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Blackwell and Springer, side-by-side

photo by Michael Keating

J. Kenneth Blackwell and Jerry Springer - political polar opposites who served together on Cincinnati City Council in the 1970s - will share the stage March 12 for Beyond Civility's "Side-by-Side" discussion series.

Springer, a former councilman and mayor who went on to international fame as a TV talk show host, is a liberal Democrats. Blackwell, a former state treasurer and secretary of state who ran unsuccessfully for Ohio governor in 2006, is a conservative Republican.

But the two won't be debating issues when they share the stage at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 at the University of Cincinnati's Kresge Auditorium.

Beyond Civility is an organization with the self-stated goal of "promoting constructive dialogue among civic and elected leaders." So the pair - both of them former Cincinnati mayors - will be there to "share their personal reflections on the people and experiences that helped to shape the points of view they hold today,'' according to Beyond Civility.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are required. You can RSVP at

Cincinnati Public Radio is a media partner of Beyond Civility.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.