Cavs arena subsidy demonstrators go to Detroit to demand of Gilbert: Can we get a cut, too?

Points for creativity to opponents of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s $70 million in glass wall subsidy demands, who took buses to Detroit to stage a protest on a melting public ice rink outside Gilbert’s Quicken Loans offices:

“We’re not all in,” the crowd of more than 150 chanted…

Stacy Mathews of Cleveland said there’s no guarantee that the community would benefit from a public investment in the arena.

“I don’t have any personal feelings against Dan Gilbert,” she said. “I don’t know him personally, but I just hope with the movement and changes that he’s trying to make for his team that he would also do that for the city as well. Cleveland right now are going pretty good, but there are still areas in Cleveland that need to be addressed. There are still many poor areas … (and resources needed) in the schools and things of that nature.”

Look, here’s video!

Those aren’t necessarily the snappiest soundbites — and definitely isn’t the snappiest chant — and appears to be a bit of a pivot from “this is a stupid subsidy” to “if Gilbert is going to get $70 million in free public money, either he or the city of Cleveland should throw some money at other local needs as well.” This all appears to be heading toward a battle over a community benefits agreement, and you know my feelings about those.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland city council has introduced legislation to approve the Gilbert arena subsidy, and is expected to cast a final vote by mid-April. There may be some haggling over the details, but it looks like the plan to give a billionaire $70 million for no coherent reason at all is likely to sail through without much difficulty — and without Gilbert even having to come up with his own chants.

3 comments on “Cavs arena subsidy demonstrators go to Detroit to demand of Gilbert: Can we get a cut, too?

  1. The same people that took the bus in the middle of a work week to go to Detroit are the same people that will go door to door to get those council members reelected. Always on call for the next bullshit protest. Why not protest waste without asking for additional spending.

  2. So far as I know, Greater Cleveland Congregations (which organized this event) has said from the beginning that they are not formally opposed to public money for the glass wall, etc.

    They have critiqued the deal, its selling points, and the process, but their bottom line has been “if you are going to take up a collection of public money for this, you should find an equal amount to provide additional help for Cleveland’s poor and sick.” So in that respect, I don’t think there is really a pivot.

    If it’s flat-out “this is a stupid subsidy” that you’re looking for, that would be more Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus’s thing. We appreciate the GCC’s other aims, but oppose stadium subsidies with or without a community benefits agreement.

    Whether or not this one goes through, I have full confidence that there will be more, and that we’ll grow the opposition to them next time.

  3. Yes build a bridge to no where and grease our palms to shut up. This is how Jessy got rich extorting corporations. Now his crooked son pays for his sins.