Cleveland’s Economic Future Could Depend on New Voices, Greater Diversity

by | Aug 24, 2018

By Emily Bamforth,


Who needs to be in the conversation about the future of Greater Cleveland?


CLEVELAND, Ohio – Fair housing. Innovation. Sustained growth. Distributed wealth.


These are some of the attributes that people think are associated with a healthy economy – and say that our leaders need to embrace for the region to have a bright future.


These ideas came from an in-depth discussion Friday morning at the City Club of Cleveland. More than 80 people shared their ideas for ensuring the region’s economy grows at a healthy pace.


The conversation – and afternoon talk by a panel – came nearly three months after Jon Pinney, a prominent lawyer-turned-civic-activist, warned in a speech at the City Club that the city and region are losing ground economically to other regions.


The discussion Friday morning was open to members of the public and was advertised online and on social media.


More than 80 people attended. Of those people, the majority were women – about 57 percent, according to City Club data. About a quarter of people identified as black. The room was still majority white, at about 68 percent.


A majority of participants were under 44, with five between the ages of 18-24, 22 between the age of 25 and 34 and 23 between the age of 35 and 44. Just over 30 people were above the age of 44.


Most participants worked in nonprofits dedicated to economic development, the public sector or human services nonprofits.


The discussion was presented by Advance Ohio, The Fund for our Economic Future, and The City Club of Cleveland.


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