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Report cites 'legacy' cities decline as Cleveland, Cincinnati seek 2016 RNC OK

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Last week Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, "Congratulations to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas & Phoenix for moving on to the next phase."

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These so-called Elite Eight cities are hoping Priebus and company will pick one of them to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. As recently as Monday, former bodybuilder champion and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger added his muscle to a bid by Columbus, Ohio’s capital, to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Columbus leaders including Mayor Michael Coleman incorporated Schwarzenegger's letter of endorsement into their bid presentation today in Washington, D.C. Trumpeting Columbus, the city that's hosted his annual Arnold Sports Festival, an event that has since the 1970s grown from a one-day men’s bodybuilding competition to the largest multi-sport fitness festival in the world, Schwarzenegger wrote that Columbus has been "an extremely successful" location for his event.

Cleveland and Cincinnati also made presentations.

Ohio, the state of presidents that boasts eight Buckeyes who made it to the White House, remains atop the list of battleground states that can make or break a candidates bid to be Commander in Chief. The last time Ohio voted for a candidate that did not become president was 1960, when Richard Nixon won the state but lost the White House to John F. Kennedy. Since then, Buckeyes have been on the right side of history. In the last two presidential election cycles, Barack Obama has won it twice, defeating Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012

But information released in a report from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy call "Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities." authored by Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, and Lavea Brachman, executive director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, shows that nearly all of Ohio's once great cities, built around core manufacturing industries including steel, glass, rubber and others tied directly to building cars and trucks by Detroit's Big Three, have been sliding for decades with little hope of a dramatic l turnaround anytime soon.

The authors write that their study offers a way to think about the regeneration of America’s legacy cities—older industrial cities that have experienced sustained job and population loss over the past few decades. Regeneration, they say, is "grounded in the cities’ abilities to find new forms." They also warn that "powerful obstacles ... stand in the way of fundamental change."

Included in the 18 "legacy cities" from among 50 that had a minimum population of 50,000 in 2010 and a loss of 20 percent or more from peak population levels were Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Dayton, Youngstown and Cincinnati. Mallach and Brachman used 15 indicators to measure population change,
socioeconomic conditions, housing markets, and economic activity. Their analysis revealed dramatic differences in the cities’ levels of recovery, particularly during the past decade.

Youngstown and Cleveland, one of the Elite Eight, were cited as cities that appear to be in a continuing decline. The year 1977 was identified as Youngstown’s “Black Monday,” when the city’s major employer announced its closing. "While the outside factors leading to the closing of the mills were beyond the city’s control, Youngstown lacked the leadership, partnerships, resources, and technical sophistication to translate that economic crisis into change," the report states. Meanwhile, in Dayton, home to the Wright Brothers among other great inventors, it cut nearly 30 percent of its workforce from its payroll.

Ohio's population growth, a major factor in job creation, has been virtually moribund in comparison to fast growing western states like Texas, which has added four congressional districts compared to Ohio losing two each Census cycle. When population grows, job are created because more people need more housing and more services of one kind or another which offer opportunities for job growth.

The fortunes of capital city Columbus have been buoyed by the presence of state government, a major university and a service sector including insurance and banking. When all its major cities with the exception of Columbus have declined over time or stagnated as people redistribute themselves within a political jurisdiction, Ohio can talk about cutting taxes and reducing burdensome government regulations, as Gov. John Kasich has done to make a case for growth, but while that all sounds wonderful, the reality of Ohio's future lies in the numbers Mallach and Brachman have produced from reliable sources like the Bureau of Labor Standards and others sources that show Ohio has a rough road ahead of it despite Panglossian comments to the contrary.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy advertises itself as "a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land."

The news article Report cites 'legacy' cities decline as Cleveland, Cincinnati seek 2016 RNC OK appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.

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