[Note: Pearlette Wigley is an aid to Representative Tim Ryan who has called me a couple of times in regards to past correspondence I've had with the Congressman. For the record, she is unfailingly polite and responsive if not 100% successful in getting the response I've requested. My latest communication to her, sent today, is below.]
It has been more than six weeks since I wrote to Representative Ryan asking what efforts he has made to help his district fight blight, and more than two weeks since I mentioned to you that I have received no response. I have still received no response and hope to have that information soon. You can read a copy of my email here.
In the meantime I have been digging into the question of how effectively communities are able to use the money we do have. For example, as noted in my first email, Warren recently was forced to spend more than 50% of the $1.3 million it received from the Moving Ohio Forward fund on asbestos testing and abatement, which was forced on the city by the Federal EPA in direct contradiction of its own regulations.
This is the kind of illogical government action in defense of a principal, while allowing a much bigger issue to sail right over its head, that has made so many Americans cynical and distrustful of government.
As you probably know, The Cuyahoga Land Bank is organizing an effort to get Ohio’s political leaders to stand with it and write letters of support for its efforts to get the EPA to restore the residential exemption from asbestos remediation. Here is a link to details of their efforts which includes a sample letter.
Therefore, I’m asking a second question now: Has Congressman Ryan written a letter of support and if not, why not?
I received a copy of a letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Congressman Tim Ryan, via email from Ryan’s office this week. It was in response to my letter to Ryan of August 14, 2013 suggesting that HUD would be the appropriate entity to investigate Sunshine Homes. Well, apparently they are, but they aren’t giving up any details as indicated in the letter text below. You can open a PDF of the letter HUD_speaks here.
Dear Representative Ryan:
We appreciate your inquiry regarding Sunshine Homes and your request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to look into the situation.
At this time material compliance issues are under review. HUD can not provide a response while this process is pending.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Acting Field Office Director
Cleveland HUD Office
There s an interesting experiment taking place in Warren this Saturday evening, you can be a part of it, and it will only cost you $5. It’s called “Warren Soup” and it is modeled on “Detroit Soup.” Amy Kaherl, who leads the Detroit venture recently spoke at Warren’s prototype event. You can get a good sense of her vision from her TED Talk video.
The basic idea is this. You come to dinner. For $5 you get soup, salad and a vote. The evening begins with four local organizations pitching an idea to you that they think will help the community. Each group gets four minutes. There is a brief Q&A and then you vote for the best idea. The winning organization gets all the $5 bills collected that evening. It’s been a huge success in Detroit as you will see from the video. The proto-event in Warren drew a good sized crowd and was a lot of fun. You should give it a try. Bring the family. The details:
- When: Saturday November 23. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.; presentations begin at 5:30.
- Where: The Movement Church, 480 E. Market Street @ Elm Road. (fka the Sunset)