The New American Economy, an organization with whom Global Cleveland is proud to partner, recently produced a report detailing several measurements of cities across the United States and how well those cities welcome newcomers. A few facts first:
1. Studies like this are precisely essential now with the turmoil in policy due to our national government. While the typical human reaction is to retreat, this is the time when all of us need to do everything we can to convey the truth of newcomers’ power on our economy, communities, and regions.
2. This is the first effort like this and it is our hope that New American Economy builds on this monumental undertaking. Full disclosure, we have been huge fans of New American Economy since we met during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Along with Robert Frost, Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party and the national leadership from New American Economy (based out of New York City) Global Cleveland held several powerful forums around the vital importance of immigration, immigration reform and its impacts. We continue to work with New American Economy as we share values of inclusion, sound economic policy, community integration, and better legislation to expand the number of immigrants coming to America, and a means to make individuals participating in DACA/DREAMER programs to become permanent and full citizens of the United States.
3. The methodology is key. While I encourage you to look up this report yourself and see how Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio stack up, there is a real method and metric to the research. It is important to understand all of it if we are to get the most value from the work.
There are a few clear paths to improvement: Policy inclusivity, socioeconomic job opportunities, and socioeconomic civic participation. In each of these categories, we achieved a score of 2 (or less) out of 5. There are 2 paths that show strength and must be reinforced and continued. For policy economic empowerment and socioeconomic livability, we scored the best we could, 5 out of 5. For all other categories we are in mid range. The headlines blared “Cleveland isn’t welcoming” and while I appreciate a juicy soundbite as much as the next reader, the truth is more serious, and the solutions more within our grasp and command, than one may initially surmise.
Needless to say we at Global Cleveland have a plan. We have already begun by deep diving into the report and its helpful ladders to climb. We also know that for what we are doing well we have to double down and not slip. We are in communication with New American Economy and true to our strong relationship they are helping us with best practices from other communities to make this report the map for our improvement that it is intended to be.
We know who we are as a community, and we know how much better we can be. We will be better, and we will need each and every person, we need you, to help us get there. Please read the New American Economy Cities Index and email me/text me/tweet me your thoughts: Joe@globalcleveland.org ; 216-215-6765 ; or @joecimperman on Twitter.
Onward onward onward in and for this great place we call home, and a home with more seats around our dining room table for all who would come as we prepare to break bread.