Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Politics, Economy, and Hope on Cleveland's East Side




"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?”

Barack Obama


A picture is worth a thousand words. This Superior Avenue storefront in the Glenville neighborhood says it all. I've added a new slide show of some of my favorite photos I took this summer while exploring Cleveland's neighborhoods. Click on the photo in the sidebar to enlarge the pictures

4 comments:

crow warrior said...

Is this "Caged Hope"? There's a lot going on in this piece - the security bars, the political statements, the promise of the availablity of provisions, and the survival of small business in a economically depressed (oppresed?) environment. I'm sure my group will enjoy discussing this...

marybeth said...

This is just real life in Cleveland, Ohio: More than 10,000 boarded up houses, most of the region's manufacturing jobs lost to off-shoring, and a viper's nest of corruption in our city and county governments. Even Forbes magazine declared this a "dying city", but our millionaire civic leaders keep insisting that "things are just fine". They never take the side streets. They don't see the poverty. Or maybe they don't really care. One man's misery is another man's profit.

crow warrior said...

I may have seen part of the Forbes article on line.It seems the entire "rust belt" is experiencing negative growth. Are the environmental restraints influencing the production exodus? Your site has a few notes about at least one manufacturing concern that seems to be making a go of it. It seems almost contradictory to have new sports stadiums, the R&R Hall of Fame, and whatever else is new and exciting for Cleveland, and yet the financial infrastructure of the city is so anemic that teachers have been reduced to supporting their classroom requirements out of their own pockets. I'd like to know if there are still music programs, sports programs, and other extracurricular programs like chess clubs and such. Does this condition mandate federal intervention?

marybeth said...

You've got the picture.

Yes there are music, sports, and other extra curriculars in the district. The problem with the visual arts seems to be although there is a steady grumble amongst the teachers, we have not had a strong supporter at the administrative level who cared enough to make sure these issues are addressed. Instead of griping individually, we art teachers need to collectively voice our concerns to both the union leaders and the school board. No one knows a problem exists until someone points it out. I hope to make a start by posting some of these concerns online.

Regarding the manufacturing question. There remain many opportunities for manufacturers here in NE Ohio, as long as companies work smart. Automation is key. Manufacturers also need new models of education to increase the pool of workers with the skills necessary to use the technology. The industry changes continually, and technical education needs to change too. The old model can't keep up.