Power & Performance: A Changing Gears Special

If you missed our call-in special, “Power & Performance,” you can hear the show at our partner site: ideastream.

Below, you can also re-read our live chat on leadership in the Midwest. And, as always, use the comments section to tell us what you think.

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=954598712b” _mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=954598712b” >Changing Gears Live Leadership Chat</a>

2 Replies to “Power & Performance: A Changing Gears Special”

    The population differential is significant between the cities being discussed. Issues such as the new Cuyahoga County government are important but what about the regional coordination, i.e., Metro and Regional areas – for Cleveland this is 5 to 7 counties.

    Cleveland 431k city 2.2 million metro
    Detroit 910k city 4.4 million Metro
    Chicago 2.6 mil city 9.7 million metro
    Pittsburgh 312k city 2.3 million Metro

    What about collaboration and shared vision via Government, Foundations and Businesses. In cleveland the regional foundations have tried taking the issue on through the Fund for our Economic Future. What about the role of the Chamber’s of Commerce, i.e., Greater Cleveland Partnership?

  2. The problem I see is that, at least in the Det. area, going back at least since the riots, is that the racial polarization has never been resolved. It worsened during the Reagan years when whites left Detroit for the burbs for good, giving up on hoping someone would rebuild infrastructure, cultural institutions, and ethnic neighborhoods. Those people became Reagan Dems, or as I see it fearful whites. It was all compounded by the fact that corruption in Det. got worse and all the local media wanted to show the local metro Det. area was black on black crime, which was picked up from the national media, which hasn’t abated the disparity to this day, and contributes to continuing perceptions of crime and decay locally as well as nationally. Detroit got a reputation that isn’t wholly deserved, but was assisted by biased media companies that were put-off by the newly emerging black majority that made the mostly white corporate news media uncomfortable.

    People in the suburbs moved farther and farther away in their newly identified ethnic neighborhoods and Detroit became close with groups that most people in the suburbs found objectionable in those communities. In my particular instance it would be groups like the Nation of Islam, a fully anti-semitic hate group. Thus polarizing the older populations that once regarded Detroit as their first and only home and now was more or less alien to them. Hamtramack was no longer Polish, Eastside was no longer Italian, Northwest and downriver no longer had their synagogues preserved. Greek town was barely Greek except now to promote gambling and offer souvlaki. It was as if they just didn’t care about other cultures anymore. Or so it seemed. It didn’t celebrate diversity as Chicago does more or less. Other than sports and live theatre or concerts, ex-Detroiters didn’t want to come back. They couldn’t relate. It was to simply to go in and come out to attend an event, and not see any other sights along the way. When I was a kid, Belle Isle Zoo, Palmer Park, Children’s Museum, DIA, JL Hudson downtown and hot chestnuts in winter. Even the Doll Hospital had all the fascination for me I could enjoy. The Amtrak Station was beautiful as was Tiger Stadium for affordable games for the whole family. Architecture was incredible and valued. Much like it still is in Chicago. The theaters were just icing on the cake.

    But now, the polarity is made worse by politicians fighting for their constituencies with “us against them” talk on the news every night. Fighting the suburbs for revenues for the Detroit Zoo etc., I thought was the last straw for the people who’s affinity for Detroit was hanging on by a thread. It’s sad. Today, whites in the suburbs are still ridiculously fearful of the majority black Detroit community and very little is done psychologically to deal with this perception problem, or bridge the gap in understanding that has built up over time. Now even the old grand cemeteries, which were once lined with beautiful headstones and carved markers, look like crap. That’s where my relatives all happen to now make their home in Detroit now. And yet my favorite memories as a kid are of going to Detroit to visit those relatives when they were alive from one of the older suburbs. It’s like another world now. It’s like Detroit doesn’t want me to have a connection to the city anymore. They’ve abandoned me as much as I’ve abandoned it. Chicago doesn’t do that. There is a whole lot of diversity that comes together to celebrate instead of just bitch.

    Detroit still in many ways looks like a bombed out city from the days of the riots with no forethought on how to change that without a political fight. Its a no-brainer. Mayor Bing’s idea of creating a smaller footprint is very laudable and creating green space and city farming is incredibly enlightened. I hope they let him succeed and let him progress with new ideas. And show the history of Detroit, the labor movement, the WPE during the depression where all that great art came from, the street art, the farmer’s market. So many assets! So little light shines on them now. Detroit needs a new mass marketing campaign. A new PR firm or something. And Hollywood should not be allowed to make slum-porn off of Detroit anymore. It’s degrading for us all in MIchigan. Even in education, they have to try something new. It has to be an era of experimentation. Mayor Bing’s the first non-corrupt politician they’ve had in a long time that simply wants what’s best for Detroit. I hope he gets his way.

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