December 2, 2018; Crain’s Cleveland Business and Plain Dealer
Unhappy with a struggling regional economy, a group of Cleveland leaders wants to build a community-wide, inclusive community development process and strategy that can succeed where others have failed. According to Peter Krouse, writing for Cleveland.com, the as-yet-unnamed group sees inclusivity as a key to “improving the region’s economic future…an opportunity to aspire to something greater, rather than just solving problems as they come along.” But are their good intentions doomed by their inability to recognize the implicit biases and power structures that are limiting their efforts? This large problem they’re taking on affects many struggling households. The Cleveland metropolitan area, typical of many Rust Belt cities, has lagged as the nation’s economy has grown. In June, Business Insider ranked it last among the nation’s 40 largest urban areas: “Cleveland had the highest…unemployment rate of 5.7 percent…the city’s job growth was the second-lowest, with non-farm payroll employment rising just 0.3 percent between February 2016 and February 2017.”
The call to action for this new effort was a speech attorney Jon Pinney delivered at the City Club of Cleveland, entitled, “Dead Last: Northeast Ohio’s Economy is Lagging and It’s Time to Do Something About It.” From that speech:
That is why the system needs to be realigned.