Editorial: ‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink’

Editorial Staff | 8/20/2014, 10:52 a.m.
The Call and Post recently met with a group of Black Council people who expressed their absolute astonishment at what ...

We all are familiar with this old refrain that refers to a person in the middle of the ocean dying of thirst because the water is too salty to drink.

We are reminded of this when we read about all of the big announcements for the New Cleveland. These include the Republican National Convention of 2015; the return of LeBron James and the $500 million value attached to his name for downtown Cleveland Businesses; the $400 million construction of the Opportunity Corridor, running from I-490 to University Circle; the new design and the $30 million construction of Public Square and finally the proposed new design of St. Clair Avenue from East 55th Street to MLK Boulevard at the cost of $500,000 per mile in order to facilitate bicycle riders, all 23 of them, who live in Cleveland.

We ask, what about us? What about Black People? What are we going to get out of the deal? What about jobs and the rebuilding of the Black Community? Who did you consult? Did they talk to Black public officials when they did the planning? Who talked to the Black businessmen and the Black clergy?

During the discussions and negotiations for the Republican Convention, we saw only one Black face during the whole process.

The above projects all represent an unapologetic White agenda for the City of Cleveland that is designed by the White businesses and civic community.

The Call and Post recently met with a group of Black Council people who expressed their absolute astonishment at what was going on and the expectations that they would be foolish enough to accept these policies without questioning the relevancy and the impact these projects would have on the Cleveland Black Community. Until someone tells and shows us otherwise, based on past practices we believe that the remodeling of Public Square is nothing more than an attempt to remove Black and poor people from using the square.

The Opportunity Corridor thus far provides an opportunity only for the expansion of the institutions at University Circle without any regards for the Black residents in the surrounding area.

It makes no sense for Black public officials to support an agenda that on its very face offers no positive benefit to Black Clevelanders.

The Call and Post urges Council members Phyllis Cleveland, T.J. Dow, Ken Johnson, Mamie Mitchell and the rest of Council to withhold hearings on Ordinance #726-14 (Opportunity Corridor) until the racial concerns can be answered.

We also suggest the same for the Public Square legislation which we will discuss more fully in a later editorial.