Cleveland Foundation Announces the 2016 Greater Cleveland Caucus Series

March 12 event launches a year-long partnership effort to engage Greater Clevelanders in shaping the future of our region

Release date: 2.12.2016

CLEVELAND – In this important year for our nation and our community, the Cleveland Foundation, The City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Young Professional Senate, Crain’s Cleveland Business, ideastream, and Neighborhood Connections are partnering to present the Greater Cleveland Caucus Series, a year-long series of events to foster community engagement among Greater Cleveland residents. Greater Cleveland Caucus Series attendees will be able to connect directly with organizations doing game-changing work in Greater Cleveland and participate in the process of improving our region.

GreaterCLECaucus Header“The spotlight is on Cleveland right now,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “We have an incredible opportunity to focus that spotlight on the residents of this region who are passionate about the future of this community, while highlighting the great work so many organizations are doing on the ground every day. This series hopes to encourage conversations that build on those passions and give everyone a chance to strengthen the future of our region.”

On Saturday, March 12 at Cleveland Public Auditorium, the Greater Cleveland Caucus: A Town Hall Meeting on Community Solutions will kick off the series by convening a broad group of Greater Clevelanders to discuss key issues impacting our region, brainstorm community priorities, and connect with organizations working to address these community challenges.

The kick-off event will feature local leaders delivering thought-provoking, highly visual 5-minute talks on Cleveland’s momentum in eight Caucus areas. Following the talks, each Caucus topic area will participate in facilitated conversations to identify key community priorities. Caucus areas and speakers include:

  • Education & Youth Development: Eric Gordon – Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Environment: Jenita McGowan – Chief of Sustainability, City of Cleveland
  • Health: Sonja Harris-Haywood – Director, NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health
  • Housing + Neighborhoods: Erika Anthony – Senior Director of Advocacy, Policy & Research, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
  • Inclusion: Population + Demographics: Joe Cimperman – incoming President, Global Cleveland
  • Jobs + Economy: Eric Diamond – Executive Vice President of Lending, Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI)
  • Safety: Ron Soeder – President, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland
  • Transportation + Infrastructure: Grace Gallucci – Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)
This nonpartisan, nonpolitical event is free and open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m. You must register to attend by visiting or by calling 216-615-7253.

The Greater Cleveland Caucus Series includes a still-expanding lineup of leadership and empowerment events, targeted news coverage by media partners, debate watch parties, community-focused programming during this summer’s Republican National Convention, and other initiatives, including:

  • April 23, 2016: African-American Philanthropy Summit: The Giving Caucus
    • The biennial Cleveland Foundation African-American Philanthropy Summit celebrates philanthropists and provides tools and insight for charitable giving. This year’s half-day Summit will convene guests in a Giving Caucus: a learning opportunity with robust discussion on philanthropic vehicles such as donor advised funds, organizational funds for nonprofits, scholarships, and planned gifts including charitable gift annuities. Attendees will also learn more about the strength of a community foundation – donors pooling resources for shared impact.
  • May 5, 2016: The Pulse special report by Crain’s Cleveland Business and the Cleveland Foundation
    • The Caucus areas discussed at the March 12 event will also be highlighted in The Pulse, the second annual community snapshot that brings together significant data around our region’s most vital topics. With information and statistics presented in an easy-to-digest format, it is Greater Cleveland’s data dashboard.
  • May 14, 2016: Cleveland Young Professional Senate presents YPCLE: Young Professional Civic Leadership and Empowerment Conference – The Millennial Caucus
    • YPCLE is a nonpartisan event presented by the Cleveland Young Professional Senate that brings together our city’s civic leaders and young professionals to continue the conversation of the March 12 Caucus by digging deeper on issues related to the Caucus Series topics. Through a combination of speakers, panels, small group discussions and networking attendees will brainstorm concrete solutions and action steps to enhance regional momentum.
  • May 25, 2016: Crain’s Women of Note Summit & Awards: The Women’s Caucus
    • The Crain’s Women of Note Summit & Awards continues the community conversation by connecting women in all stages of their careers to caucus around issues of importance to Northeast Ohio women. The Women of Note Leadership Summit will start the day, followed by the annual awards luncheon to celebrate the inspiring 2016 Crain’s Women of Note honorees.
  • July 2016: Washington Center RNC Academic Seminar
    • The Cleveland Foundation is partnering with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars to send Cleveland-area college students to participate in the 2016 RNC Academic Seminar, a two-week session that enables students to closely examine the important role presidential nomination conventions serve in American politics while actively participating in them in a non-partisan way. The Washington Center RNC Academic Seminar will be held this year at Baldwin-Wallace University, and this first-time partnership between the Center and the foundation will provide an unmatched opportunity for 24 traditionally underrepresented Cleveland-area college students to participate in this historic event.
  • Election 2016 Debate Watch Parties
    • Caucus conversations continue throughout the election season. Join us for the election Watch Parties to hear from panels of local experts interpreting Election 2016 and watch the debate with engaged Clevelanders.
      • Sept. 26, 2016: First Presidential Debate Watch Party
      • Oct. 4, 2016: Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party
  • Ongoing Activities Throughout the Year
    • Neighborhood Connections Neighbor Up Network Nights
      Neighborhood Up Network Nights encourage residents from different neighborhoods, as well as institutional leaders, to work together to respond innovatively to the challenges that plague our communities. Throughout 2016, these events will continue to address the priorities that Cleveland residents feel most passionately about. For a full list of upcoming Network Nights and Neighborhood Caucus conversations, please visit
    • Greater Cleveland Caucus Series: Virtual Caucus
      The Greater Cleveland Caucus Series will continue the conversation throughout the year on social media, highlighting Caucus-goer stories and inviting community members to share their thoughts and successes. Follow all the Series partners on social media for updates.
Announcements on additional Greater Cleveland Caucus events and opportunities will be made throughout 2016. For information on these events, please visit
All Greater Cleveland Caucus series events will be nonpartisan, nonpolitical events. Campaigning of any kind inside event spaces will be strictly prohibited.




Cleveland Foundation: Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2014 grants of $98 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs. For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit and follow us on, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation.

The City Club of Cleveland: The City Club of Cleveland is one the nation’s great free speech forums. A product of the Progressive Era, we were founded in 1912 and are the nation’s oldest continuous independent free speech forum, renowned for our tradition of debate and discussion. For more than a hundred years, all of our speakers, from sitting presidents to community activists, have answered unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience. Our mission is to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond.

Cleveland Young Professional SenateCleveland Young Professional Senate (Cleveland YPS) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the involvement and inclusion of young professionals and their perspective in civic decision making. Our volunteer members accomplish this mission through increased civic participation and civic involvement within the Greater Cleveland community.

Neighborhood Connections: Neighborhood Connections is the community-building program of the Cleveland Foundation established in 2003 to empower people in Cleveland’s neighborhoods and encourage them to become more engaged with each other and the city around them. We invest in citizen-led neighborhood projects through our innovative small grants program that offers residents of Cleveland and East Cleveland grants of up to $5,000. Neighbor Up, the powerful network of mentors, peers and civic leaders launched by Neighborhood Connections in 2012, offers grantees and other members a space to do just that — by exchanging resources, supporting each other and collaborating on projects.

ideastream: The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues its mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.

Crain’s Cleveland Business: In its fourth decade of service to Northeast Ohio, Crain’s Cleveland Business is the pre-eminent source for news, analysis, commentary and data essential for top executives and business owners. In addition to a weekly print product, its award-winning editorial team produces two daily digital news reports and weekly industry-specific e-newsletters. Crain’s Cleveland Business also puts on a collection of B-to-B events, from gala awards dinners to in-depth, topical gatherings.