LAWG Week: Community Outreach and Engagement in Cleveland by Michelle Davis

In the spirit of my six year old’s joy of watching kids YouTube, Hey Guys! This is Michelle Davis, from Cleveland, Ohio!  I am the Assistant Director of Tremont West Development Corporation and am excited that your conference is visiting our neighborhood.  Tremont West is a nonprofit serving the 7,500+ residents of the Tremont, Duck Island and Irishtown Bend neighborhoods of Cleveland and our mission is to serve Tremont by organizing an inclusive community, building a unified neighborhood, and promoting a unique destination.

Lessons Learned: The pride and joy of our work is our outreach and engagement with the community.  We have systematically divided the neighborhood into 11 different areas we call block club areas.  On staff, we have two community organizers who work with resident leaders to plan agendas and host monthly meetings.  Since I began working at Tremont West fifteen years ago, these loosely run gatherings have formed into formalized groups with official bylaws, co-chairs, secretaries and attendance requirements for voting on decisions that are made at their meetings.  Our community engagement is essential to our work and it assists in in planning for the future of Tremont.  Our vision is that Tremont is the ideal urban village, led by a growing population of dedicated people, filled with desirable amenities and essential services, and welcoming to all.

Hot Tips: Tremont is a fun place to visit and explore.  We claim to have more historic churches in one square mile than anywhere in the country!  Lincoln Park serves as our town square and place of many gatherings throughout the spring, summer and fall!  Here are a few places to check out during your visit:

  • A Christmas Story House & Museum – explore the property where Ralphie shot his eye out and the Bumpuses’ Hounds ate the Christmas Turkey! There is a great lunch spot, The Rowley Inn, right on the corner across from the house!
  • Tremont Tap House – Cleveland’s first gastropub. If you love beer, this is the place for you!  Plus, its right down Historic Scranton Road from a theatre, The Liminis, which is home to a small avant-garde company called convergence-continuum.
  • Professor Avenue – is home to boutique shopping at Banyan Tree and Evie Lou as well as famous chefs including Dante Boccuzzi and Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit.
  • Sokolowski’s University Inn – a cafeteria style, James Beard Award winning, restaurant, serving comfort food including their famous pierogis. Now on the Towpath Trail, a regional asset, off road walking and cycling trail that you can take to past Akron, Ohio to New Philidelphia, Ohio 110 miles south of Cleveland.

We’re looking forward to the fall and the Evaluation 2018 conference all this week with our colleagues in the Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG). Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to contribute to aea365? Review the contribution guidelines and send your draft post to aea365@eval.org.

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