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Ohio Census / Population Trends

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32,000 people exit Ohio per year

While birth rates keep population on the rise, data predicts that the downfall will begin around 2020.

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS / HAMILTON JOURNAL NEWS

October 23, 2006

 

OXFORD - Yannick Smith grew up in a small Toledo

 

suburb, likes Ohio and its people, and is glad he was raised here. He also has little intention of staying after graduating from college next year.

 

Smith, 22, an environmental studies major at Miami University, is determined to head to a big city such as New York or Chicago where, quite simply, there's more going on.

 

http://www.journal-news.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2006/10/23/hjn102306pocketbook.html

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""Instead of trying to support an industrial base that's going to erode no matter what you do, transfer that state support into creating intellectual property," Smith said."

 

Bingo!

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Don't get me started. There is a reason why there is brain drain. This area is hostile to smart people who do brain work for a living. The rah-rah of the various regional factions that publicize technology initiatives in Ohio cities are generally a case of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

 

I'll put a human face on the statistics.

 

I am in engineering - I am actually a BSEE but I develop software for a living, which I have done for over 25 years. I grew up and went to college in Dayton, and was hired into an HP division in the Bay Area for my first job out of school. In the late 80s I moved back into SW Ohio for personal family reasons.

 

The internal culture of EVERY tech company I have worked at in this region is crippled and lame. When a "software development" job is advertised you have an attitude on the part of management like they are waving 100 dollar bills in a trailer park. The business culture around here actively looks DOWN on engineering and IT people. That may be the case nationally now since the dot com meltdown and the rise of H1B based staffing, but around here in the Dayton/Cinci area a programmer or engineer has always, since I attended college here in the 70s, been regarded as a piece of human flotsam.

 

My point is that I have *sacrificed* my career in order to take care of some long term family matters here. People with 5-10 years of experience in other parts of the country out earn me 2:1 in many instances.

 

My last job interview (a year ago) with a small software shop in Lebanon culminated in an offer in which the owner (who chronically badmouthed an employee they were ousting) said that if I hired on I was "to only serve one master, not two" (he didn't want moonlighters, so he used language that went out with the Emancipation Proclamation.)

 

I do software contracting now. I won't even interview locally. The local tech companies are managed and run in a brain dead, "Theory X" management style and generally deserve to fail.

 

A concrete example: Back in the 90s I worked under the Indian guy who spearheaded and whose name is on a certain technology park in Hamilton that now bears his name. He demanded 60-80 hour weeks out of his programmers. But he is a freaking hero to the Chamber of Commerce types....

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I agree that it is a cultural problem that fails to retain the best and brightest.  I, however, do not agree that it is necessarily the culture of *individual companies*, but the culture that the state government fosters.

 

Most bright young people seek a thriving, exciting environment in which they can exchange ideas, learn more, network, develop and explore new opportunities, and essentially GROW as a person.  As such, these people are attracted to dynamic cities where they can live and socialize in close proximity to their peers.  Ohio makes the assumption that everyone wants banal suburban culture, or "American Dream", and thus even a 22-year-old right out of college, with his entire life ahead of him, has few options aside from living the exact same lifestyle as a 50-something middle manager with three adult children.  There is little diversity of thought or culture, and examining the spending priorities of the State, Ohio seems happy to keep applying to same tried-and-failed methods to every problem solving approach.  When you needlessly keep widening highways (I-71, Innerbelt), then claim you have no money to fund higher education, eyebrows get raised.  This is not the sign of a place that looks ahead and accepts creativity.

 

I don't claim to speak for anyone else, but if it comes down to a choice between Ruby Tuesday and Applebee's for dinner, I'm leaving town.

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I was discussing this just the other day...

 

I am in school getting a undergraduate degree in Urban Planning (at UC).  I would be classified as a young creative type, and I would LOVE to stay in Cincinnati (exception...not the norm).  However, I am realizing that if I want to get a good job once I graduate, and be able to do creative things, then Cincinnati/Ohio/Midwest are not the places for me.  I WANT to stay here and make a difference, but unless some things change I may be forced to leave in order to find a job that challenges me and gives me the creative plug that I need.

 

Cincy...lets turn it around and keep the YP's that we are training/educating for other places around the country/world!

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The more obscure your field, the larger the city you want to be in because there will be better networking and more chance to stay within the same city when jumping from company to company.  The situation is exacerbated if your wife is also pursuing a career in an obscure field as opposed to being an elementary school teacher, for example.  I mentioned on another thread that's the reason why a number of my friends from the old schoolyard can't get back to Cincinnati, because their wives are in obscure fields.  Look at the resume of most college professors, journalists, or whatever -- they have to jump from place to place to place, that is just the reality of a lot of professions. 

 

Oftentime a frustration with place has to do with you being just 1 or 2 key people away from a great group of people, it has nothing really to do with the place but people tend to associate their personal frustrations in a new place with the place itself.  Or maybe you're just lame, which is always a possibility. 

 

 

 

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"I want to get a good job once I graduate, and be able to do creative things, then Cincinnati/Ohio/Midwest are not the places for me."

 

Cincy? Maybe. Ohio? I suppose I could see that, though as a graphic designer (definitely a creative field) I've found work for the past 13 years. Midwest? Umm, is Chicago just not up to it? As for finding a job that gives you that creative plug - why not do something on your own on the side? As someone who also needs a creative outlet to stay sane, I can tell you that most jobs you'll find won't give you that. You need to develop something on your own that you can incorporate into your life.

 

I've noticed something perplexing about some members of the younger generation. There's this sense that graduating automatically means getting a good job, and not only that - it's a job that's completely fulfilling. There's no concept of "paying your dues" in an entry-level job in your respective field. There's no concept of working your way up in your career to a position that's more desirable. Why is that?

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I've noticed something perplexing about some members of the younger generation. There's this sense that graduating automatically means getting a good job, and not only that - it's a job that's completely fulfilling. There's no concept of "paying your dues" in an entry-level job in your respective field. There's no concept of working your way up in your career to a position that's more desirable. Why is that?

 

I'm sure the way they "sell" interships has a lot to do with it. Plus, colleges like to say you are going to step out right into a job.

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I'm sure the way they "sell" interships has a lot to do with it. Plus, colleges like to say you are going to step out right into a job.

 

Good point.  It's also the same reason you meet Capitol Hill interns and staffers at Dollar Beer Night, and they expect you to be impressed that they make coffee in a Congressman's office.  Big F Deal.

 

Uncle Rando, I feel you pain.  When I was in school, I decided I wanted to contribute to the vitality of cities by rehabbing and renovating existing and historical buildings.  As much as I love Cleveland, it just wasn't realistic to move back home.  Not when it seems like the only things being built are subdivisions and strip malls.  Ergo, my location on the East Coast.

 

Sometimes, when I come back to visit, I get the impression that the ideas of the 1950s are alive and well in Ohio.

 

 

 

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This just irks me.  I'm so sick of these "studies" and "projections."  Ohio is struggling to restructure its economy--true enough.  However, all is not lost.  Ohio has been strong in a lot of areas of innovation for some time.  Ohio is no different than other states: it is feeling the growing pains of an overall changing American economy.  Ohio's biggest problem is not its economy, per se.  Rather, it's the fact that innovation is slowly being lost among people who merely want a job handed to them as opposed to going out and being creative and forward-thinking.  The younger generation is not preparing for the future of this county.  They are seeking to continue their frat parties well beyond its appropriateness.  The professional and college-educated of just a mere generation ago spent their twenties and early thirties working towards a successful life.  Now, you have a generation that is looking for microwave success.  Where are the tales of the run-down, leaky apartment?  Where are the tales of the uber-small starter home?  Where are the tales of working your way up from the mailroom?  Have we become so fixated on being at the top that we forget the fun and lessons of being the underdog?   

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This is only my personal observation - in my experience, children of baby-boomers in the suburbs (particularly those considered Generation Y) have a seriously difficult time detaching from the comforts of their cul-de-sac lifestyle. They also have a hard time understanding that 1. not everyone lives the way their parents do, and 2. they can't afford their parents lifestyle if they're just starting out. Thus, I've seen a lot of them move back in with their parents. Again, just an observation. 

 

I've also seen just-graduated folks turn down a respectable entry-level job because they didn't want to work their way up, and go right back to school to get their masters (and more debt).

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Cincy? Maybe. Ohio? I suppose I could see that, though as a graphic designer (definitely a creative field) I've found work for the past 13 years. Midwest? Umm, is Chicago just not up to it?

 

Well, Chicago is definitely the exception rather than the norm.....when one generalizes the midwest Chicago is usually not included in the argument...they are the outlying score that throws the curve off.

 

I've noticed something perplexing about some members of the younger generation. There's this sense that graduating automatically means getting a good job, and not only that - it's a job that's completely fulfilling. There's no concept of "paying your dues" in an entry-level job in your respective field. There's no concept of working your way up in your career to a position that's more desirable. Why is that?

 

I understand the concept of 'paying my dues' and I understand that I will not be in the most fulfilling position out there as soon as I graduate.  I will obviously not know enough in order to do the good jobs adequately..that is something that will come over time.  However, is it wrong of me to have high expectations and want to have a good job out of college.

 

I may have to 'pay my dues', but do I have to do tasks that are below my skill level in order to accomplish that.  Why must I sit in an office and write zoning code for 5 years or make maps, when I can do MUCH more than that at a high level.  I want to get a job that will challenge me and help build my career for the future.....I didn't know that was a generational aspiration.

 

Oftentime a frustration with place has to do with you being just 1 or 2 key people away from a great group of people, it has nothing really to do with the place but people tend to associate their personal frustrations in a new place with the place itself.  Or maybe you're just lame, which is always a possibility.

 

I don't know you...nor do you know me, and I am not sure whether you are joking or being serious many times.  But nonetheless, many of the comments that you've directed towards me over time have REALLY ticked me off.  Maybe this is unjustified for me, but you constantly belittle those that are younger than you and that you feel are not as enlightened as you.

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>I don't know you...nor do you know me, and I am not sure whether you are joking or being serious many times.  But nonetheless, many of the comments that you've directed towards me over time have REALLY ticked me off.  Maybe this is unjustified for me, but you constantly belittle those that are younger than you and that you feel are not as enlightened as you.

 

I wasn't directing that at anyone in particular, just sloppily speaking in 2nd person in the way people say you when they mean we or themselves.  And BTW don't get worked up over some invisible dude on the web. 

 

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"However, is it wrong of me to have high expectations and want to have a good job out of college."

 

Of course not - I never said ambition wasn't a good thing.

 

"I may have to 'pay my dues', but do I have to do tasks that are below my skill level in order to accomplish that.  Why must I sit in an office and write zoning code for 5 years or make maps, when I can do MUCH more than that at a high level."

 

You nailed it for me. What I've bolded is EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I discuss an unwillingness to work your way up. Yes, the reason you do those menial tasks for a few years is so you gain experience in your field. Sometimes it accomplishes nothing beyond adding another month of experience to your resume - but sometimes it helps you perfect your craft. That's what we call experience - the more experience you have, the less menial work you need to do in order to prove yourself. When an opportunity to move up presents itself, you take it and repeat the process.

 

Do you really think I loved doing ads for a weekly newspaper for $7.50 an hour + benefits as my first job? Hardly - but it gave me experience outside of academia* and a few pieces for my portfolio which I parlayed into a better paying and more rewarding job somewhere else. Most people your age who I've dealt with (again - just my personal experience) want the level of job that I have without having to spend the thirteen years of career-building to get there. If they can do it, more power to them but that's not a realistic approach, imho.

 

*In my field, nothing kills me more than dealing with a newly-grad who can't grasp why their whiz-bang ultra-funky design that would have given them an "A" simply won't fly with corporate types, or why they can't grasp simple production issues. Both are signs of inexperience, and I'm sure every field has similar anecdotes.

 

 

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"The only problem with it, so far, is that none of the Ohio posters are interested in helping the ex-pats get back."

 

Unless your urbanohio.com forum is in BizarroWorld, that's complete and utter horsesh!t. Several people have already posted leads - just because the thread hasn't replaced monster.com as the leading help wanted resource, it doesn't mean people aren't interested in helping.

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And BTW don't get worked up over some invisible dude on the web.

 

Once again, I appreciate your great wisdom that you instill in the younger generation.

 

You nailed it for me. What I've bolded is EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I discuss an unwillingness to work your way up. Yes, the reason you do those menial tasks for a few years is so you gain experience in your field. Sometimes it accomplishes nothing beyond adding another month of experience to your resume - but sometimes it helps you perfect your craft. That's what we call experience - the more experience you have, the less menial work you need to do in order to prove yourself. When an opportunity to move up presents itself, you take it and repeat the process.

 

Your right...those without experience need to get it first...however, many of us young gippers have experience from this thing called Co-op.  By the time I graduate I will have almost two years of real world work experience under my belt.  Do I still need to 'pay my dues' as a right of passage, or since I do have the real world experience can I then move forward??

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I guess all that I am saying is that...why should I settle for a job in Ohio that may be less rewarding for me, when I can go elsewhere and get a MUCH better job?

 

OHIO NEEDS TO DO BETTER!!!

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I'm not in this life for money, so I plan to stick it out in SW Ohio, although you never know where life will lead you. I guess I am still from the old school where as I don't want too high a position until I can say I have some years behind me. Plus, I wouldn't mind having a few years where I have a somewhat simple 40 hour per week position and I can focus time on volunterism or other professional endevors, such as real estate.

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Your right...those without experience need to get it first...however, many of us young gippers have experience from this thing called Co-op.  By the time I graduate I will have almost two years of real world work experience under my belt.  Do I still need to 'pay my dues' as a right of passage, or since I do have the real world experience can I then move forward??

 

Yes.  I've been doing my job for over five years, and I'm still paying my dues.  Hell--I'm even licensed to do my job. 

 

Should you pursue the best opportunities for you?  Absolutely.  I think the fault a lot of younger people have is they expect something for nothing.  I have seen people who graduate with a liberal arts degree from a middling school, have literally never worked a day in their lives (internships don't count as "work experience") and expect to make $100,000 at age 22.  This is also my theory on why you see a disproportionate number of spoiled brats applying to law school.

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"I guess all that I am saying is that...why should I settle for a job in Ohio that may be less rewarding for me, when I can go elsewhere and get a MUCH better job?"

 

Riiiight, those MUCH better jobs for newly-grads with two years of experience just magically appear once you cross the border.

 

Let us know how that works for you.

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I'm not in this life for money, so I plan to stick it out in SW Ohio, although you never know where life will lead you. I guess I am still from the old school where as I don't want too high a position until I can say I have some years behind me. Plus, I wouldn't mind having a few years where I have a somewhat simple 40 hour per week position and I can focus time on volunterism or other professional endevors, such as real estate.

 

If you were unable to pursue your real estate aspirations here would you stay here??  Its not about the money...its about opportunities, that of which are severely lacking in Ohio.

 

(internships don't count as "work experience")

 

Then what in the hell is it good for?!?!?!  I wouldn't be wasting my time with coop if it weren't for the experience that I am getting.  I make the about the same amount of money at my part-time job...I could continue there and you are saying that I would be just as well off with only having Panera Bread on my resume compared to having worked with planning departments with the city's of Hamilton (Ohio) and my next one could potentially be with the City of Portland, and who knows after that.

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Internships are good for networking, and on a resume, it demonstrates a sincere interest in the profession.  Compared to what you'll be doing even five years from now, the internship is a cakewalk.  Trust me on this--I saw what the interns in my office did this summer, and it was mostly grunt work compared to what's expected of a seasoned professional. 

 

No, you're not wasting your time.  You'll be just fine.  It's just part of a CAREER, as opposed to a JOB. 

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I'm not in this life for money, so I plan to stick it out in SW Ohio, although you never know where life will lead you. I guess I am still from the old school where as I don't want too high a position until I can say I have some years behind me. Plus, I wouldn't mind having a few years where I have a somewhat simple 40 hour per week position and I can focus time on volunterism or other professional endevors, such as real estate.

 

If you were unable to pursue your real estate aspirations here would you stay here??  Its not about the money...its about opportunities, that of which are severely lacking in Ohio.

 

Yes, that would probably make me desire to stay more. I've always had a desire to help where needed. I see more opportunity in staying and trying to save a dying place than pursing my own aspirations of success. This is just me, I understand where you might be coming from, although it surprises me that you are saying this after our conversation when we met.

 

Prehaps I've seen "Its a Wonderful Life" too many times.  :|

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Internships are good for networking, and on a resume, it demonstrates a sincere interest in the profession.  Compared to what you'll be doing even five years from now, the internship is a cakewalk.  Trust me on this--I saw what the interns in my office did this summer, and it was mostly grunt work compared to what's expected of a seasoned professional. 

 

No, you're not wasting your time.  You'll be just fine.  It's just part of a CAREER, as opposed to a JOB. 

 

Maybe the interns where you work do this bs, but in my experience I have had 2 VERY meaningful internships in which I have been doing exactly the same work as the normal employees, just on a part time basis. 

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I believe that Rando's co-op (as part of the very respected UC DAAP program) is much more substantial than what other's may think of when they hear "internship."  Correct me if I'm wrong.  In any event, I think we should be careful with generalizing any type of work experience based on what a few people may or may not have done in our offices.

 

What I'd really like to do is direct the thread in a slightly different direction.  I want to know how the current "brain drain" situation in Ohio is similar/different than other comparable mid-sized american cities.  Sure, I realize that there are sexier jobs in LA, SF, NY, etc...  but do we really want to compare Ohio cities with those?  Is that a fair comparison?  I'd like to hear concrete examples (which are so often not to be found in this type of discussion) of how the brain drain situation in Cincy/Columbus/Cleveland compares with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Indy etc...  Are there better situations in place currently than in Ohio; and if so, please explain.

 

 

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Sure, I realize that there are sexier jobs in LA, SF, NY, etc...  but do we really want to compare Ohio cities with those?  Is that a fair comparison?

 

Absolutely it's fair.  If you want to compete with other cities for the brains and talent, you have to know what lures them away.  I think a more appropriate question would be the same, but turned on it's head:  "Is it fair to compare Cleveland/Cincinnati/Columbus only to Detroit/Pittsburgh/Indianapolis in terms of luring talent?"

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In my opinion its all about marketing. We need to creat a better image, not just for new people, but also current residents of Ohio, because image-problems and lack of excitement has infiltrated everything in Ohio. I honestly believe that if economic growth is only possible if we get people excited about living and working here. Making people more satisfied and happier will push people to work harder and be more productive.

 

The gloom and doom about economic growth is extremely threatening to economic growth. If we live in a culture where it is assumed there are no good opportunities or decent places to live, why would anyone (government, corporations, the common person) ever bother trying harder to make it work in Ohio? 

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Smith, 22, an environmental studies major at Miami University, is determined to head to a big city such as New York or Chicago where, quite simply, there's more going on.

 

"Right now in my life it's about location more than occupation," he said. "Someone would have to pay me a lot of money to live in Cleveland rather than Illinois."

 

To me this really says that Brain Drain isn't necessarily about jobs or potential opportunities. It is more about image and location. I think a lot of people simply decide to uproot from Ohio before they look for jobs in Ohio. If we entice these people to stay in Ohio, I think jobs will follow. It will start a trend and economic growth will happen naturally. You can't really say that jobs came first in the Southwest desert or the backward South, or the culturally deficient Carolinas. People started moving there, jobs were created in the process, and things have spiraled. It is all about creating a cultural momentum in Ohio. 

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If the image doesn't reflect reality, though, there's a big credibility problem.  You can't just put an ad campaign on the street without knowing your target audience.  For example, many 20 and 30 somethings want to live somewhere they don't need a car.  How realistic is it for them to move to a city in Ohio?  Urban retail, especially mainstream consumer goods, is virtually nonexistent in Ohio cities compared to other places.  What good is it to live in town in a funky neighborhood if you still have to drive (or take the bus) 10 miles to buy towels or underwear? 

 

True, in Cleveland, there are a few truly liveable urban neighborhoods.  They are very few, and far between, though, compared to the cities that are truly thriving right now.  Perhaps if the city worried about rebuilding the neighborhoods and creating jobs instead of new convention centers or casinos....

 

 

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Smith, 22, an environmental studies major at Miami University, is determined to head to a big city such as New York or Chicago where, quite simply, there's more going on.

 

"Right now in my life it's about location more than occupation," he said. "Someone would have to pay me a lot of money to live in Cleveland rather than Illinois."

 

To me this really says that Brain Drain isn't necessarily about jobs or potential opportunities. It is more about image and location. I think a lot of people simply decide to uproot from Ohio before they look for jobs in Ohio. If we entice these people to stay in Ohio, I think jobs will follow. It will start a trend and economic growth will happen naturally. You can't really say that jobs came first in the Southwest desert or the backward South, or the culturally deficient Carolinas. People started moving there, jobs were created in the process, and things have spiraled. It is all about creating a cultural momentum in Ohio. 

 

I've said it once and I'll say it again.  OHIO has no PR Campaign. 

- why do gays/ lesbian think the grass is greenier in cities like San Fran, LA, Miami or NYC?

- why do African American's think that cities like chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta or LA or "black meccas"?

- outside of the natural migration why do Latin American's think LA, San Diego, Miami/FLL, New York or Houston are Latino friendly?

- Why do Asian American's think San Fran, Toronto, New York offer easy transition?

 

Other cities are PRECEIVED to be so much better than Cleveland....which is not entirely the case.

 

These are just a few "image" related issues not on Cleveland, but Ohio needs to address.  There are lots of jobs in Cleveland.  People ask me all the time about Communication/Public Relations hell the CAVS have a PR available.

 

The reason Chicago can drain folks is that Cleveland, Detroit or Minn have never stepped up to the plate and openly embracced the above groups.

 

Based on things i've asked people I know and events/seminars i've attended.

 

Gays/Lesbians (mostly those of color) feel oppressed, unaccepted in Ohio

Blacks feel racism is often linked with poverty in Cleveland and at times feel like second class citizens

There is no luxury or upscale part of any of "X" city. ie.  all the urban city amenties you can easily find in the city center of a new york, London, Paris, Los Angeles, etc.

 

Are people in Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Boston, Detroit, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle, Memphis, San Diego, Portland, St. Louis or Phoenix, really living better/have a better quality of life than those in Cleveland or do people have a better opinion of those cities and equate that with being a better place to live than Cleveland?

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If the image doesn't reflect reality, though, there's a big credibility problem.  You can't just put an ad campaign on the street without knowing your target audience.  For example, many 20 and 30 somethings want to live somewhere they don't need a car.  How realistic is it for them to move to a city in Ohio?  Urban retail, especially mainstream consumer goods, is virtually nonexistent in Ohio cities compared to other places.  What good is it to live in town in a funky neighborhood if you still have to drive (or take the bus) 10 miles to buy towels or underwear? 

 

True, in Cleveland, there are a few truly liveable urban neighborhoods.  They are very few, and far between, though, compared to the cities that are truly thriving right now.  Perhaps if the city worried about rebuilding the neighborhoods and creating jobs instead of new convention centers or casinos....

 

 

 

I have asked this before and will ask again.  Do you live or have you ever lived in Cleveland proper?  living in the 'burbs and talking about the city is totally different from living in the city DAY IN AND DAY OUT! 

 

If im not mistaken, you don't even live DC.

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Listen DanielDC, you aren't living in Ohio right now. Neighborhoods are getting better all the time and there are many great neighborhoods to choose from. I don't appreciate your constant negativity towards people doing things to try and make Ohio better in some way. Why don't you tell your friends on Capitol Hill to stop subsidizing new infrastructure in other parts of the country and invest in existing infrastructure. Tell the federal government to spend money on public transit here in Ohio so we can build it.

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The federal government has to stop using Ohio tax revenue to subsidize growth in places that have earthquakes, hurricanes, and unnatural environments, i.e. the desert. That is a huge part of Ohio's problem too.

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I'm not knocking people who are trying to improve Ohio cities.  I wish them well.  I really do.      I will say, though, that every time I come back home, my first reaction is, "Where are all the people at?".  Even when I'm downtown or in the WHD or Lakewood, it always feels dead. That's a strong impression to overcome, and speaks louder than any PR campaign could.

 

As I've stated time and again, the State of Ohio only recognizes one way of life, and that is Suburban Nuclear Family.  What about those of us who aren't part of, or don't want to be part of, that culture? 

 

I can say first-hand that I didn't move to DC because of a billboard or a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine. 

 

You can't keep doing the same things and expect life to improve just because you promote it differently. 

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I'm not knocking people who are trying to improve Ohio cities.  I wish them well.  I really do.       I will say, though, that every time I come back home, my first reaction is, "Where are all the people at?".  Even when I'm downtown or in the WHD or Lakewood, it always feels dead. That's a strong impression to overcome, and speaks louder than any PR campaign could.

 

As I've stated time and again, the State of Ohio only recognizes one way of life, and that is Suburban Nuclear Family.  What about those of us who aren't part of, or don't want to be part of, that culture?  

 

I can say first-hand that I didn't move to DC because of a billboard or a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine. 

 

You can't keep doing the same things and expect life to improve just because you promote it differently. 

 

You don't get it do you????  YOU REALLY DON'T GET IT!  STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR FUCKIN' BUBBLE!

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What do you want me to know that I'm not understanding? 

 

I think part of the problem, as aptly illustrated on this thread, is that everyone who doesn't think the same way as everyone else in Cleveland--something is wrong with that person.  They're stupid.  They're elitist.  They don't get it. 

 

Enlighten me.  And remember--it's people like me you're trying to retain and attract.  Knocking people with different perspectives doesn't make you, or your city, endearing.  So let's hear what ya got to say....

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If the image doesn't reflect reality, though, there's a big credibility problem.  You can't just put an ad campaign on the street without knowing your target audience.  For example, many 20 and 30 somethings want to live somewhere they don't need a car.  How realistic is it for them to move to a city in Ohio?  Urban retail, especially mainstream consumer goods, is virtually nonexistent in Ohio cities compared to other places.  What good is it to live in town in a funky neighborhood if you still have to drive (or take the bus) 10 miles to buy towels or underwear? 

 

True, in Cleveland, there are a few truly liveable urban neighborhoods.  They are very few, and far between, though, compared to the cities that are truly thriving right now.  Perhaps if the city worried about rebuilding the neighborhoods and creating jobs instead of new convention centers or casinos....

 

 

 

Then explain Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles... pretty much every city from La to Charlotte that is booming right now and does not have the rail or even bus infrastructure of NYC or Chicago or even Cleveland and Milwaukee's bus systems. Do you know how many people even in Cleveland that don't know we have rail transit? We (N.E.O.) need a regional marketing plan, I'm glad they're working on one now. That should help significantly.

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