The Greater Cleveland Congregations says that it is "Not All In" on the latest $282 million plan to upgrade Quicken Loans Arena.
In a news release Wednesday, the GCC said that "...with 43 member congregations and organizations representing 100,000 people across Cuyahoga County, (it) will decry the deal as bad policy, a bad process and fundamentally immoral."
The GCC announced its requests to reform the deal during a news conference outside Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday morning.
We streamed the entire news conference live on the WKYC Facebook page.
"To Mr. Gilbert, to the mayor, to the county executive, slow down this deal," Rev. Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Baptist Church said. "Do not force the fans, the residents and the voters to choose between the team we love and the respect we deserve."
Rev. Colvin said that Quicken Loans Arena is a place that brings the city and region together, which is why the it's time to stop it from becoming "a place of deep community divide."
He later added: "We love this team. We hate this deal."
The GCC says its core demands include:
- A non-fast-track approach for any Q arena proposal to allow for broad-based, public input;
- Absolute transparency with regards to the terms of any proposal; and
- Equity for the use of the funds through a $160 million, dollar-for-dollar match of investment into the community through jobs for persons from distressed neighborhoods, funding for after-school programs and other uses.
In the news release, the Rev. Colvin, GCC Strategy Team member and pastor at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, said "The deal is an afront to the citizens and taxpayers of the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. It offers no benefit that measures up to the amount of dollars we are committing. Our elected officials can do better and the people (of) this city and county deserve better."
The GCC is a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice.