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For the Love of Cleveland: From White Flight to the Fifth Migration

On Tuesday, June 13th, we put on our walking shorts and our "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" golf shirt and, after stopping off at "Subway" for a veggie sandwich to go, went to Cleveland's Public Square to attend a free City Club panel discussion entitled "For the Love of Cleveland: From White Flight to the Fifth Migration" featuring Mr. Jamar Doyle, St. Clair Superior Development Corp.; Ms. Lillian A. Kuri, Vice President, Strategic Grantmaking, Arts and Urban Design Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation; Mr. Richey Piiparinen, Director of The Center for Population Dynamics at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs; and Mr. Brendan Trewella, President, Small Organization Solutions, Coordinator, Night Market Cleveland, and resident of St. Clair Superior.

The bulk of the discussion involved Goodrich-Kirtland Park which falls under the auspices of the St. Clair Superior Development Corp. and includes Asia Town. It has experienced a large increase of college educated residents in the last several years. The panelists explored how to continue this trend while, at the same time, preserving and utilizing the talents of those who have lived in the neighborhood for years. Many attempts to do similar things in other parts of the country have failed but hopes are realistically high this time due to ongoing attempts to involve all residents and see what they want to do instead of dictating policy from above.

Accordingly, thus far "Night Market Cleveland" (which takes place on the last Friday of the month over the summer at Rockwell and 21st) has been a splendid success because it presents opportunities for local residents and showcases what the neighborhood has to offer. Moreover, people from outside the immediate area visit the market and find the locality attractive too which often leads to talk of perhaps settling or investing there. We talked to Mr. Trewella for a moment after the program and he explained to us various options available for immigrants to take part in community affairs; like us, he believes that the potential of the foreign born to uplift a principality are excellent.

Before the program started, we had a very good conversation with Mr. Clark Putton who is now retired from "Progressive Insurance" and loves attending events like this one. His wife, Ms. Joanmarie Dutton is employed by "Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland" and we talked about the good works that it does assisting youngsters from perhaps 80 countries come here with their families for necessary medical treatments. A very committed person, indeed, Mrs. Dutton is also very involved with "Transplant House."

This City Club series is entitled "For the Love of Cleveland" and the flyer we were given invited us to "join us each week at noon as we discuss the building blocks of urban neighborhoods and examine Cleveland neighborhoods' past and present successes, failures and growth areas."

So, even though it was quite hot, we enjoyed our stay in Public Square that afternoon and look forward to attending other City Club programs in Public Square over the next few weeks as the series progresses.