Apathy downtown not limited to riding to work

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 06/04/2006 - 01:28.


Tuesday after Memorial Day I was suprised to come across Mayor Jackson hosting a Veterans Memorial Day event at the Mall, with only a few dozen folks present. The Veterans organization that organized the event certainly made nice arrangements, including printing a detailed program, and the occassion was important to a large part of our community - veterans and their families and loved ones. But there were few people there representing anyone.. not even war protesters.


Jeff Buster reported a similar result at the Mall a few weeks ago, for an event supporting cycling. At a stunning and uplifting Jazz Parade around Public Square a few weeks ago, featuring New Orleans' amazing Rebirth Brass Band, only a few dozen Clevelanders turned out or turned on to the joy.

Rebirth Brass Band

Wednesday, July 19, a rally will be held in downtown Cleveland to expand awareness of the critical community health, education and economic crisis of lead poisoning, and not many people today are thinking "I care about lead". So how do we push for better turn-out, considering three very different and well intended events turned out a total of maybe 200 people between them all - Veterans at noon on the Mall with the Mayor, Cycling and sustainability enthusiasts with free bagels and light bulbs on the Mall, and one of the world's best jazz bands leading a once-in-a-liftime parade around Public Square. 

The problem is not the causes or quality of events - they each have been excellent and have huge followings The problem is with the city. But is it the city itselt - people won't bother doing things during work hours downtown - or that we just don't do a good job of communicating and organizing across networks yet? Any thoughts on any of this - I'm really worried by how hard it is to turn out a crowd, if you aren't offering poker, the Jake or Nautica (all via Dick Jacobs).


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