Northeast Ohio mayors aim to improve their cities

By: Anna Artkowsky

The Bishop of Cleveland, Anthony Pilla, has created a initiative called “Church in the City” to get people in the Northeast Ohio area to come together and talk about the problems they are experiencing in their communities.

On Thursday, Feb.9, a panel of three mayors gathered in the D.J. Lombardo Center to talk about the success they have had since beginning this movement 25 years ago and what still needs to be accomplished across Northeast Ohio.

“Almost 25 years ago this initiative was lost,” said Mayor Bradley Sellers of Warrensville Heights. “25 years later it has really become to be exactly like what Bishop Phillip wanted it to be.”

Many people gathered in the D.J. Lombardo Center to listen to the three panelists and moderator Len Calabrese, former director of the Commission on Catholic Community Action.

The discussion was focused mainly on how to bring the people of Northeast Ohio together and to better their neighborhoods. A key idea brought up by the mayors was bringing people together with different diverse backgrounds from urban and suburban areas.

Above: Panel of Mayors: Infeld, Sellers, Welo. Photo by Carlee Duggan

Calabrese said by doing this it will lead people to “respect each other and learn from each other no matter where they live.”

Mayor Susan Infeld of University Heights focused on figuring out what is right for Northeast Ohio to grow and make people want to live here in the Buckeye State.

She noticed that a problem for the city is funding for roadways and infrastructure projects.

“What we see as board members is that the state will maintain roadways outside of urban areas, but not inside urban areas,” said Infeld.

Infeld compared the roadway system to the concept of sanctuary city. She emphasized howimportant it is to treat people with respect, and that quality of life matters.

Another focus of the conversation was the millennial generation and how it is important for them to continue the initiative.

“It excites me to see city millennials in a room,” said Mayor Georgine Welo of South Euclid. “We mayors set the stage and hand it to you.”

Welo then began to touch on a few points about why we continue to fail.

Welo said, “It comes down to politics, it comes down to do you have the big girl pants to go out there and convince people that sharing what you have isn’t going to weaken what is important to you.”

Mayors Susan Infeld, Bradley Sellers, and Georgine Welo had many reasons why it is important to continue and better the movement by caring about one another in the Northeast Ohio area.

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