Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This Week in Cleveland

In all probability there has never been an administration off to as a chaotic a start as these first ten days of the Trump administration. It’s as if a set of grandparents, weary from doing so much upkeep on their grand old home, took in their irresponsible son’s seven year old to help them with the housekeeping. Instead of taking out the trash and helping to clear the table, the energetic towhead takes great delight in wreaking havoc: he puts metal in the microwave, sticks forks in electrical outlets, pours grease on the banister so he can slide downstairs faster, cuts holes in the screen doors, and invites the neighborhood motorcycle gang over to mingle with the Tuesday night dog park gathering of Rottweiler owners.

The grandparents are of course dismayed, but perhaps they have only themselves to blame. They knew the kid was an undisciplined miscreant who liked to pull the hair of his girl playmates,  and beat up or cheat anybody who was smaller or weaker than he was. They had seen how anybody he didn’t like or respect he would call out of their names. And they knew he couldn’t sit still for more than three minutes without throwing a tantrum. Still they were surprised at how quickly any semblance of tranquility fled as soon as their son left for four weeks in Hawaii after making the boy swear on a Bible that he would be good while Dad was gone.

It’s exhausting to think about the madness we may be facing over the next four years. Let’s focus on what might be done about that later and turn our attention to what’s happening in Cleveland this week. Think globally, act locally.

Monday was relatively quiet, especially after weather forced cancelation of the protest march over the President’s sloppily written and thoughtlessly presented Executive Order barring entry into the USA from seven countries (it’s been rescheduled for this Friday from 4p-5p at Market Square, West 25th Street and Lorain Ave.).

Tuesday boasts an abundance of local events. For starters, representatives of the Cavaliers are expected to attend this morning's weekly meeting of the United Pastors in Mission in search of support for expansive public financing of improvements to Quicken Loans Arena. [We have an article on that controversial issue that we will appear in this space shortly.]

Dr. Cassi Pittman
We have been for some time in the midst of an era where issues of race, class and culture bubble up everywhere, making vital the need for thoughtful analysis. So we are especially interested in hearing the thoughts of Dr. Cassi Pittman when she speaks today on the Case Western Reserve University campus on “The Impact of Racial and Cultural Affinities”. Pittman, an assistant professor of sociology at Case, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2012 before returning to this area and joining the Case faculty in 2014. Pittman grew up in East Cleveland and attended school there before matriculating at Hathaway Brown School. 
Pittman will speak at 11:30am in Crawford Hall, 10900 Euclid Ave., Room A13. The program is sponsored by Case’s Social Justice Institute.

Interwoven with issues of race, culture and demographics are questions of  governance and finance. In Cuyahoga County, this interplay is seen most frequently in the area’s first ring suburbs, where a recurrent problem is how cities adjust to population shifts, and changes in the job and housing markets. Maple Heights is the third city in the county to be declared in a state of fiscal emergency. The state-appointed Maple Heights Fiscal and Planning Commission meets this afternoon, Jan. 31 at 3pm in the city’s Senior Center.

Of perhaps wider interest, over the past year, as East Cleveland has dealt with its financial woes and the disintegration of its political establishment, opinions have perhaps polarized over whether the city should merge with Cleveland.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland is sponsoring a forum on the issue tonight that will feature Cleveland City Council president Kevin Kelley and Ward 10 Councilman Jeff Johnson, along with East Cleveland mayor Brandon King and council president Nate Martin. Since this event was originally scheduled, Johnson has announced he is running for Cleveland mayor this year while East Cleveland’s former mayor and council president were recalled by the voters in a special election last month.
Will the merger happen? Should it happen? How could it happen? Ideastream’s crack reporter Nick Castele will moderate the program at 7pm tonight at Case’s Tinkham Veale Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd.

One development we have noted with pleasure of late is the increasing outreach of several community organizations. The Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation last year initiated a Leadership Speaker Series featuring several former Black Professionals of the Year. Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson kicked off the series last fall followed in short order by nationally known businessman and author George Fraser.
Marketing and communications guru and magazine publisher Alexandria Johnson Boone is tonight’s speaker. Her topic: “Express Yourself: Elevate Your Personal Brand from Average to Amazing”.
Boone will speak tonight at 6pm at Burke Lakefront Airport, 1501 N. Marginal Rd.

Finally, Case Western is certainly bustling this week! This Friday, the University holds its 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation featuring Margot Lee Shetterly as keynote speaker. Shetterly is author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, made into a motion picture currently screening at local theaters. 
The event, which is free and open to the public, is Friday, Feb. 3, at 12:30 p.m. in the Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd.  A book-signing and reception follows her talk. To attend, register at case.edu/events/mlk/  


1 comment:

Henry Ford said...

Richard, There is so much to say AMEN to, that since we are now connected, I can only hope to be committed to doing what I can going forward. The madness has been and is taking place at such a maddening pace, that I have to believe the administration is counting on spraying us with buckshots of stupidity, hoping that some of the pellets will puncture our spirit.