06.04.05: East Cleveland Mayor Goggins brings vision and insight to town hall

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 06/04/2005 - 22:49.

"It's a new day in East Cleveland" is an expression of East Cleveland
Mayor Goggins that was clearly demonstrated from dawn until dusk
Saturday, June 4th, as the city held a neighborhood clean-up, hosted a
bicycle rodeo for kids, and welcomed residents to the MLK Civic Center,
on Shaw Avenue, for a terrific lunch and a Town Hall meeting to discuss
plans for revitalizing the community.

of East Cleveland residents - mostly senior citizens - turned out for
the Town Hall meeting, which also featured numerous city council
members and other city officials. Mayor Goggins started the Town Hall
by explaining that today's street clean-up is the first of many this
summer, and that all East Cleveland residents should go through their
garages and basements to collect up trash they need the city to haul
away. The dates of future street clean-ups will be posted around town
and on the East Cleveland website.

In her rousing
presentation, the Mayor described how, earlier in the day, while
cleaning up a neighborhood, she encountered a known Cleveland drug
dealer who was walking a dog down a freshly swept East Cleveland street
and she told him to get out of East Cleveland, that he's not going to
bring his dog here to soil these streets, and he's not going to sell
drugs in this community. It is inspiring to see this bold woman, who's
"proud to be a senior citizen", confronting the enemies of society and
cleaning up all the trash on her streets. As she exclaimed, East
Cleveland will be a community where residents may sit on their front
porches without being exposed to drug dealing and other disturbing
behavior. Clearly, that vision depends on all residents doing their
part in keep their streets free of all kinds of trash.

Following the Mayor's opening remarks,
she introduced members of the East Cleveland 2010 initiative to explain
their efforts to residents. I spent 15 minutes presenting pages from the new
East Cleveland website that REALNEO is contributing to the city, and showed links to many
other websites offering value to East Cleveland residents. I also
explained our ECHO (Extending Community Home Online) initiative to recycle donated computers for the residents
of East Cleveland, and I was pleased to be able to inform everyone that
Progressive Insurance Corporation has agreed to donate 75 computers,
which is a good start toward bridging East Cleveland's digital divide. Note:
1,000s more computers are needed, so if you know of any corporations
willing to donate computers for the residents of East Cleveland please
contact me at norm [at] realinks [dot] us.

My presentation was followed by
an exciting PowerPoint on a New Urbanist vision for East Cleveland,
developed by Joe Stanley, of NEO Mainstreet, and associate Sudhir
Raghupathy, who is an expert in Appreciative Inquiry and
Sustainability. This New Urbanist vision will set East Cleveland apart
from all other cities in America by establishing a master plan focused
on livability, with sustainability. The vision was very well received,
and next steps are to refine the plan and share it with more of the
community - it must be embraced by all to have the desired impact of
truly transforming the local economy and quality of life.

After the 2010 team finished all this visioning, the sponsors of the Town Hall,
Equity Title Agency, gave a very informative presentation on how
homeowners should handle real estate transactions, educating East
Cleveland residents on contracts and financing issues to protect them
from predatory lenders so common in the urban core. It is certain these
resident, many of whom will be buying and selling homes in years to
come, were well served by this well presented information - part of a
series of talks provided for residents of East Cleveland by Equity

After the Town Hall meeting concluded, residents mingled
at the JFK Civic Center, had a fine lunch of fried chicken, and talked
together with city officials about this new day for East Cleveland.
While I heard a few comments about problems in this city, most of the
discussions were about good developments, great opportunities, bright
visions and exciting plans for the future.