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Growing Together: Regional Equity And Opportunity For All


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Title: Growing Together: Regional Equity And Opportunity For All

Growing Together Regional Equity And Opportunity
For All
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Leadership Day
  • October 30, 2006
  • john powell
  • Executive Director, The Kirwan Institute for the
    Study of Race and Ethnicity
  • Williams Chair in Civil Rights Civil Liberties,
  • Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

Todays Presentation
  • Challenges facing the region
  • What reduces regional competitiveness?
  • How can we grow together?
  • Regionalism and equity
  • Strategies for regional cooperation

What is the future of Rust Belt regions in the
21st Century ?
  • Many rust belt regions are facing similar
    conditions to Northeast Ohio
  • Little or no economic growth
  • Urban disinvestment
  • Sprawl without jobs
  • These regions are experiencing dramatic economic
    change due to global economic restructuring
  • Loss of manufacturing base
  • Flight of creative class

The state and the regions economic challenges
  • Since 2000, Ohio has seen
  • Population in poverty increase from 12 to 17
  • Ohioans receiving food stamps rise 29
  • Economic growth rate ranked 45th in the nation
  • Unemployment rate is sixth highest in nation
  • Significant job loss
  • Ohio leads the nation in foreclosures and is
    second in personal bankruptcies

Comparative regional economic health
Toledo, Cleveland and Dayton have the 17th, 18th,
and 19th lowest socio-economic health out of the
21 largest Midwestern regions.
Ranking calculated from a 8 indicator index
measuring various economic, population and
socio-economic conditions for the Dayton
metropolitan region.
Job Growth or (-Loss) Northeast Ohio Metro Areas
2000 to 2005
Source State of Ohio, Labor Market Information
What reduces competitiveness?
  • Certain regional conditions reduce economic
    competitiveness in todays global economy
  • Suburban sprawl
  • Municipal fragmentation (wasted infrastructure
    and redundancy in government services)
  • Racial and social inequities
  • Educational disparities unprepared labor force
  • Undercapitalized urban areas

Measures of Ohios sprawl
Sprawl without growth leads to disinvestment and
  • Ohio is developing rapidly without population
  • This creates surplus housing and further
    exacerbates the vacancy problem
  • In Ohios 6 largest regions, the average African
    American neighborhood has approximately 2x the
    amount of vacant housing than the average white

(No Transcript)
Fragmentation and racial inequality
  • In the Midwestern region, Indianapolis and
    Columbus have relatively low levels of disparity
  • Both regions have more regionalized structures
    (Indianapolis through consolidation, Columbus
    through proactive annexation)
  • Research has found that fragmentation (and
    corresponding exclusionary policies) produces
    exclusion from opportunity for people of color,
    and greater inequity
  • Conversely, less fragmented regions have more
    racial equity than their fragmented peers

Economic impact of inequities
  • Segregation drives education disparities,
    depressing the educational ability of many people
    in the region
  • Segregation keeps much of the African American
    labor force isolated from economic opportunity,
    creating workforce shortages for employers
  • Fragmentation creates redundancy in government
    services and creates inter-regional economic
    competition, when the region should be acting as
    one unit to draw people and jobs from around the

Education Place
  • This map displays the distribution of school
    poverty with the the distribution of African
    American populations in Northeast Ohio

School Poverty Academic Emergency
  • School designations by poverty status in the
    2004-2005 school year for schools in Cuyahoga,
    Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery and Summit
  • Findings based on analysis of Ohio Department of
    Education data for individual schools in the
    2004-2005 school year. Adapted from Economic
    Segregation Challenging Ohio Schools, produced
    by the Kirwan Institute (November 2005).

Why regionalism?
  • A region and all its residents share a linked
  • To thrive, regions must be competitive in the
    global economy
  • Regions cannot compete with wasteful and
    redundant services, and fragmented governments
  • The spatial orientation of todays economy,
    housing market, infrastructure, and labor market
    is no longer local
  • Local initiatives are not enough

Regional cooperation and growth
  • Regional efforts must be fair advocate for
    equitable investments in all people, in all
  • Combat segregation, isolation, disconnection from
  • Regionalism does not require regional government
    (municipal consolidation) but requires regional
    foresight and cooperation
  • What is the opportunity cost of doing nothing?
    Continued sprawl, disinvestment, economic and
    educational disparities all of which make the
    region unattractive to knowledge workers and

Regional cooperation policies and strategies for
growth and equity
  • Examples of regional policies that advance equity
    and opportunity for all residents
  • Regional school strategies to address segregation
    and concentrated school poverty
  • Economic integration Wake Co., N.C.
  • School vouchers -- Minneapolis
  • Regional affordable housing strategies
  • Put affordable housing in communities with good
    jobs, transportation, and services
  • Regional transportation/mobility strategies
  • Address spatial mismatch issues

Regional cooperation policies and strategies for
growth and equity
  • Examples of regional policies that advance equity
    and opportunity for all residents
  • Improving labor force education and training
  • Advancing minority entrepreneurship
  • Curbing sprawl and reinvesting in existing
  • Updating infrastructure and other civic resources
  • Regional decision-making and tax-sharing

Regional cooperation housing
  • Where you live is more important than what you
    live in
  • Housing, in particular its location, is the
    primary mechanism for accessing opportunity in
    our society
  • Housing location determines the quality of
    schools children attend, the quality of public
    services, access to employment and
    transportation, health risks, access to health
    care and public safety
  • For those living in high poverty neighborhoods
    these factors can significantly inhibit life

Housing and Opportunity
  • Housing is Critical in Determining Access to

The Cumulative Impacts of Racial and Opportunity
Segregation impacts a number of life-opportunities
Impacts on Health
School Segregation
Impacts on Educational Achievement
Exposure to crime arrest
Transportation limitations and other inequitable
public services
Job segregation
Neighborhood Segregation
Racial stigma, other psychological impacts
Impacts on community power and individual assets
Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at
Regional cooperation the link between housing
and education
  • The racial makeup of neighborhoods is the most
    important determinant of the racial composition
    of schools
  • Low-performing urban schools drive sprawl1
  • housing discrimination school segregation
  • School segregation has been steadily increasing
    in the 90s2
  • Half of all African American students attend a
    central city district
  • Only 1 in 6 white students does

Source 1. Determinants of Residential Location
Choice How Important Are Local Public Goods in
Attracting Homeowners to Central City Locations?
Isaac Bayoh, Elena G. Irwin, Timothy Haab 2.
David Rusk. Trends in School Segregation in
Divided we Fail Coming Together through Public
School Choice. The Report of the Century
Foundation Task Force on the Common School. 2002.

The link between economic racial segregation
  • Strong correlation nearly all schools with a
    majority of students of color are high poverty
  • The average White student attends a school with
    student poverty ranging from 23-30
  • For the average African American student, school
    poverty ranges from 61-78

Benefits of Economic Integration
  • Increased student expectations
  • Access to social capital
  • Positive impact on cognitive development for ALL
  • Improved academic achievement
  • Schools better able to attract and retain
  • Lower drop out rates
  • Higher career aspirations
  • Students more likely to attend college
  • Fewer incidents with police
  • Students less likely to become teenage parents

Achieving Economic Integration
  • District magnet/charter schools
  • Create high-quality magnet schools with academic,
    economic thresholds
  • Wake County Raleigh, NC
  • No more than 40 low income
  • No more than 25 performing below grade level on
    state reading test
  • Results
  • Black students 40 to 80 grade level on
    standardized tests
  • Hispanic students 79 to 91.

Achieving Economic Integration
  • Suburban schools designated vouchers/choice plan
  • Provide academic support, transportation
  • Connect to regional housing policies
  • Minneapolis Choice is Yours
  • Urban students are given priority placement in
    suburban or magnet schools of their choice
  • Participants outperformed their peers, with
    scores in reading and mathematics that were
    respectively 23 and 25 percentile points higher

Further strategies for promoting equity and
regional growth
  • Specific strategies for undercapitalized cities
  • Looking for the turning point
  • Supporting key community assets and anchor
  • Support an economically diverse community
  • Support revitalization not gentrification
  • Think and act both regionally and locally
  • Coalition building

Specific Strategies for Undercapitalized Cities
  • Strongly encourage reinvestment
  • Stimulate private sector (subsidies, market
  • Make area more competitive for investment
  • Incentives for infill development
  • Process underutilized land for redevelopment
  • Land bank programs
  • Housing programs targeted for increasing home
  • Promote access to suburban opportunity structures
    for impoverished residents
  • Opportunity-based, regional, affordable housing
  • Need to avoid over-concentration of subsidized
  • Regional inclusionary zoning policies

Looking for the Turning Point
  • The Turning Point
  • Instead of focusing on the tipping point, we need
    to better define what neighborhoods require to
    reach the turning point
  • What convergence of positive actions will
    accelerate the neighborhoods revitalization?
  • Pushing development beyond the turning point
    threshold requires an intervention strategy to
    positively transform the neighborhoods physical,
    social, economic, and political environment

Supporting Key Community Assets and Anchor
  • Support and strengthen neighborhood anchor
  • Anchor institutions are significant community or
    regional institutions that serve a specific
    community or regional need and become magnets for
    other opportunities
  • Areas near these institutions become dense
    clusters of opportunity conversely, losing these
    institutions can destabilize multiple opportunity

Think and act both regionally and locally
  • Building a community of opportunity requires
    community leaders and advocates
  • It also requires both regional and local action
  • Many of the spatial and institutional trends
    robbing communities of opportunity require
    regional solutions
  • Think about what initiatives will open access to
    regional opportunities and bring opportunity back
    to inner city communities

Coalition Building
  • To pursue regional solutions, it is critical that
    racially diverse, regional coalitions are formed
  • Regional solutions have been most successful
    stable when coalitions comprised of multiple
    entities are formed
  • Oregon (Coalition for a Livable Future-60
    businesses and organizations)
  • Chicago (MAC, Metropolis 2020)
  • Consider groups such as community based
    organizations, social justice groups, local
    governments, the business community, CDCs,
    philanthropic institutions and large urban
    institutions (e.g. Universities)

Think about the Macro-Region
  • Globalization is reshaping conditions throughout
    the rust belts traditional urban areas
  • Reshaping society and the economy
  • There is no organized national response to this
  • Rust belt regions need to start thinking about
    working together to create a national response to
    this macro-regional problem
  • Start talking to other regions, lobbying the
    federal government
  • How do we make rust belt regions economically
    healthy, globally competitive, sustainable and
    more equitable?

Linked fatestransformative change
  • Our fates are linked, yet our fates have been
    socially constructed as disconnected (especially
    through the categories of class, race, gender,
  • We need socially constructed bridges to
    transform our society
  • Conceive of an individual as connected
    toinstead of isolated fromthy neighbor
  • Be advocates for Communities of Opportunity as
    transformative change
  • Transformative An intervention that works to
    permanently transform structural arrangements
    which produce inequity and disparity

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