Rokakis on Disastrous Consequences
For Slavic Village of Foreclosure Crisis
'Twenty years ago, the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland was a tightly knit community of first- and second-generation Polish and Czech immigrants. Today, it's in danger of becoming a ghost town, largely because a swarm of speculators, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders saw an opportunity to make a buck there. You could say it was because of them that 12-year-old Asteve' "Cookie" Thomas lost her life on Sept. 1, shot in Slavic Village when she stumbled into the crossfire of suspected drug dealers. The neighborhood wasn't always a haven for criminals -- not until hundreds of foreclosures destabilized the community. Houses (800 at last count) and then entire streets were abandoned. Crime increased as vacant properties offered shelter to people who had a reason to hide...Cities aren't asking for a bailout; they're asking for emergency funds to address the huge costs they've incurred because a private-sector industry was out of control. Congress needs to help the cities that helped make this country great -- cities like Detroit and Cleveland.'
--Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis, in a heart-felt article published in today's Washington Post. He proves here again why he would be the best possible choice to serve as mayor of Cleveland, if he could ever somehow work up enough fire in the belly to run.