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Out & About in Cleveland

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State of the City Address and Asian Community Meeting

After Wednesday's Korean event at the Union Club ended, we walked over to the Cleveland Public Auditorium to hear Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's State of the City speech. It was a huge event with several organizations sponsoring tables. For the second year in a row, Mayor Jackson chose not give a conventional speech but to use an interview format to get his message across; thus he appeared on the stage with Russ Mitchell of WKYC who asked him some questions before throwing it open to the audience. Mayor Jackson responded to questions dealing with the conduct of the Cleveland Police Department, immigration, Cleveland schools, wind turbines in Lake Erie, a sin tax, Chief Wahoo, the chances of bringing a political convention to Cleveland, and the need to repair potholes.

On Wednesday evening, we went over to the Ariel Center for the Asian Community Meeting. All told there must have been about 40 people in attendance including representatives from the Cleveland Community Relations Board, the Confucius Institute, Cleveland Department of Economic Development, Case Medical Center, and even the Asian Evergreen Apartments where many elderly Asians live.

At this meeting, we listened to Richey Piiparinen, who is a Research Fellow at the Levine College of Urban Affairs at CSU, speak about his project of analyzing migration trends in the Cleveland area and Northeast Ohio. Mr. Piiparinen indicated that research showed that there is a definite trend of more people migrating back to Cuyahoga County and many of them are educated Asians.

Joy Roller, President of Global Cleveland, told us that Global Cleveland is going to use Mr. Piiparinen's findings to establish a policy to draw more people to Cleveland.  People move here because of word of mouth, family and friends and jobs. Ms. Roller pointed out that once people move to Cleveland they generally love it, yet this is not what people outside of the city think.  What we need to do, she said, is change the national perception of Cleveland. Ms. Roller spoke of Global Cleveland's new portal which will offer information about 500 organizations in Cleveland and will connect people to everything going on in this area including employment opportunities and community happenings.

The portal will be officially launched at the Cleveland Convention Center on May 1st, at least 1,000 people are expected to attend and we plan to be there as well.  Other plans include a traveling road show about Cleveland and what it has to offer and a virtual job fair.

The next Asian Community Meeting will be on April 2nd at the Campus International School at 30th and Chester and we also plan on attending.

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