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July 21, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1971-07-21

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(Jeveland: A struggle or survival

By DAVE CHUDWIN
N 796 General Moss Cleavland led a
surveying expedition to what was
then known as the "western Reserve",
an unsettled area hugging the shores of
Lake Erie. At the mouth of the Cuya-
hog, River he laid out the city that now
bears his name.
Like many other American cities,
Cleveland is now suffering what some be-
lieve is a terminal disease. Celebrating its
175th anniversary this summer, Cleve-
land is an unsafe, decaying, divided city,
choking in its own waste.
The once-proud Cuyahoga, for exam-
ple, is perhaps the only river in America
that's a fire hazard. The river's foul wat-
ers occasionally catch on fire and im-
mediately kill any marine animal un-
fortunate enough to swim into it.
CLEVELAND'S problems, like those of
other urban areas, result from a vicious
economic circle.
As Cleveland became increasingly in-
dustrialized and the city's housing de-
teriorated, people flocked to the suburbs
for relief from the noise, dirt and con-
gestion.
As the exodus continued, Cleveland's
tax base dropped. With less money to
spend, conditions within the city be-
came worse.
Industry soon followed the flight,
leaving a jobless, delapidated city sur-
rounded by rich suburbs.
The result of this process is t h a t
Cleveland today is broke, scrounging to
find funds for even the most elemental
city services.
FACED WITH the prospect of a multi-
million dollar deficit, Mayor Carl Stokes
has ordered massive lay-offs of c i t y
employes.
The parks are choked with litter, and
some municipal pools are closed because
of cuts in the recreation department bud-
get. Several local health clinics for the
poor have been shut down because of
health department lay-offs.
Garbage pickups are a sometimes af-
fair, with dozens of sanitation workers
off the city payroll.
Weeds are waist high along roads in
some areas of the city.
And, last week 193 policement w e r e
laid off in a city where many sections
are unsafe during the day, let alone at
night.
COMPLICATING the city's troubles

4

are racial divisions. The jobs that Cleve-
land once provided lured many blacks
to the city, where they now form a ma-
jority of the population.
Concentrated in ghetto areas on the
east side, Cleveland's black population
endured years of substandard housing,
high unemployment, crime, drugs, and
unkept promises before discontent ex-
ploded in a major riot four years ago.
The city was hopeful when C a r 1
Stokes was elected the first black mayor
of Cleveland, but hope has turned to dis-
affection with Stokes, who himself has
become a symbol of racial discord.
WHITES on the west side charge that
Stokes has been ineffective and has fav-
ored blacks. Black residents on the east

420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints
Wednesday, July 21, 1971 NIGHT EDITOR: TAMMY JACOBS

side acknowledge Stokes' ineffectiveness,
but blame Cleveland's independent-
minded city council for sabotaging the
mayor's programs.
The bitter battle between the council
and Stokes, who recently announced that
he would not run for re-election, h a s
blocked effective government here. Ano-
ther difficult problem has been some-
times strained relations between Cleve-
land and its rich children - the suburbs.
What can be done, then? The most
urgent short-range task, if Cleveland is
to get back on its feet, is to get more
money for at least a minimum level of
city services.
Approval of some sort of federal re-
venue sharing for the cities and increas-
ed state allocations for urban areas seem
a must if cities like Cleveland are to
survive.
ANOTHER important step would be
to form a metropolitan government in
Cuyahoga County, combining Cleveland
and its suburbs for more effective gov-
ernment.
This unit, replacing the patchwork
quilt of jurisdiction now in effect, would
more equally distribute tax revenues in
the region and help solve problems such
as crime and pollution that do not ob-
serve city boundaries.
A second major task is to make the
city livable again. City, state and fed-
eral aid to build homes and apartments

* . * The city was hopeful
when Carl Stokes was elect-
ed the first black mayor of
Cleveland, but h o p e has
turned to disaffection with
Stokes, who himself has
become a symbol of racial
liscord.
for low-income ramiilies to replace vast
areas of blight is necessary.
The federal government has already
been leaning on Cleveland to crack down
on pollution, some of which is caused
by city departments, but the money prob-
lem and pressure from industry has pre-
vented effective action.
ONLY FEDERAL action can save dy-
ing Lake Erie, since it borders several
states. Clean air and water are a must
for an adequate urban environment.
Crime is another sore point. While not
an easy problem, the crime rate could be
lowered by reducing the high unem-
ployment rate the city is suffering,
through public service jobs, if need be,
and drug treatment programs for the
heroin epidemic that afflicts some areas
of the city,
A third important effort is to reverse
the outflow of people from the city to
the suburbs. Other cities have recently
experienced a downtown boom with peo-
ple moving to fashionable downtown
high-rises that offer the convenience of
living at the center of things.
ALREADY in Cleveland, a mini-build-
ing boom has occurred downtown.
If it is encourged, more and more peo-
ple and their money will be lured back to
the central city area.
These are but a few of the steps that
could be taken here. Cleveland's prob-
lems are similar to those of other large
cities. If nothing is done, urban areas will
not be rescued. Rather, they'll be dead
shells - monuments to mismanage-
ment and neglect.

v

Letters to The Daily

Cellar Establishment
To The Daily:
IT IS interesting to note that the
University Cellar has joined The
Establishment. When I inquired
about buying Abbie Hoffman's
Steal This Book, I was told that
they could no longer sell it. It has
been banned by the Cellar's board
of directors.
Phone calls to five other local
bookstores revealed that four of
these either had the book or were
in the process of ordering it. The
fifth indicated no intention of or-
dering it.
I have not yet read this book.
but after reading the review of it
by Dotson Nader in the July 18
New York Times abk Review, I
decided to en nut and buy it The

H ffman's book from being re-
viewed and retailed.
I am really appalled that the
University C e 11 a r, a "student"
ba: kstore conceived out of a stu-
dent protest movement, has joined
the ranks of the censors. It makes
one wonder: how many other
b-eks are being quietly censored as
well? What is the University Cel-
lar's policy on censorship?
Peggy Medina Giltrow
Grad, Library Science
July 19
One of the gang
Ta The Daily:
IF THFRE ever was any ques-
tin that the People's Republic of
China was a Stalinist, bureaucra-
tically deformed workers' state. the

doubts. At a time when the credi-
bility of the American ruling class
has been shaken to its roots, the
criminals in Peking have bailed
out the criminals in Washington.
The American- and Chinese
working classes, among others, will
have the final say on such counter-
revolutionary chicanery.
Robert Bernard
July 17
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to M a r y
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should
not exceed 250 words. The
Editorial Directors reserve the
right to edit all letters sub-

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