Remember the Cleveland Rising Summit? Here's the latest on efforts to shape the future of the city

Posted at 9:24 AM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 18:24:57-05

CLEVELAND — Work group leaders chosen during the Cleveland Rising Summit in late October will present the progress their groups have made in the three months since the summit.

Before more than 600 people met at Public Auditorium, people like Tallis Munro and Parrish Purnell could already list off what they wished was different in Cleveland.

"Every week or so, we hear of someone who's been in a serious accident around here," said Munro, who works as a mechanic at Friedrich Bicycle in Ohio City. "Recently, someone was killed close to the bike shop by a car."

"Who can afford $1,500 to $2,000 a month rent [to live downtown] when you are paying off your student loans and you don't have a job that is paying you $70,000 a year," asked Purnell.

Those are the types of economic and equality issues the Cleveland Rising Summit is trying to help residents tackle by creating 32 working groups during meetings in October.

The groups fall into six goal areas:

  • Digital Access & Literacy
  • Land Use, Transportation & Sustainability
  • Population Growth
  • Health, Wellness & Education
  • Entrepreneurship, Workforce Development & Equitable Business Growth
  • Equitable Civic Engagement & Community Empowerment

Within those areas, there are 32 working groups:

Digital Access & Literacy

  • Cle-Fi: Internet for All
  • T.E.C.H. Up

Land Use, Transportation & Sustainability

  • Free Public Transit Pays for Itself
  • Green City on a Blue Lake: Green CLE Rising Collaborative
  • The Greenest City on the Bluest Lake
  • Point A to Point CLE
  • New Take on the Lake
  • Unified Regional Planning Process

Population Growth

  • Grow the CLE. Cultivate. Lead. Expand.

Health, Wellness & Education

  • CLE for Me
  • Cleveland CARES
  • The Hub
  • The New Frontier
  • Ready to Thrive
  • Universal Pre-K for All

Entrepreneurship, Workforce Development & Equitable Business Growth

  • CapitalCLE
  • CLE Coin & Ramen Startup Kit
  • East Cleveland Global
  • Entrepreneurial Resource Network
  • Find My Future
  • The Global Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Rewiring Our Hiring
  • Treasure Tank

Equitable Civic Engagement & Community Empowerment

  • Amplify Cleveland
  • CLE Rising Challenge
  • The Cleveland Declaration of Interdependence
  • Cleveland Fundrising
  • Community Empowerment Organization: The Real CEO
  • Ohio Deserves a Raise
  • PROOF Project
  • This is Cleveland
  • The TRUTH Movement

"The intention was to energize, not prescribe," said Cleveland Rising Co-Chair Kristen Morris.

Three months later, the groups' leaders will come together to update their progress, potentially refining their approach or connecting with new people who can help.

"The whole Cleveland Rising exercise is a way that people really have this mandate to move forward to find those outlets and make them operate in a way they feel would best serve them," said Morris.

She says there are already about 16,000 non-profits around the city so the Cleveland Rising Summit isn't interested in creating a new one. Instead, it's looking for solutions that she says should come from the people.

"Nothing in this town comes easy," said Cleveland Rising Co-Chair Don Graves. "If any of us had had a way to solve the challenges in Cleveland with a magic bullet, we would have done that long ago."

Instead, Graves says Cleveland Rising is trying to connect individual residents to each other and to existing non-profits in the area, breaking down silos, helping them all address issues better.

"It's really been an enabler for people to have the type of conversations, engage in the conversations that could drive our economic growth," said Graves.

One area that he's been encouraged by is public transit. He says some of the summit's working groups have already had conversations about how to make the RTA infrastructure that was built decades ago work for the way the city looks today.

"How we build or rebuild the system that take folks from where they live to where the jobs are is critically important," said Graves.

After the meeting this Saturday, Cleveland Rising plans to have community feedback sessions, open to the public, in March.