Thursday, April 12, 2012

DCI annual report shows further improvement in Downtown safety, cleanliness

The membership of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) met this morning at the Cincinnati Club to elect new board members and to hear about its progress in making Downtown cleaner, safer and more vibrant.

A safe and clean Downtown is the main goal of the private, non-profit group, which is mainly funded through assessments to Downtown property owners.

In last year's DCI Downtown Perceptions Survey, 63 percent of respondents found Downtown generally safe and 70 percent found it generally clean. Eighty percent had a positive impression of Downtown.

All of these numbers represent increases from previous years and are part of the "buzz" Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory alluded to in Tuesday's State of the City Address, DCI President and CEO David Ginsburg said.

"He spoke about how the world is taking notice of what we are doing here in Cincinnati," he said. "As members of DCI, you can be especially proud of your role in all of this progress."

The 2011 DCI Annual Report, released today, shows that its Ambassadors performed 20,123 hospitality assists, had over 5,500 contacts with panhandlers, and helped place 33 homeless individuals into housing. Additionally, 1,358 block faces were power washed, 128,710 pounds of trash were removed, and 2,685 instances of graffiti were cleaned up.

The result is a "litter index" rating of 1 on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being "excellent".

Ginsburg said that these numbers can be further improved through growing DCI's Ambassador team and working more closely with the Cincinnati Police Department and Downtown property owners.

But the real key to achieving "safe and clean" is density, he said.

"We will also continue to provide marketing programs and work with partners to help drive traffic," Ginsburg said. "We will work with property owners, developers, residents and businesses to help attract and retain businesses, residents and visitors by providing timely, accurate information and by convening the 'right' partners to address each opportunity. We will continue to build our reputation for customer service and quick response. We will also focus on making downtown more livable."

The 18-page annual report also highlights DCI's improved marketing and communications work and stakeholder services, including enhanced outreach to minority communities, an increase in website visits and Facebook fans, welcome bags and orientation sessions for new residents and employees, annual State of the Downtown reports and parking surveys, and business outreach and retention efforts.

It also shows that DCI took in $2.83 million in 2011 – an increase of 3.9 percent over 2010 – and ended the year with $608,740 in unrestricted net assets.

Previous reading on BC:
DCI wants to hear from you (7/1/10)
Ginsburg to stakeholders: 'Downtown moving in the right direction' (5/3/10)
Downtown improvement assessments near council vote (8/4/09)
Cincinnati establishes board for DCID appeals (7/8/09)
Downtown Cincinnati improvement district approved for 2010-2013 (6/18/09)