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Calling All East Cleveland Residents: Your Input Needed

East Cleveland is on the rebound, and people are working to ensure that current residents reap the benefits of our city’s progress.

Those people include Mark Chupp of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Trevelle Harp of the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), and Wayne Mortensen of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP).

Chupp first tried to link the institutions of University Circle with East Cleveland in 2009. His idea was for the institutions to play an active role in rebuilding its neighbor to the east. He later joined with Harp and NOAH to help East Cleveland develop. However, lack of funding prevented their plan from fully taking off.

Now, the three men and their respective organizations are teamed up to support East Cleveland residents who live in a “target area” and are willing to participate in Target Area Planning (TAP) there. East Cleveland’s first such area is the southeast quadrant off Euclid Avenue and beginning at East Cleveland’s western border, or as Harp described it, “two census tracts adjacent to Euclid Avenue.”

Harp believes that in order for East Cleveland to grow, residents need to “understand the reality that we need partners in and outside of community.”

He’s excited about all the great things happening in his city. He just don’t want current residents left behind.

“I want all the new economic growth to be accessible to the indigenous people that are here,” he said.

Similarly, Chupp believes it’s essential for development in East Cleveland to be based on what its residents and business want to see happen. In addition, he said “it’s important to use the expertise of other successful cities, to learn what’s possible.”

East Cleveland doesn’t have to look far to find that kind of expertise. According to Mortensen, CNP has helped nine Cleveland communities continue their growth, including Fairfax, which, like East Cleveland, is part of Greater University Circle.

“We’re trying to make a specific plan for a targeted area, “said Mortensen, “a plan that will exploit developers’ resources for the betterment of the community.”

Although members of the TAP project can’t tell people where to build, said Mortensen, they can make sure it’s done in a way that benefits the community.

The TAP project plans to have about six public meetings with an advisory committee. East Cleveland residents are urged to attend; so are representatives from neighboring institutions and nearby communities, like Glenville and Hough.

According to Chupp, TAP is a way to make sure East Cleveland residents “prioritize” and are “strategic” while participating in the redevelopment of their city.

He and Harp shared Mortensen’s view of TAP: “It’s an opportunity for the public to help steer the kind of development they’d like to see, what kind of community they want to be known for.”

The next TAP meeting takes place January 15, 2014. For more information, contact Brenda Mathias at brenda.mathias@case.edu and 585-402-9498.

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