Friday, February 24, 2006

State of the City is Hopeful

Jackson Outlines a Positive State of the City

Keep in mind that the Homeless Coalition has had to sue the City of Cleveland six times over the last 15 years, but I was very impressed with the Mayor's State of the City Speech. I liked the humility to say "Politicians say this stuff all the time, and I want to be measured on results" coming from a Mayor. I like the focus on education and regionalism. I hope that the suburbs realize how many homeless people come from outside of Cleveland to Downtown looking for help, and how little Greater Cleveland contributes to solving homelessness. I hope that regionalism will result in no poaching of jobs and no dumping of evicted tenants into other communities. I like the idea of the Mayor convening these groups with innovative ideas to discuss problem areas and then actually acting on those changes.

I really felt that for years no one was watching the store for average Clevelanders. No one cared that health care was hard to access. No one who could do anything would listen to the cry for help with rising utilities. No one, and I mean no one in the Administration or the County, would listen to the complaints of homeless people. No one cared that job programs did not serve the population very well--dedicate your life to this training and we will help you, but we cannot give you any money. No one in the administration would ever listen to the needs of the neighborhoods. They seemed to be going after the home run every swing and we never ever got on base. I am the consummate pessimist, but at this time I am looking forward to the next four years.

I liked the focus on quality of life and educational excellence. The Mayor said that everyone from the business executive down to the individual sleeping on Superior cares about the school system, and he was correct. Our survival as a city are based on the success of our schools. I want to see results as does the population that I serve. We want City Hall to care about the problems of accessing a shelter, accessing decent housing, and accessing a living wage job. I do want to live in a Great City again. I want to have homeless people trust the police force will take seriously crimes against victims who have no home. I am so glad that I did not hear about any more playgrounds for rich people. I liked that Mayor Jackson wanted to hold the state accountable for helping our city. I hope that he will also take on the federal government, which has gone to war against the American City.

We shall see if Jackson can heal the East vs. West issues, the Downtown vs. Neighborhood issues, the Black vs. White, and Poor vs. Those in Fear of Being Poor. I am ready to help.


Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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