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Cleveland Rising Organizers Meeting To Collect Public Input

Two months after the Cleveland Rising summit, corporate, community and civic leaders are working on ways to implement the ideas and proposals brought up by attendees.

Working groups developed at the summit have continued to meet as often as once a week, according to Don Graves, head of corporate responsibility and community relations for KeyBank.

Working-group leaders will meet with Cleveland Rising organizing chairs to discuss long-term goals for the city next week. The meeting will be the first of many as summit organizers seek more public input, Graves said.

“We had a great turnout for the summit, but any type of effort like that is never going to be able to get as many folks and as many different audiences as you’d like,” Graves said. “The plan all along has been to expand this effort and reach out to folks all across the Cleveland area.”

The summit faced controversy from groups concerned the event would not represent the needs of minority and East Side residents. Organizers reached an agreement to better include those voices in the days before the summit.

The working groups also will examine recently implements improvements to Cleveland’s healthcare, transportation and local government operations to establish what needs more attention moving forward, Graves said.

KeyBank is providing financial support for some of those efforts and working to bring other businesses on board as the summit working groups come up with initiatives for improving the city, Graves said.

“None of this is going to happen in a matter of days or weeks or even months,” Graves said. “All of the different aspirational goals, it’s going to take a significant amount of work and time to make happen.”

Some areas are moving more quickly, Graves said, including the group focused on transportation. The group has been working with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority as it considers changes to its system and strategic plan for development, he said.

The first meeting of group leaders and event organizers will take place at 1 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Cuyahoga Community College.

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