Club members met with Rep. Marcia Fudge on May 3 near her offices in the Longworth House Office Building. Rep. Fudge was upbeat about Cleveland’s future and wishes media would deliver a better message about the city.
“Cleveland has the best orchestra in the nation; it has the number one library system in the nation; it has the best health care in the world; it has a wonderful housing stock, and it has tremendous universities,” she said. “As an example of the latter, CWRU ranks third in the nation getting innovation to market.”
Rep. Fudge pointed to new vibrancy in downtown, notably the new Medical Mart under construction and a casino project. She noted that water is still one of the region’s greatest assets: “We need the collective will to develop our waterfront, which has more potential than Baltimore’s did before it built the Inner Harbor,” she told 20 persons around a conference table in the Longworth room. She is also encouraged by the number of start-ups coming out of the region, especially from CWRU, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic. “Businesses are moving in,” she said.
“Progress in Cleveland is steady,” she reported. “In the next one- to two-years, you are going to hear a lot from Cleveland. We are going to be a leader in solar and wind power.” She urged Club members to tell the good stories about Cleveland. “We need consistent leadership and those good stories to get out there. When people come to Cleveland they see that media reports are wrong.”
Asked about the impact owing to the loss of earmarks, Rep. Fudge said she would be working harder with federal agencies to bring the kinds of services and work that her district needs.
Rep. Fudge said she flies to and from Cleveland at least twice a week and that travel is the worst thing about her job – “It’s tiring,” she admitted. But she said she likes to be in Cleveland for important events, and she noted she appreciates Cleveland’s lower prices on many goods and services compared to those in Washington, D. C.