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Out & About in Cleveland

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City Club luncheon; Annual Madison Village Community Social

On Wednesday, June 28th, we attended a City Club luncheon which dealt with how to provide senior citizens (now and in the future) with the necessary housing and resources that will be needed. It was a panel discussion in which the panelists were Mr. Rob Hilton, CEO, "McGregor"; Dr. Richard L. Jones, Ph.D., Administrator of the Division of Senior and Adult Services, Cuyahoga County; Mr. Mark McDermott, Vice President and Market Leader of "Enterprise Community Partners, Inc." and Ms. Roz Quarto, Executive Director of "Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People" (ESOP) and the moderator was Mr. William Tarter, Jr., Associate for Policy Planning with "The Center for Community Solutions."

During lunch, we sat with Mr. Thomas V. Chema, Chairman of "The Gateway Group" and Mr. Danny R. Williams, JD, MNO, President and CEO of "Eliza Bryant Village" who are both old friends of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and said to be sure and say "hello" to her.

In the course of the discussion, Dr. Jones said several times that he considered it vital (and the other panelists readily agreed) that local governmental officials, representations from organizations that provide services to seniors including housing, leaders from the business community and the nonprofit sector come together in the very near future in order to establish a "blueprint" as to how best to provide services to senior citizens, a population which is growing rapidly due to the fact that thousands of baby boomers are turning sixty-five each day.

As the program progressed, we learned that while there would definitely be a need for more housing/dwelling units amenable to seniors, data has shown that the majority of people would like to remain where they are living now because of social/neighborhood connections. Indeed research has shown that this psychological comfort is immensely valuable to maintaining one's health. 

Although, senior citizens would definitely like to be as independent as possible, assistance will be needed in terms of transportation and home maintenance. Along these lines, it was mentioned that South Euclid has recently initiated a new program entitled CARE in four local senior service agencies have joined forces to coordinate volunteers who will help seniors care for their homes.

As for what has been accomplished thus far and as far as being available for resources in the future, the efforts of such prominent entities as"McGregor", "Hospice of the Western Reserve", and the "Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging" were highly praised.

Afterwards, we asked Dr. Jones about the special needs of foreign born seniors and he told us that it was very important that future programs be culturally sensitive and emphasize the relationships between family members and friends which are especially valuable.

Likewise we talked to representatives from the agencies that have dealt directly with immigrants and learned that Asian and Islamic families are very good about taking care of their elders as are Hispanics who would be more likely than the others to seek help from social services but then, as always, there is the fear that any assistance might lead to an investigation which could lead to a undocumented family member getting into trouble.

Interestingly, we were told that by one provider that she had recently conversed with a doctor from India who was interested in initiating senior centers in his country of origin in order that well-to-do families could send their loved ones for daily medical treatments and some social activities. In this case medical treatments would be emphasized in contrast to the senior centers in the U.S. where social activities are first and medical second.

Another person who we encountered at the City Club was Mr. John Ryan, State Director for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown who works out of the Cleveland office. Mr. Ryan told us that U.S. Senator Brown was very concerned about the Trump administration's travel bans; so much so in fact that he altered his schedule to attend a public expression of outrage in Columbus in January when the first ban was issued and firmly instructed Mr. Ryan to attend the one at the Cleveland-Hopkins Airport. Mr. Ryan said that he had been to a lot of public protests in his time but was greatly impressed by the large number of people who turned out for the one in Cleveland and the intensity of their indignation.

He referred us to U.S. Senator Brown's website because the Senator recently had issued a statement pertaining to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding parts of the travel ban. We looked it up and it read:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Washington, D.C – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision consider President Trump’s revised travel ban and allow part of the ban to take effect.

“We must continue to use every tool at our disposal to make sure our screening system is tough and effective, and I have and will continue to support meaningful efforts to ensure our vetting process works to keep terrorists out,” Brown said. “But slamming the door on children and families fleeing the very same terrorists we are fighting against will not make America safer.”

 

Later on Wednesday, just as we did last year, we went to Lake County to table on behalf of "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" at the annual Madison Village Community Social which took place at the park on Main Street.

In the course of the evening, Mr. Dwayne Bailey, the Village Administrator, acted as the Master of Ceremonies and presided over a birthday celebration for the Village which turned 150 years old this year so Mayor Sam Britton, Jr. got to light up sparklers on several birthday cakes. There was also a dedication of a new monument in the park composed of foundation stones from the Old Madison Freight Depot circa 1890 which was a mainstay of the community back then.

As for ourselves, we set our table up right next to that of Ms. Tracey Schveder, a health insurance salesperson and we joked with passer-byers throughout the evening about how "immigration" and "health insurance" were two of the most controversial topics in the United States right now and here we were side-by-side.

Most people laughed along with us and we gave away copies of Ms. Margaret W. Wong's book "The Immigrant's Way" to people such as Ms. Laurie Ewert-Krocker, Upper School Program Director for "Hershey Montessori School" in Huntsburg who has conducted classroom projects on immigration and to a man named Jorge who told us that he preferred to read the English-language version of Ms. Wong's book instead of the Hispanic version because he wanted to improve his English and we compliment him for that. 

On the other side of Ms. Schveder and ourselves was a table belonging to "Cardinal Woods Living Center" staffed by a person who brought with her an adorably feisty Teacup Chihuahua named Sophie who quickly became a favorite to all who met her.  

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC