their mission to create a symbiotic relationship between Cincinnati’s coming casino and the surrounding neighborhood; attempting to change the city’s persona of being a backwards thinking place to live.


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