Democratizing Cleveland: An Introduction

For a decade between the mid-1970s and 1980s, the neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio hosted a vibrant community organizing movement. This movement put a pro-neighborhood agenda on center stage in a city that was the very definition of the term “urban crisis”.

2018-08-16T14:42:43+00:00 July 30th, 2018|

The Pennsylvania I Carry With Me: An excerpt from “Red State Blues: Stories from Midwestern Life on the Left”

Five years after I left, I got Pennsylvania inked into my skin. It was my second autumn post-college, and the notion that I might never live in my home state again was sinking in. So I decided to carry the state outline on my left shoulder, with the major rivers of the western third, where I grew up, drawn in blue.

2018-08-14T08:46:32+00:00 July 25th, 2018|

Looking For Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a man of many talents, but interior design was not one of them. At his home in Springfield, Illinois, his bed is covered in a quilt with alternating red stripes and blue squares. The rug on the floor has stripes of red, green, and blue running in the opposite direction.

2018-09-08T13:06:55+00:00 July 23rd, 2018|

Bessie: The Lake Erie Monster

If you live in Northeast Ohio, you’ve probably heard of Bessie, the Lake Erie Monster. You may have drunk an IPA called Lake Erie Monster, which is produced by the Great Lakes Brewing Co. of Cleveland. Or you may have watched the Lake Erie Monsters, a minor league hockey team that plays in Quicken Loans Arena. But have you ever seen the Lake Erie Monster in real life?

2018-08-06T12:21:07+00:00 July 20th, 2018|

55 Strong: In Conclusion

We all remember our favorite teachers. We tuck their small acts of kindness  away in basements or in attic boxes: red-penned lines of encouragement, our worth acknowledged. We remember their handwriting and the wooden, waxy smell of their classrooms. Many of us continue to do good work in their names, and this is especially true of individuals who later became teachers themselves.

2018-07-31T08:44:42+00:00 July 16th, 2018|

In Appalachia, shifting political winds have forced Republican lawmakers to expand Medicaid. Could this be the start of a trend?

Mary White had noticed her knee hurting on and off for a while before she blew it out last October. “I turned around to go down the steps after I locked the door, and it kicked out the side and tore that ligament in there,” she said. White, who turns 64 in August, does not have health insurance. Her husband is on Social Security and Medicare, and between that and her slightly better-than-minimum-wage income at the Binns-Counts Community Center in Clinchco, Virginia, White doesn’t quite qualify for Medicaid.

2018-07-30T16:10:41+00:00 July 16th, 2018|

Dispatches From A Superlative Midwestern City

Milwaukee has become a clickbait darling. Our local media outlets run a story every time we're recognized as a "best-kept secret" or a "worst place to live." Without fail, my neighbors light up on Facebook in response to each one, sharing the latest listicle as they either swell with pride ("yeah, we are a hidden gem!") or struggle to articulate dissent with whoever most recently announced that we live in one of the country's most dangerous cities.

2018-07-25T08:52:47+00:00 July 13th, 2018|