Regular reporting and commentary on the interplay of race, class and power in the civic, business and cultural spaces of NEO from the inner rings of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Primary interests: Cleveland/NEOhio regional public affairs; African American politics, commerce, culture and society; public education; national and international affairs; Cavaliers∫Browns.
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.
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
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 ofgovernance 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 tonightthat 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/