Archive for the ‘Civic Activities’ Category

I’m an Old Brooklyn Social Media Ambassador

I met with some neighbors at the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation tonight to learn about their #whatsyouroldbrooklyn social media campaign. I signed up to be one of their local social media ambassadors, was selected, and have now been oriented. Having spent 4 years (mostly thankless) promoting Tremont out of goodwill via Tremonter (I have no […]


I created a Twitter bot named @CLEHelperBot. It retweets the hashtag #WhereInCleveland. That’s all it does. What’s the point? My thought process: I frequently don’t know where to find stuff in Cleveland. Stuff like gaffer’s tape, a decent tailor, an old-school barbershop, a date. How do I find people who know the answers to these […]

Everybody wants to be the vanguard

I kibitzed a bit of online spill-over of an argument between anarchists, Occupiers, activists, & sundry interested parties regarding organizing & protesting around the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The discussion was about organizing & activist methodologies & the argument (whose provenance is in dispute) was about “diversity of tactics” which, as far as […]

Poetry 4 Free Update

Today I wrote my 50th poem in my Poetry 4 Free project. It’s been great fun so far; despite the heavy mocking from my coworkers and the obvious & unspoken doubtfulness from certain folks I know, it has fulfilled, at least in part, all of the goals I had in mind when I started this […]

Poetry 4 Free

This summer, at the very least, I’ll be erratically planting myself in various semi-populated places around Cleveland where there is foot traffic with a sign that says “Poetry 4 FREE” and a typewriter. I’m hoping that folks will stop and ask me for a poem. They give me the subject and I write it for […]

Stop, Collaborate and Listen: EfficientGovNetwork Regional Collaboration Conference

On Thursday 13 October 2011, I used a vacation day to attend the EfficientGovNetwork Regional Collaboration Conference on behalf of the Cleveland Coalition/Transparency Action Plan Summit. I met up with Pepper Pike councilwoman Jill Miller Zimon and we carpooled down to Akron. Jill was there on behalf of The Civic Commons; they are helping with outreach/education for #EGNetwork. […]

Civil Service

My favorite discussion this year in my Public Administration class centered around whether civil service was a calling [or not]. This led me to think about why I get so much satisfaction out of my government web design gig. The answer I usually shell out is because every day I get a chance to improve […]

End Round GMMC Meeting

We had the end of Round 9 meeting tonight at the Cleveland Foundation. This was a good meeting, even though Joel is gone and there isn’t a new director in place yet, we discussed what was on our minds in terms of improvements that could be made to the process, additional and different assistances that […]

Beer and Grassroots Activism

I was at Edison’s last night meeting with some neighborhood folks about a possible synergy between the larval Tremont Civility Project and a possible mentoring program to bring together new residents, long-time residents and even longer-time residents. I also got pretty drunk. Rogue Brewery’s Dead Guy Ale This ale was moderately hoppy with a thick […]

Round VII – Second Night of Interviews

Last evening was the second night of interviews for the seventh round of Neighborhood Connections grant-making. We had six interviews on the schedule, but one cancelled due to illness. The other interviewees presented on beautification programs, safety programs, and educational programs. One thing that I’ve started to notice, from attending the Tremont Strategic Investment meeting […]

Round VII – First Night of Interviews

The first night of interviews for Round VII of the Neighborhood Connections grant program was last night. I didn’t have to haul ass out to Mt. Pleasant this time, since my group was meeting at St. Ignatius. We were supplied with coffee and tea which was great since I was fighting some sinus stuff. We […]

Fall Grant-Making

The Neighborhood Connections grant-making committee met again last night to start the fall round of grant discernment. We had delicious food from Luchita’s. This round only had about 60% the number of proposals compared to the spring round. This is, apparently, typical. But it means that you have a better chance of being funded if […]

Cleveland Bus Tour, The Compound, The Red Krayola

Saturday was an extremely full day for me. I rode my bike down to the Hanna building and then took a 6 hour neighborhood tour of Cleveland. Once that was over I went to a free all-day local band rock show at The Compound and then went to Parish Hall to see the legendary The […]


I just spoke to the board of Neighborhood Housing Services Cleveland [whoa 1994 site design!] about my trip to Nashville. They footed the bill so it was only right that I tell them about it. The board has folks from all kinds of Cleveland services as members and the City Council Chairman Martin Sweeney was […]

Nashville Wrap-up

I’m home now, and I’ve finally managed to upload all of my pictures. You can view the set here. On Sunday the Cleveland Contingent met to create an action plan for a project here in town. We didn’t have very long to work, but we decided to structure a survey to be submitted to Cleveland […]

Downtown Nashville

Trying to get a WiFi signal in Nashville is like trying to find a pair of fishnet pantyhose at a hardware store. Or like being sent on an errand for headlight oil or a football bat. After my last workshop yesterday I attempted to go to the one WiFi coffee shop I had seen in […]

NeighborWorks: Transforming Conflict Into Action

My third workshop was Transforming Conflict Into Action, something that is also very important in my neighborhood. There are a lot of groups that butt-heads over a variety of issues and this workshop focused on providing us with tools to use effective listening in order to resolve conflict and keep it from resulting in stagnation […]

NeighborWorks: Advocating for Change in Your Community

My second workshop, Advocating for Change in Your Community, focused on its title. I chose to take this workshop because Tremon[s]ters are stubborn even for Cleveland and when two people have opposing viewpoints on a neighborhood issue it is often hard to mediate or even gain something that has the appearance of consensus. Effective change-advocacy […]

NeighborWorks: Adults and Youth Working Together

My first workshop was focused on building lasting and effective relationships between adults and youth in neighborhoods. To our benefit, there was a 17 year old girl in our workshop whose insights vastly improved the quality of the workshops. I was looking for information on how to get youth in my ‘hood involved and keep […]

NeighborWorks Opening Plenary

The NeighborWorks Peak Performance Opening Plenary just finished and I’m chowing on a bagged lunch. The opening remarks were pretty standard, and there were the inevitably long people-we’d-like-to-recognize sessions, but now that it is over I’m ready to go on my first workshop, Adults and Youth Working Together.

NeighborWorks in Nashville

I’m in Nashville for a weekend conference on community organizing sponsored by NeighborWorks America. The weather is beautiful and the people are quite friendly. The downtown is thriving and fully exploiting its country-western roots. I think Cleveland should really put a similar pull on rock and roll. The Country Music Hall of Fame looks about […]


A group of folks from all over the country was in town learning about the small grant program sponsored by The Cleveland Foundation. You know, the one I’m on: Neighborhood Connections. A few of the committee members [and one lucky alternate] were asked to go along for a neighborhood tour yesterday and then share dinner […]

GMMC Final Funding Meeting

The GMMC met for the final time in this funding round last night at the Cleveland Foundation. We had delicious Eastern European food from North Coast, recommended by Sokolowski’s. I particularly liked the stuffed cabbage. And I hate cabbage. Bob Brown from the Cleveland Planner’s office spoke to us about the update to the city […]

Interview Round III

We had a marathon round of interviews last night. 7 in 3.5 hours. The upside of this, however, is that we have a short week next week for the last round. We had some very impressive presentations and proposals on some tactical and general neighborhood initiatives, and I actually had knowledge that was worth sharing. […]

Interview Round II

I made it to the second session of grantee interviews last night, out in Mt. Pleasant. We interviewed six grant-seekers over at three hour period. The segregation of Cleveland proper was really brought home to me during this time. The Neighborhood Connections GMMC is quite a diverse bunch of people, and by necessity. Also by […]

GMMC Grant Culling

Last night, after chowing down on some great Cambodian food from the West Side Market, the Neighborhood Connections Grant-Making and Monitoring Committee met again for the first round of grant proposal analysis. Our sub-group had 39 proposals submitted and 24 slots to fill, and it took us about three hours to get through them all. […]

Grant Proposals

I received over a ream of Neighborhood Connections grant proposals by courier yesterday. I have a week and a half to review 41 proposals from Clevelanders who have ideas for improving their neighborhoods. And here I thought I was running out of stuff to read. I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

GMMC Take 1

I now own a $20 nametag. I also had an excellent mediterraneanly catered meal from Middle East restaurant. Their grape leaf rolls were the best I’ve had. I also got free parking in downtown Cleveland. [!] Now that the important stuff is out of the way, I’d like to share my thoughts on my first […]