Bob Gardin, of Big Creek Connects, grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, and has also been affiliated with the Tremont area. Informed by his background in business, politics, and urban planning, Gardin envisions an urban landscape where people are connected to the natural environment while still enjoying the benefits of living in the city. He remarks on the Jones Home Historic District, where he currently resides, and the importance of Cleveland's watersheds.
Joan Komic is a lifelong resident of Cleveland. Her family started out on the east side near Slavic Village, but moved to the Near West Side while she and her sister were still young. Komic describes growing up, maturing, and entering adulthood while living in the neighborhoods of Clark-Fulton, Old Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Center. Today she engages with her community through being active at a local church and the Jones Home Neighborhood Association.
Maria Agosto explains how the Hispanic community on the Near West Side, specifically in the Metro West neighborhood, is affected by various social and economic issues, including impending gentrification, the lack of a strong Hispanic professional culture, and the inadequate awareness of helpful community programs and services. Much of Agosto's professional career has focused on the empowerment of young professionals. She suggests that the neighborhood will be strengthened through an investment…
Gloria Ferris is an active member of Brooklyn Centre. She relates the rewards and challenges of community activism in the twenty-first century. After coming back into the realm of community engagement, Ferris cultivated a group of individuals to form the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists. From the efforts of this group, Ferris and others were able to create an action-oriented backyard habitat community initiative. Ferris goes into great detail of how the community has benefited from active engagement…
Clark-Fulton resident, Kathy Oberst Ledger, has been actively trying to revitalize her community through her own initiatives, working closely with Metro West Community Development Organization, and applying for grants from Neighborhood Connection. Most of her efforts have been geared toward community gardening and positioning the neighborhood as an "International Village."
Rebecca Kempton provides an impassioned account on the importance of residential involvement in the stabilization and revitalization of a neighborhood. Kempton has been involved in her local neighborhood of Clark-Fulton for decades. During this interview, she describes many of the challenges and rewards she has experienced while working toward reclaiming public spaces for the public.
Art Ledger describes being the first African American taxidermist in the United States, as well as the first African American to own property in his Near West Side neighborhood. He explains how the Near West Side has changed demographically over time and describes his experience organizing fellow community members to improve their neighborhood, with a focus on diversity and community camaraderie.