Cleveland, Ohio founded in 1796 on the southern shore of Lake Erie has been a blue-collar community where manufacturing thrived until those jobs were farmed out (out-sourced) to other countries where the standard of living was lower, so the cost of doing them was cheaper. Never mind all of the un-employed individuals left here with no jobs and no skills to pursue the changing demands of the workforce.
In the mid-1960s the post war boom economy of the 1950s was over. The steel mills, ever a source of employment for hardworking men slowed almost to a stop which in turn put a dent in the automobile business and all of the related suppliers and the city of Cleveland actually declared bankruptcy. The steel mill changed hands and the automobile industry shifted its focus from big gas guzzling machines, to moderate and smaller sized cars, and the economy hobbled on.
Once the retail market all but died downtown and emerged in suburban shopping malls, the traffic in the heart of the city thinned out to the working crowd and most of them evacuated the area as quickly as possible after work.
Cleveland has continued to try to rejuvenate the good old days by providing entertainment free to the mobs on the 4th of July and other events to try to lure back the people. They do appear, attend and once again head out of town with due speed.
Condos have been built in former office buildings with the hope of attracting the upwardly mobile young adults, the yuppies or the senior set looking to size down and have easy access to restaurants and theatres to take up residence, and some have done so.
Cleveland, Ohio has worked very hard to earn the privilege to spend sixty million dollars to host the next Republican National Convention. New hotels, a new convention center, the Horseshoe Casino, complete with overhead enclosed walkway to the parking garage to shield visitors from our inclement weather, not to mention the seedy characters who prowl the streets of our old city. The public square is scheduled for a new do, make over so it will be more user-friendly for anticipated guests. The piece de resistance in my opinion is the recently announced pedestrian walkway with a $25,000,000 price tag to connect the Convention Center to Lake Erie. Meanwhile the winter of 2014-15 finds the residential streets of the taxpayers un-plowed and the people complaining that they cannot get out to go to work.
It is my humble hope that Cleveland, Ohio will at the very least, break even once this highly anticipated influx of politicians has swept through our city, eating, drinking, sight-seeing, sleeping, meeting, waving their banners and rallying the voters, finishes their business and returns to their homes with happy memories and perhaps a thought to come again.