For Cleveland’s Future, to ‘Choose Extraordinary,’ We Need to Include Everybody: Jan Roller (Opinion)

by | Jun 17, 2018

By Jan Roller, guest columnist,


More than 15 years ago, The Plain Dealer and ideastream shook up Northeast Ohio with their series on our economy called“The Quiet Crisis.” It contributed to some important advances, such as voter support for the Third Frontier and creation of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of foundations.


But recent successes like the Republican National Convention, the NBA championship and the boom in downtown Cleveland housing seem to have lulled some into thinking that the crisis has been overcome — when, in fact, it hasn’t. That’s essentially the argument put forth by the Fund’s new “The Two Tomorrows” report.


Jon Pinney, a local lawyer, added to the conversation with a City Club talk calling for an “alignment” of Cleveland’s “ecosystem” to improve our economic competitiveness. He challenged all of us to “lean in and step out.”


But he also illuminated the fact that there is a lack of understanding of the work being done by a number of organizations and by women and people of color to improve our city and region. This lack of awareness has bred frustration and a belief that little is being done to improve our lot. It helps foster that old Cleveland habit of being our own worst enemy.


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