The glitter and glitz (such as it was) of the holiday season is over. The magnificent fourteen inch snowfall gifted to me on New Year’s Day is only a slushy memory. The day is gray gray gray. My mood is not good – the news over the past several days has been grim. One story in particular grabbed my focus: a Shaker Heights Ohio lawyer was brutally attacked while taking a pre-dinner walk last week. His attackers, pipe wielding young black men, told him “they were going to mess him up.” And they did.
This lawyer and his family live on the border between Shaker and the city of Cleveland. It is a good neighborhood. The houses are interesting and well kept. The population diverse. He felt safe; so did his neighbors. Not so anymore.
The growing violence of the city is spilling over and the outer ring suburbs had better take notice. Whether you live in Lakewood, Bay Village, Beachwood or Gates Mills – you are still from Cleveland – and the strength and viability of your small cities are dependent on the strength of the city of Cleveland. Jobs will come here and stay here only if the city remains a desirable place to live. Mayor Jackson is MIA so it is time for the outer ring Mayors to step up and speak out. It is time for all the movers and the shakers, no matter where they live, to get out and into Cleveland’s communities to join with the city leaders, pastors, parents and grandparents to find a solution.
Wake up. This city belongs to all of us. Send the message that you care about Cleveland.