The Presidents’ Council Completes NE Ohio Regionalism Report
To ensure that “regionalism” offered opportunities for everyone, The Presidents’ Council released Regionalism: Growing Together to Expand Opportunity to All.
The project was commissioned by the Presidents’ Council and funded by a grant from The Cleveland Foundation. Engaged as the project’s consultants was The African American Forum on Race and Regionalism. The Forum is co-chaired by three of the nation’s foremost experts in regional equity: John A. Powell, head of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University; Robert D. Bullard leads the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University; and Angela Glover Blackwell, president of PolicyLink, a national nonprofit research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy organization. The consultants will present their research results at 6:30 p.m.
Regional initiatives must focus on reducing the disparity in resources among communities and ensuring that every individual and family in Northeast Ohio - urban, suburban, exurban - receives fair and equitable opportunities for economic advancement and enhanced quality of life. All regionalism proposals must be viewed through a regional equity template: proactive measures that create balanced investments in people and neighborhoods across the region. This is the standard - equity, not efficiency - by which all regionalism initiatives and policies will be measured.
“What has resulted from the report are clear recommendations that ensure regional equity,” said Lonzo Coleman, chair of the Regionalism’s Project’s Steering Committee. “Regional equity must be intentionally addressed in order to focus on and eventually eradicate the majority-minority and urban-suburban disparities in this region. Our goal is to ensure that all people residing in every neighborhood have the opportunity to prosper. That is the only way that our region can move toward economic health, growth and prosperity,” he continued.
More than 50 policy recommendations were identified that can serve as a guide to regional policy reform in Northeast Ohio. The report includes both short- and long-term recommendations in the most critical areas – education, economic development, housing, transportation and public health.
As a result of the research, a key focus as it relates to regionalism and Northeast Ohio communities includes the following: