Cleveland’s own Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show” and host of “The Price is Right) will be lending his support to help save his home town in a documentary series presented by Reason.tv called “Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey” airing during the week of March 15-19. There are six 10-minute episodes which, according to the web site, “investigates and analyzes the problems that turned Cleveland from the nation's sixth-largest city in 1950 into today's ”Mistake On The Lake.” “ It’s an attempt to give city leaders and residents a wake up call in to take new approaches to old problems, in the hopes of bringing much needed growth and prosperity back to not only Cleveland, but also to other cities across the United States that are in the same situation.
Here is the full release schedule, with episode title, explanation, and air dates for each episode, and be sure to stop by Reason.tv on the designated dates to watch these short programs. I have also included two preliminary videos below which should help to further explain this series.
Episode 1: The Decline of a Once-Great City (March 15)
Sixty years ago, Cleveland was a booming city full of promise, opportunity, and people. Today, the city’s population is less half of what it was in its prime and it ranks as one of the poorest big cities in the United States. Hometown hero Drew Carey reflects on how the city became “the mistake on the lake” and wonders about the city’s future. Is a Cleveland renaissance possible or is the city doomed to long, slow death?
Episode 2: Fix the Schools (March 15)
Cleveland’s public schools are failing to prepare students for their future and as a result, all parents who can afford to have been fleeing to the suburbs for decades. Yet some urban schools, like Think College Now in Oakland, California are finding out that a combination of administrative autonomy and accountability can lead to amazing results. Within Cleveland's own boundaries, charter schools are booming and delivering quality education at a fraction of the cost of traditional public schools. Does Cleveland have what it takes to fundamentally reform its K-12 education system and become a leader in 21st-century education?
Episode 3: Privatize It (March 16)
Should cities be in the business of running businesses ranging from convention centers to farmers markets? Selling off golf courses, contracting out parking concessions, and all manner of public-private partnerships are generating billions of dollars in revenue and dramatically improving city services in places such as Chicago and Indianapolis. Will Cleveland's elected officials learn the right lessons in time?
Episode 4: Take Care of Business (March 17)
After World War II, Cleveland was booming, thanks to its leadership role in heavy industry and a business-friendly climate. Today, the city’s high taxes and onerous regulatory demands make it nearly impossible for new businesses to set up shop while choking the life out of existing companies. While relatively laissez-faire cities such as Houston are growing even during the current recession, Cleveland remains stuck in a rut. How can city officials make the city a more welcoming place for entrepreneurs to thrive?
Episode 5: Encourage Bottom-Up Development (March 18)
Cleveland has spent billions on big-ticket urban redevelopment efforts including heavily subsidized sports stadiums and convention centers that have utterly failed to revitalize the city’s economy. Should the city be pouring even more money into and pinning yet higher hopes on long-odds mega-projects? Or should they realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul?
Episode 6: Bring Back the People (March 19)
No city can exist without people, and Cleveland has lost more than half its population since the 1950s. Yet the city still boasts amazingly affordable neighborhoods, down-to-earth charm, a rich history, a stunning and varied landscape, and diverse ethnic and cultural scenes. How can Cleveland can become a destination where people flock to pursue their personal versions of the American Dream?
Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland Ohio, here.