Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"I will stay if ..." comes to Cleveland

It’s a cold, cold day in Cleveland when the next local initiative is titled, “I will stay if …” The campaign, led by the Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE), gives Clevelanders a chance to voice their ideas about how to polish up our city. It launches tomorrow night at Speakeasy on W. 25th Street, below McNulty’s Bier Markt, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.

City councilman Matt Zone will talk about shaking Cleveland’s rusty image, along with Randell McShepard of the think tank PolicyBridge and Lillian Kuri of the Cleveland Foundation. There’s no fee, but you can donate $5 to the cause (includes drink discounts, a coupon for Bianco Pizza, raffle entry and participation in campaign photos).

Clevelanders have already picked up on the idea and given some feedback to the campaign. Some responses were trivial: “I will stay in Cleveland if the city finally coordinates its traffic signals and takes down the 300 that are completely unnecessary,” one woman said.

Another resident cited more pressing issues:“(I will stay if) we stop talking about sustainability and start talking about environmentalism.”

Though we’re not exactly strolling along the Flats’ East Bank these days humming “Cleveland Rocks,” other Rust Belt towns are in similar straits. Before the campaign came to Cleveland, it paid a visit in two other teetering cities: Pittsburgh and... Detroit.

Besides not being Detroit, there are many great reasons to live in Cleveland. We chose 112 favorites in our October issue, but here are 10 more awesome reasons we should all love our city:

1. Our resident Iron Chef Michael Symon and his three restaurants.

2.We're close to Put-in-Bay, which makes for a great weekend trip during the summer.

3. Phenomenal pierogis.

4. The Cleveland Clinic is ranked number one in heart care in the nation, and fourth overall by U.S. News and World Report.

5. The Browns Cavs

6. Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern, Ohio’s first certified green restaurant.

7. We’ve capitalized on a burning river.

8. LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal.

9. The Great Lakes Brewing Co., specifically Christmas Ale.

10. We’ve got nine more reasons than Detroit.

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